Sudbury's mining tech sector hoping for $40M boost

Charles Nyabeze, the president of Sudbury’s Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), says the mining technology sector is ripe for “disruption.”

Investment of $40M has been on table since 2019

Charles Nyabeze is the vice president of business development with the Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

The president of Sudbury's Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) says he hopes a federal investment into the mining technology sector provides the catalyst to get more Sudbury technology products out on the international market. 

If approved by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, the $40 million into MICA – the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator – would help connect the innovators with the manufacturers, with an emphasis on developing environmentally friendly technology. 

"I think some amazing work, amazing companies are coming out of Sudbury," Charles Nyabeze said. "They're actually advancing clean, smart technologies, but they do need help."

"They do need help from the public sector and MICA is going to provide a network which is going to bring a lot of like minded people to the table."

One of the group's goals, Nyabeze said, is to make sure the industry is positioning itself well in the future by focusing on clean technology.

To do that, Nyabeze said the mining sector must "cross pollinate" with other industries. 

"MICA is going to attract technologies from non-traditional sectors to mining and then advance those into the mining industry," he said.

"We do have a belief that the technologies that are going to disrupt mining are going to come from other industries, like agriculture, from aerospace, from things like advanced manufacturing, from areas like municipal water treatment services."

Nyabeze also said a noticeable change has come over the mining industry, a move that's making it more accepting to innovation in other sectors. Nyabeze said the sector is ready for "disruption." 

"We're already seeing a critical mass of technologies from other sectors wanting to come into the mining industry. So MICA becomes a vehicle to allow that to happen," he said. 


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