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News

DIM ESEE – Innovation in Mineral Extraction Summer School

The DIM ESEE 2023 Innovation workshop 18 – 20 October 2023 was again held in Dubrovnik/Croatia.

We enjoyed high-quality lectures from multiple experts in the field of raw materials, great networking and innovative ideas for the future in mining.
This year, the scientific program was organised by the RIC Leoben team, including topics related to digitalization and data processing, underground and surface mineral extraction, and robotics in mining. Additionally, industry experts from Austin Powder, Dok-Ing, Epiroc, and Sandvik provided fascinating insights into the future of mineral extraction.
More details: https://dim-esee.eu/

Assessment Report on Climate Change for Austria (AAR2)

Montanuniversität Leoben contributes to the first order draft of the second Assessment Report on Climate Change for Austria (AAR2) which is currently being prepared. The RIC Leoben Climate Actions team is contributing to the review of the scientific report. The aim of the AAR2 is to assess the state of knowledge on climate change in Austria and its consequences, as well as to identify mitigation potentials and strategies, adaptation options and transformation pathways.
Knowledge gaps are to be closed in the sense of a climate-neutral society. The report shall be published in summer 2025. The project is based on the processes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is relevant for the implementation of the 13 SDG targets.

PROMISE – Master program for Sustainable Mineral Processing

PROMISE is an international 24 months Joint Master’s program in Sustainable Mineral and Metal Processing Engineering, aiming at advancing the mineral processing sector into a sustainable future. Up to 84 Erasmus Mundus scholarships can be awarded, divided between four intakes.

Applications for the third intake are possible until 31st December 2023.

This program is ideally suited for Bachelors of mineral processing, mining, metallurgical and chemical engineering and other closely related studies.
The program offers full scholarship of EUR 1400 per month, additionally it covers all tuition fees at the four partner universities: University of Oulu (Finland), Montanuniversität Leoben (Austria), University of Zagreb (Croatia) and Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (Chile).

More information on https://www.master-promise.eu/
Apply here: https://www.master-promise.eu/how-to-apply/

Project PRO-SLO kicked off to a flying start

Early November, the RIC team welcomed our project partners to officially kick off the PRO-SLO winter school project.
Additionally, during the EIT RawMaterials Expert Forum on Responsible Sourcing in Prague 7-8 December 2023, we presented a deep insight into the project’s ambition to train future leaders to master the complex issues of Social Licence to Operate (#SLO)!

Coordinated by the RIC Leoben Education team, an alliance of experts on the topic of SLO from research, universities and industry will design and deliver a tailored PhD school, based around challenges provided by the industry, facilitated by innovative teaching/learning methods.
We look forward to collaborating over the coming three years and beyond!

Project EdUp awarded

RIC is glad to support the ERASMUS+ project “EdUp”, coordinated by TU Bergakademie Freiberg, that aims at providing digital course contents and curricula upscaling opportunities for Ukrainian universities during the currently challenging period.

With EdUp, we will increase the already existing support activities that allow Ukrainian HEIs to keep up their study programmes by incorporating digital courses from partners and integrating them into their teaching. The project will offer a digital platform with new courses that cover already identified needs and increase the opportunities for UA partners to create digital courses. Within this project, RIC / Montanuniversität Leoben will provide a selection of education courses during the next two years.

Project “PRO-SLO” awarded

We are excited that EIT RawMaterials selected our project proposal “PRO-SLO” for funding! The aim of the winter school project “PRO-SLO – building PROfessional SLO Competence” is to bridge the gap between Raw Materials operations and economic, social and ethical discourse, and will provide the raw materials industry with future leaders who are competent and confident to master the complex processes of obtaining and maintaining a Social Licence to Operate (SLO) for their raw materials projects. We are very proud to coordinate a highly motivated expert consortium and look forward to collaborating over the coming three years and beyond!

Hydrogen and Carbon

Hydrogen is inevitably linked to carbon as a valuable material in to the research activities in the field of methane pyrolysis. About 120 scientists from 23 different organizational units of the Montanuniversität Leoben are currently working on topics within the Strategic Core Research Area (SCoRe A+ Hydrogen and Carbon). Networking of individual scientists from different disciplines creates fruitful collaborations. The recent H2C – Symposium gathered a wide audience to learn from 20 PhD candidates working on sustainable energy projects.
More info here.

Moreover, the RIC Leoben team co-organized, together with EURECA-PRO, a high-level Hydrogen and Carbon Summit to take place in Chania/Crete on 26 September 202

RIC Leoben Management Change

Peter Moser, who has initiated the Resources innovation Center Leoben (RIC) eight years ago, will start his new position as rector of Montanuniversität Leoben on 1 October 2023.
We are very proud and thankful to have had him positioning and supporting RIC Leoben and our EIT Raw Materials activities at a strategic level in many consortia and decision bodies.
Helmut Antrekowitsch, the new Vice-Rector for Research and Sustainability will then also take over as the new leader of RIC Leoben, a great development!

DIM ESEE – Innovation in Mineral Extraction Summer School

18 – 20 October 2023 in Dubrovnik/Croatia

do you want to learn about the latest trends in mechanical hard rock excavation?
Then come to join us in Dubrovnik in October! The RIC team managed to invite
experts from SANDVIK and EPIROC who will present their latest technology!

There will also be machines for use at extremely low mining heights from DOK-ING, innovative blasting methods, as well as insights into research projects around mining with robots and microorganisms.
Get more details and apply here: https://dim-esee.eu/

Ressources in Transformation – Climate Day 2023

Austrian Climate Day 2023 in Leoben

The Resources Innovation Center of the Montanuniversität Leoben organizes together with the CCCA the 23rd Austrian Climate Day at the Montanuniversität from April 11 – 13, 2023.

All Details to be found here!

Invitation to the SUMEX MOOC – Massive Open Online Course starts on 7 November 2022

Mineral extraction is crucial to Europe’s twin digital and green transition. It is essential that these minerals are not extracted at the expense of the environment and people. In order to have a truly green transition, we also need sustainable management in the extractive sector: Minimising the environmental footprint of an extraction project while at the same time contributing to a local and societal license to operate. This transition to sustainable management is challenging, both for policy and industry.

The SUMEX Massive Open Online Course will address five key challenges that industry and policy face in this transition. The course makes use of scientific concepts and holistic sustainability concepts at the operational level and will outline potential solutions based on practical examples applicable across Europe.

Register Now!

What is in it for you?

  • Design, with other stakeholders, new sustainable management practices
  • Explain the environmental and societal impact of mineral extraction
  • Analyse environmental impact using tools such as the three pillars of sustainability
  • Discover sustainable management best practice in policy and industry

What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…

  • Reflect on the importance of a coherent approach to a sustainability framework in the extractive sector
  • Explain the societal relevance of raw material extraction
  • Investigate the main pillars of sustainable extractive management
  • Apply sustainability frameworks for mineral extraction to different institutional and local contexts
  • Identify and evaluate good practices in the extractive industry in a critical manner
  • Discuss with experts and peers the current state and related challenges of the European extractive sector
  • Explore the SUMEX and other important tools about good practice learning

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for leaders, managers and stakeholders in the mineral extractive industry who want to learn about the challenges, solutions and new developments in sustainability.

It will be especially useful for public administrators and industry practitioners wishing to understand and implement sustainability management at any stage of the mining life cycle, from exploration to post-closure.

This course also benefits those interested in the importance of raw materials for a sustainable future and the challenges connected to them!

The EIT Community – a major strength in Europe

On 23 September 2022, the RIC Leoben team had the pleasure to represent EIT RawMaterials at the EIT OpenDay in Vienna, together with EIT Manufacturing, EIT Health, EIT UrbanMobility and EIT Culture&Creativity.
Every speaker confirmed that the major strength of EIT is collaboration within a large professional network, something that we at RIC Leoben and EIT RawMaterials have been supporting since 2015!

EIT Open Day Austria & Slovakia, 23.09.2022

on 23 September 2022 in Vienna

Did you know that the @European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is the largest innovation ecosystem in Europe with more than 2,000 participating actors? Pretty impressive!
All EIT Innovation Communities follow a pan-European approach to connect business, education and research while also ensuring close collaboration with the local industry ecosystems!
And we are also near you in #Austria and #Slovakia! Join us in Vienna on 23. September for the EIT Open Day Austria & Slovakia and become part of our network!
Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/eit-open-day-austria-and-slovakia-tickets-385617972737

@EIT Manufacturing @EIT RawMaterials, @EIT Health, @EIT Urban Mobility, and @EIT Culture and Creativity

ReFiberValue

Separation of small-size mixed plastic fractions and processing into high-quality material

Duration: 10/2022 – 09/2024

The Resources Innovation Center is happy to announce a newcomer among its Climate Actions projects!
ReFibreValue is a FFG-funded cooperation project between Montanuniversität Leoben, the international technology group ANDRITZ and technology start-up Circulyzer GmbH is successfully approaching the first year of activities. As a manufacturing by-product, Andritz AG generates significant amounts of textile production waste in form of polyamides (PA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which cannot be separated in an economically and ecologically sensible way using the processes currently available. One possible separation technology is offered by Circulyzer GmbH. The ReFibreValue project aims to develop and optimise a separation process that would produce partial fractions that are as pure as possible. ReFibreValue thanks to the collaboration among the industrial partners and MUL’s RIC, the chairs of Polymer Processing (KV), Materials Science and Testing of Polymers (WPK), Waste Recycling Technology and Waste Management (AVAW), Processing and Refinement (AuV) is enabling the processing of valuable waste and its return to the material cycle, making a valuable contribution to European circular economy agenda.
First results are promising for the innovative separation of textile production waste offered by Circulyzer GmbH. in form of polyamides (PA) from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) The tests were performed on manufacturing waste generated by ANDRITZ AG as a by-product.

The project aims to achieve sustainability and climate protection and contributes to SDG13 climate protection measures, SDG12 ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns and, SDG9 industry, innovation and infrastructure and subordinately the research project also contributes to SDG8 (increase in resource efficiency). RIC assumes the role of project management, communication, networking and further development for future funding within the consortia.

Discover more on the podcast & video here

April 2022 – Federal Minister Elisabeth Köstinger at RIC Leoben

On 20 April 2022, Federal Minister Elisabeth Köstinger visited the research facilities of the Montanuniversität Leoben that are working on pyrolysis for the production of hydrogen. These activities are located in the “Resources Innovation Center” (RIC Leoben), to which Minister Köstinger promised funding of three million Euros, divided between the years 2022 – 2028. The focal points of the funding agreement are activities on the following areas:

  • Digitalisation of extraction; preparation and processing processes as well as supply chains for raw materials – Digital innovation in technology and administration;
  • Innovative raw materials for digitalisation and substitution of critical raw materials
  • High-purity elemental carbon as a carrier material for digital applications.

The Resources Innovation Center Leoben will work on research topics (dissertations) on these themes, involving research funding from Austrian, European and global funding programmes (FFG, Horizon Europe, EIT RawMaterials). “Crisis security requires raw materials. Not all raw materials are infinitely available everywhere, which is why the Resources Innovation Center (RIC) at the Montanuniversität Leoben is an important institution that we are supporting in its work with three million Euros. Research is already being carried out here to find scientific answers to future challenges in the form of innovations,” said Elisabeth Köstinger.

September 2021 – Current publications in the BHM journal

We are proud to have published numerous papers in th current Berg- und Hüttenmännische Monatshefte. They are mostly published in both german and english, all current papers can be found here as mostly open access.

The BHM is the only Austrian journal for the entire mining and metallurgy sector. It is divided thematically. The issues with even numbers mainly report on the extraction of solid mineral raw materials in the form of original articles, whereby the authors come from both the practice-oriented industrial sector and the university research sector. The odd-numbered issues are dedicated to the metallurgical sector. It covers both the extraction of metals, including recycling, as well as further processing and metallurgy, and the refractory industry. Environmental issues and sustainability occupy a large space. The sections “Montan-Rundschau” and “Aus der Industrie” provide brief, concise information on current economic events in the industry and introduce new products and processes.

European Forum Alpbach – Technology Symposium 2021

Montanuniversität Leoben as part of the TU Austria-Universities was responsable for on of the breakoutsession for European Forum Alpach. The topaic was “Plastics? Sustainable!”

Plastics are essential in our daily life, yet their image is very negative. In fact, the majority of plastics are used in valuable products e.g. in medicine, mobility, infrastructure or energy transmission and thus contribute to many SDGs. This BOS deals with various aspects of plastic, including their environmental relevance and usage behaviour. How plastics fit into the Circular Economy Approach will be discussed and ideas on the sustainability increase of plastic products will be presented.

ENG | BS 7: Plastics? Sustainable! from AITtomorrow2day on Vimeo.

Find out more about the ALPBACH TECHNOLOGY SYMPOSIUM 2021 at https://www.ait.ac.at/en/news-events/alpbach-technology-symposium-2021

April 2021 – RIC Leoben joined the Green Tech Jam

At this year’s online Green Tech Jam, the solution of the challenge “Circular Economy meets Distributed Ledger – a transparent PET bottle product cycle” set by the Montanuniversität Leoben (involved institutes: Resources Innovation Center & Industrial Logistics), which was developed by an interdisciplinary team of students, won the first place. The team “sixpack” was supervised by the Chair of Industrial Logistics during the 24-hour challenge and consisted of three Slovenian students from Graz University of Technology as well as three Montan students. They were able to prevail against 7 other teams, each of which worked on one of 6 different challenges provided by the companies t-matix, BDI, Komptech and AI.engineer as well as the Climate and Energy Fund, and us.

In the Android app developed by the team “sixpack”, QR codes attached to bottles can be scanned and information about the bottles retrieved from the distributed data storage. The path of the bottle – from PET production to the supermarket – is displayed graphically on a map and unconventional energy comparisons with more or less everyday activities (e.g. the duration of headbanging during a concert) are carried out and visualised.

At the interdisciplinary Hackathon under the slogan “Code & Concept for a greener future” organised by the Green Tech Cluster Austria together with the Climate Change Center Austria (CCCA) and Graz University of Technology,8 teams of students from different disciplines and different european universities had around 24 hours to work on a problem relating to the topics of climate and the environment and to present a digital solution for it. In total 36 international students participated at this event. The MUL challenge also competed as part of one of two Climathon challenges at the Green Tech Jam. Climathon is a global climate hackathon under the umbrella of EIT Climate-KIC.

More information about the whole event can be found at https://www.greentech.at/nachlese-green-tech-jam/

March 2021 – Minerals used in everyday objects

The game of “The Briefcase of mineral applications” aims to familiarise the player with the minerals that are used in the manufacture of everyday objects. The specific target audience are primary and secondary schools which include from 6 to 18-year-old students and their teachers. The project is orientated for Wider Society Learning (WSL) and aims to raise students’ knowledge of mining activities and mineral applications. Given the era of a growing prevalence of online teaching and learning, we believe tools such as this one will prove to be effective and beneficial for the education of young people by using both their native and the English language.

Try it our here: https://www.thebriefcasegame.eu/home

January 2021 – Investment opportunities in raw materials in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This brochure has been created in the framework of the project InvestRawMaterials – Multifactor model for investments in the raw materialsector, case study Bosnia and Herzegovina, funded by European Instituteof Innovation and Technology (EIT) under the KIC Raw Materials program. In this brochure, we present you the outcome of the devoted work of theentire project consortium from 2017 to 2019. Here you will be able tofind the summary of the most relevant economic and legal data pertaining to Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as geological data on 14 carefullyselected antimony, bauxite, fluorite and magnesite deposits. We hopethis brochure will find its way to interested parties and fulfill its purposeas a guide to the investors in this prospective, but insufficiently investigated area.

Download the brochure here

Project overview

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