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Ministry of Mines Organizes Special Webinar to Foster Innovation in Mining Sector

New Delhi: The Ministry of Mines, Government of India, organized a special webinar today aimed at empowering startups, MSMEs, and individual innovators engaged in the mining and metallurgical sector. The webinar served as a platform to explore avenues for advancing research and innovation in mining and mineral processing, crucial for the development of the sector.

The webinar was inaugurated by Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Secretary of the Department of Science & Technology, while the keynote address was delivered by Shri VL Kantha Rao, Secretary Mines.

In November 2023, the Ministry of Mines launched the “Promotion of Research and Innovation in Start-ups and MSMEs in mining, mineral processing, metallurgy, and recycling sector (S&T-PRISM)” initiative. This initiative aims to fund research and innovation in startups and MSMEs operating in the mineral sector, focusing on applied and sustainable aspects of mining and industrial applications. The initiative seeks to bridge the gap between R&D and commercialization and promote the ecosystem for a complete value chain in the mining and mineral sector.

Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Centre (JNARDDC), Nagpur, an autonomous body under the administrative control of the Ministry of Mines, is the implementing agency for the S&T–PRISM program. Fresh proposals under the S&T-PRISM program have been invited by JNARDDC, with the deadline set for April 30, 2024. Preference is given to startups/MSMEs from the North East region and women-led enterprises.

The webinar witnessed participation from over 200 attendees, including startups, experts, and industry representatives. Discussions during the webinar revolved around the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in mining and mineral processing. Dr. Anupam Agnihotri, Director of JNARDDC, presented on the functioning and guidelines of S&T-PRISM. Amitesh Sinha, Head of Corporate Venture Capital & Vedanta Spark Initiatives, and Shri Rohit Pathak, CEO & Business Head, Birla Copper, Aditya Birla Group, shared their experiences in dealing with startups in the mining sector. Prof. Asim Tewari, Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, elaborated on the role of artificial intelligence in the mining sector, providing valuable insights into technological advancements in the field.

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