Mining Innovation and Research Battlefield

New Leaders | Fresh Ideas | Real Impact

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The Mining Innovation & Research Battlefield seeks to bridge the gap between great ideas and the resources needed to implement them.

Application Deadline
November 20th, 2023
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Exploring artisanal and small scale (ASM) and large-scale mining (LSM’s) collaboration to contribute to clean energy transition.

Each year there is a new theme, and in 2024 we are looking for innovative research proposals that offer collaborative solutions to solving the challenges presented by the clean energy transition. 

Convened by the Development Partner Institute and Mining Indaba, and modelled on the popular Mining Indaba Investment Battlefield.


What are the innovative responsible collaborations between LSM & ASM, and how can these be applied to the just energy transition?

According to the World Economic Forum, “the production of minerals such as graphite, lithium and cobalt could increase by nearly 500% by 2050 to meet growing demand for clean energy technologies."

Through the Mining Innovation and Research Battlefield 2024, we are excited to engage researchers and the mining sector to support pioneering research into responsible mining and sourcing initiatives to achieve positive technological, environmental, social, and economic outcomes.

Through your application, please demonstrate answers to the following questions:

  • What is the objective? What will your idea/research accomplish?
  • What makes your idea/research significant? Demonstrate the rationale and impact.
  • Describe the process of implementation and time frame. 
  • What resources (e.g. human, financial, physical) are required?
  • What are the direct or indirect impacts on project participants? Who are the beneficiaries?
  • How does it support the Sustainable Development Goals? 

For more information please click here.

DPI request that all applicants upload supporting evidence with more detailed information regarding, budget, innovation and methodology.

What's in it for you?

The Development Partner Institute has chosen an Evaluation Selection Committee to review all submitted applications. 

The ten highest-scoring applications will be shortlisted and notified on 30 November 2023. These 10 will be invited to Battle Round One

Battle Round One – 14 December 2023:

  • The 10 highest scoring applicants will present in 10 minute sessions including a Q&A online (Hyve TV)
  • Shortlisted applicants who are unable to present and/or experience technical problems may be asked to submit a pre-recorded video of their pitch for the first round.
  • Note: all applicants must be available via phone or video conferencing during the first pitching round for live Q&A after their video

Three proposals will be taken forward. The three semi finalists will have the opportunity to work with the Brunswick Group (this may include coaching)

Battle Round Two – 6 February 2024:

  • The three proposals will be selected by the judging panel to pitch in the second and final battle round, live in person or via videoconferencing on the Mining Indaba stage, allowing for Q&A from our judging panel.
  • All finalists will secure an exclusive opportunity to pitch in front of global leaders in mining, and receive peer recognition for their innovative solution/research.
  • Finalists in the Battle Round 2 will receive a delegate pass to Mining Indaba, in Cape Town, South Africa (valued at £2,395).
  • The winner will be announced at this event

The Winning Pitch:

In addition to having the opportunity to pitch in front of the world’s top mining companies and receive recognition for your research, the winning Innovation & Research proposal will receive:

  • A unique platform to test and contribute new ideas on the global stage and receive instant feedback from leaders in both industry and academia
  • An Innovation Grant to support your research up to $25,000 USD, thanks to BHP Xplor 
  • A one-to-one with the winner(s) at the Mining Indaba Young Leaders Forum (8 February 2024) to inspire the next generation in pursuing studies and careers around mining and sustainability
  • Industry Networking Event with the judges for winner and runners-up on 6 February 2024. This is a rare opportunity to make face-to-face connections and form partnerships with both industry, researchers, innovators and academia

Please Note:

  • The winner(s) of the Innovation Grant will be required to measure and report on progress quarterly during the following 12-month period.
  • By 30 December 2024, the winner(s) must submit an overview of how the funds have been spent, outcomes and learnings achieved to date, and a plan for the expenditure of the remaining grant funds if applicable. This report will be presented at Mining Indaba in February 2025, providing further exposure to innovation and research.
  • Please note that your innovation will be displayed on a public platform, hosted by Leading Edge Only (LEO).