Partnering as the key to Chilean mining’s digital transformation
This interview was published in BNAmericas on October, 30th, 2020.
Needing to embark on a thorough digital transformation process, Chilean miners are having a hard time connecting with the right partners and workforce.
The private-public innovation initiative Expande has launched a technology platform to help the local sector transform.
BNamericas talked with Expande’s strategy and development director, Ricardo Morgado, about how the efforts to bring more technology to the industry.
BNamericas: What kind of technological solutions should be provided by local mining suppliers?
Morgado: Last year, we did a characterization of mining suppliers mentioning key subjects and undoubtedly cybersecurity and blockchain technologies are relevant.
BNamericas: What is missing from the industry’s ecosystem to encourage the use of new technologies?
Morgado: It is necessary to promote collaboration between companies, as not all of them have the needed capabilities. Visibility is also important because not all companies know who is in their business field. Promoting companies’ visibility would really help the ecosystem.
BNamericas: Would that collaboration be more effective if it is bolstered by the authorities?
Morgado: What we have seen is that increasing connection channels between companies helps, but if this comes from the authority’s side it is also welcome. However, we must appeal to the fact that private companies must learn to collaborate. We, as Expande, want to promote this collaboration between companies and those suppliers really interested in complementing each other.
BNamericas: Expande recently launched the Open Space platform. Could you tell us what this is?
Morgado: At Expande, we have invited companies willing to have partners for developing technological solutions, so they have a platform where they can register and indicate what type of company they are, what is the scope of their business, what type of partner they are looking for and what they offer.
Our intention is to help companies complement technological capabilities, develop their future plans as well as start their internationalization process.
Expande will track matches between companies to help develop their associations, but they can also participate in technological scouting processes and venture capital activities.
Companies can sign up at expandemineria.cl
BNamericas: Can the platform attract investors?
Morgado: Open Space has been designed so that all actors in the ecosystem can participate and recognize each other. If an investor is interested in allocating resources to some business, it would be great if they can find companies prepared to get the financing.
BNamericas: Will Open Space also facilitate the link between companies creating solutions and piloting centers?
Morgado: This collaboration platform also means that when a company requires piloting capabilities, they can find them. The idea is that the country’s piloting centers can participate too.
BNamericas: From Expande’s point of view, would it be possible to see an explosion of startups focused on mining?
Morgado: That path must be paved with clear information on what the spaces are that entrepreneurs must cover, so they can build a portfolio of the technological solutions required. An entrepreneur starting a technology development process will require partners and Open Space is a good option for it.