10 November 2015

Innovation to unlock Australia’s resource potential

A framework for innovation that will help to realise Australia’s energy and mineral resources potential was launched at the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne today.

The framework which explores the ingredients of successful innovation across the resources sector, is presented in CSIRO’s new report: Unlocking Australia’s resource potential launched today by CSIRO and the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services Growth Centre - METS Ignited.

At a time when Australia and the resources industry are looking to innovation to drive future prosperity, the report draws on the insights of 26 senior leaders in some of Australia’s largest minerals and energy companies.

It also analyses past case studies, current barriers and trends to map the way in the future through innovation.

The CSIRO Futures report was launched today by CSIRO Executive Director of Environment, Energy and Resources, Dr Alex Wonhas and METS Ignited Chair, Ms Elizabeth Lewis-Gray.

"Despite Australia’s great past record and rewards from resource sector innovation, many companies and agencies are struggling to realise full value from their innovation investments for a number of reasons," Dr Wonhas said.

"Our research shows that many of the same features that gave rise to past innovation successes, are those identified by industry leaders as needed to break through existing barriers to innovation.

"Strong collaboration, visionary leadership, measured risk taking, perseverance and government participation were key ingredients of successful past innovation and may be even more important in the future."

Collaboration - or how and when the various industry and research players work together – was found to be particularly important for driving future innovation success.

While the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector has proven vitally important to innovation success, its collaboration performance can be further improved through more METS companies working with both mining companies and other R&D providers.

Chair of the recently established industry growth centre METS Ignited, Ms Elizabeth Lewis-Gray, welcomed the findings about the crucial role of the METS sector in innovation, as well as the challenge to produce even greater impact through stronger collaboration.

"Improved collaboration targeted towards innovation success is exactly what METS Ignited has been established to deliver," Ms Lewis-Gray said.

"The insights from industry leaders, case studies and the framework for successful collaboration in this report, provide a valuable tool to guide innovation that will benefit industry, the innovators and Australia."

CSIRO, with its diverse scope of research and wide range of national and international collaborations, is one of many organisations contributing to METS Ignited and other industry growth centres.

"This is one part of our contribution and vision to be Australia’s innovation catalyst, creating value and prosperity for customers and for the nation," Dr Wonhas said.

Access the report at Unlocking Australia’s resource potential.

Additional resources


  • Computer screen displaying image of rackface in front of computer generated image of longwall mining automation operation displayed on large curved screens. Download image

    Past innovation successes, like CSIRO’s longwall automation technology for coal minining, provide insights for future breakthroughs.

  • Four male researchers, Martin Leahy, Lincoln Paterson, Jonathan Ennis-King and Chris Green, seated around table covered with research diagrams with projection of geological model in background. Download image

    Collaborations between researchers, industry and other parties was found to be vital to innovation success.


  • Mr Roger Nicoll

    Communications Manager, Business And Infrastructure Services · Communications

    • Phone:
      • +61 2 6276 6660
      • +61 404 213 801 (Mobile)

    Email: Roger.Nicoll@csiro.au

  • Mr James Deverell

    Director, CSIRO Futures · Services

    • Phone:
      • +61 2 9490 8456

    Email: James.Deverell@csiro.au

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