So it is time to close the book about the year 2020. A year that, to say the least, has been a little different. For the program office, like the rest of the world, it has meant a change from a normal state to a corona state and forcing us to adopt new ways of working. When we look back on the year, it still feels good that we have managed to carry out most of the activities we had planned, only sometimes in a new way and maybe even the change has made us make other efforts that we otherwise would have missed. We take with us many lessons from the year.
On June 1, the program entered a new third program period and in connection with that, we took the opportunity to change the name to one that clearly communicates what we do, Swedish Mining Innovation. The name change was important to us, it enables visibility for us both in Sweden but also internationally. We already see that the new name works well for us. The new program period also meant that we switched to a more challenging approach. We have put an even clearer focus on the challenges of society and the industry, and during the year we have also increased our focus on sustainability and skills supply. We have launched new initiatives in both education, supporting university lecturers to adapt to the distance education through an education booster call, and in social acceptance where we will take a step back to determine the best way to move forward with this extremely complex issue.
When it comes to internationalization, despite the corona virus, we have had a lot of activity during the year, and we are also planning for much exciting in the coming year. It felt good when we signed our first MoU with a foreign company at the end of the year. We also see the investment as a pilot for future collaborations with other interesting mining nations and international mining companies. Collaboration makes it easier for us to gather strength and jointly drive innovation and technological development forward to meet the global challenges.
It is extremely exciting to work with the mining industry. There are many major investments underway, all of which focus on increased sustainability and efficiency. The industry is working hard on the transition to fossil-free/carbon-neutral and digitized processes, and our project portfolio reflects the high ambitions of our Swedish mining industry in terms of sustainability. Our industry clearly stands out as an essential enabler of the green transformation and as a strong forerunner, both nationally and internationally. We talk a lot about how the power of innovation has been affected by the corona virus situation, and we certainly see that projects are delayed and sometimes more expensive because they cannot be carried out according to plan. On the other hand, the need to adapt rapidly has demonstrated the value of automation and led to improved use of digital tools and communications. And still so much is happening! New constellations that work together provide new solutions and faith in the future. Our industry is still strong and drives development forward, it makes us proud!
We will continue to do our best to enable and support the development towards a sustainable and competitive industry that contributes to solving society’s challenges in 2021 as well.
We wish you all a nice holiday! Take care of each other but keep your distance, and we hope that we can meet physically again in 2021! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Jenny, Lawrence, Lotta, Niclas, Matz and Terese at Swedish Mining Innovation Program office
Short facts 2020
During the year, we launched 14 new pre-studies, 1 pilot project, 4 full-scale projects, 10 strategic projects, 10 distance education projects and 1 planning project. We changed our name and we entered our third program period. We have organized a program day, two workshops within our PhD network, three open call information webinars and a distance education workshop. We have participated in many panels, discussions and signed our first MoU with a non-Swedish organization. For this year’s innovation idea competition we received 24 applications and for the second time we awarded the Swedish Mining Innovation Award. As part of this, we also took the opportunity to award an inspirational prize. The focus countries for internationalization work have been Chile, Brazil, Canada and Australia. The percentage of female project leaders for the overall program is 39 %.