The event, with support from Corfo, was held this year in the Antofagasta Region, bringing together leading companies and public-private organizations from the mining ecosystem.
Regional officials, mining companies and local startups were in attendance at the official kick-off of the fifth version of Mininn Summit. With support from Corfo, the initiative aimed to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Chilean mining.
The two-day event included activities, presentations, talks and workshops dedicated to the region’s startups, ending with a wrap-up session on innovations for a more sustainable mining industry. It also featured two working spaces for the ecosystem: the “We are STEM and +” space, which focused on gender, and the “Speakers” space, which included presentations from international experts, workshops and panel discussions on innovation trends in the industry.
About the event, the executive director of the Corfo Antofagasta Committee, Melissa Gajardo Castillo, pointed out the importance of the entity’s role in strengthening SMEs, which play an active role in the ecosystem, “Corfo is charged with driving entrepreneurship, innovation and also new industrial policies around sustainability. We have an instrument called ‘Viraliza’ that has shown itself to be very powerful and relevant in Antofagasta, striving for events like this to generate ecosystems that transfer knowledge and best practices and promote important topics.”
Likewise, the regional representative for the Mining Ministry, Macarena Barramuño, highlighted the importance for the industry of major events like Mininn Summit. “In its fifth edition, the event addressed fundamental issues for the challenges we face in mining in our country and in our region. We are talking about how to innovate at low cost, how to innovate by improving the quality of life of the surrounding communities. This is why this event is important for the ecosystem. So that the industry can share its best practices, learn what is happening in other companies and what is happening in academia.
Finally, SQM Salar’s Innovation and Development Manager, Osvaldo Yáñez, said that “at SQM we are very pleased to be part of this initiative that brings together the entire ecosystem of innovation and technological development in such an important mining region where we are a relevant player. In addition to being world leaders in all our business lines, we challenge ourselves daily to develop new technologies in our processes through innovation and sustainability, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality in all our products, among other environmental goals outlined in our corporate sustainability plan.”
Innovation, digitalization and new technologies
During the first day, leading companies and public-private organizations gave life to conversation panels and talks. For example, the panel “Cultural Change: Ideation for New Mining,” was attended by the head of the Development and Industry Division of the Antofagasta Regional Government, Ruth Rodríguez; Aprimin’s Research Manager, Jorge Bravo; and the CCM – Eleva Project Manager, Cecilia Mélendez.
The topics of technology, innovation and trends were featured on the second day, starting with the presentation “AI and Sustainability in Mining,” by the international specialist Arturo Durán, managing partner of IVA Ventures. Another talk on Community Relations for Sustainable Mining was given by Sergio Diaz, Corporate Sustainability Implementation Leader at SQM.
Osvaldo Yáñez, SQM’s Innovation and Development Manager, presented on “Lithium Sulfate Production,” where he talked about the initiatives related to this topic. Yaudika Lema, Head of Innovation at Ferreycorp, spoke about “Open Innovation for the Mining Industry: Creating Development Together.”
Winners of the Startups and Scaleups contest
After months of preparation, Mininn Summit announced the winners of the PITCH Startups and Scaleups Contest at a ceremony during the event. The competition, with Corfo as its main sponsor and SQM as its main co-host, focused on innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship in the mining industry.
Companies and suppliers from the Antofagasta Region and other parts of Chile had until September 25 to submit proposals and projects providing a solution to the needs of the mining industry in one of two categories: Startups (projects at an early stage) and Scaleups (more mature products). From a shortlist of three finalists from each category, one winner per category was chosen.
At the end of the event, Claudio Valenzuela, co-founder of Mininn Summit, announced the two winners: MovIA and Kimamics. The first project is a platform for monitoring and intelligent management of electric vehicle fleets and charging systems, while the second seeks to reduce variability and increase benefits in industrial processes through the use of its technology.