Anglo American, Origin to mentor tech startups at Brisbane’s fifth hackathon

Anglo American and Origin will be taking part in the annual hackathon Unearthed, designed to connect industries and budding innovators to partner and deliver technology solutions to the mining and resources industries.

Span across July 13–15 for 54 hours, the hackathon will be held at Brisbane’s co-working hub for technology start-ups, Fishburners.

Participants will include students and professionals from the science, engineering, business, entrepreneurship, software development and mathematics disciplines.

They will tackle a set of challenges that draw on Anglo American and Origin’s real operational data, under the close mentorship of the companies’ personnel from across the business.

“Anglo American is proud to collaborate with Unearthed and explore innovative approaches to Anglo American’s real mining challenges,” Anglo American Metallurgical Coal head of technical, Dave Palmer, said.

“This hackathon will generate new ideas in automated data capture in underground mining and real-time monitoring to improve asset deployment in cut mining.”

Some of the challenges include developing a system which processes real-time information from assets in the pit to assist supervisors and dispatchers in speedy decision making; activating an experienced operational personnel called “the human sensor”, who will look for signs of anomalies and defects at the power station; and finding high pressure differentials at coal seam gas wells.

Aside from getting a real chance in solving industry problems, participants will gain deep insights into the two companies’ current operations, data, technology gaps and future vision.

Top teams will walk away with thousands of dollars in prize money and a fast-tracked application to the Unearthed Accelerator program, which provides start-ups seed funding and access to industry mentors, training and facilities that help commercialise their prototypes into products.

According to a McKinsey & Company report from February 2017, technological advances will raise productivity, increase energy efficiency and unlock a value between $900 billion and $1.6 trillion to the global economy by 2035.