Mining consultant recognised

Innovative technology applications in mining will keep Australia at the forefront of the world-wide mining trade. Australian Information Industry Association CEO Ian Birks writes.

In Australia, the services industry accounts for more than 75% of economic activity, 68% of GDP and 85% of employment.

The mining industry alone comprises approximately 5.6% of this total.

A large proportion of mines worldwide make use of Australian-developed computer software and services. In fact, Austrade’s Mining Capability Overview estimates that Australia’s mining services, equipment, and technology exports equate to more than $2 billion annually.

Australia has demonstrated its ability to compete with the best in the world in terms of turning innovative ideas into high-value products and services. However, there is an urgent need for a more cohesive approach to innovation, as the nation’s future prosperity depends on the ability to improve productivity and create new ways to meet rapidly evolving global markets.

Specifically, while technological innovation in Australia has been stepped up in the past decade, so has the performance of the rest of the world — and in many countries at a faster pace. In the World Economic Forum Competitiveness Report 2006-2007, Australia dropped one place from 2005-2006 and now ranks 19th in the world in terms of growth, innovation and economic stability.

Moving forward, failure to grow the services economy through innovation and technology will result in a state of economic downturn.

One company using technology to help keep Australia at the forefront of innovation in the global services sector is Snowden Mining Consultants. With offices world-wide, Snowden delivers a range of technical consulting services and advice to exploration and mining companies and offers services to legal and financial institutions with interests in the mining sector. This month Snowden was announced as the West Australia winner of the Industrial Applications iAward for its Snowden Reconcilor software application.

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) iAwards honour outstanding information and communications technology (ICT) innovation across Australia each year.

AIIA’s role is to lead and represent the ICT industry in Australia to maximise the potential of the Australian economy and society. As a state winner, Snowden will compete for the national Industrial Applications iAward title for its software innovation.

The Snowden Reconcilor was recognised for its ability to collect information from any data source and compile it ready for reporting-on-demand. An innovative web-based application, it captures information and data from across the mining value chain then reconciles and reports on mining activities against budgeted plans and metrics.

The Reconcilor is a great example of the value and benefits that technology can deliver to a complex industry and organisations both large and small by providing personnel with the support they need to make more effective operating decisions.

All levels of the ICT community competed in the state finals of the iAwards, with this year’s winners ranging from emerging start-ups to established innovators. A gala dinner announcing the national iAward winners will be hosted in Melbourne on 28 May as part of Technology Week.

This year, the iAwards expanded to a two-tier approach with the state winners going on to compete at the national iAwards. All finalists will also be eligible to win five special awards announced on the night: the CSIRO Tony Benson Award for outstanding individual achievement in ICT; the Inspiration Award, for the best ICT product or service; the ICT Exporter of the Year; the Community Award, for innovation in corporate social responsibility; and, the Start-up Award for the best new ICT business.

Innovative ICT solutions are making a fundamental contribution to Australia’s services industry. AIIA extends its congratulations to Snowden on their win in Western Australia, and wishes them every success at the national iAwards this month.

Ian Burks

i.birks@aiia.com.au

www.aiia.com.au