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Developing data science skills for Australia’s mining industries

The Australian government has announced that the University of Sydney will receive almost AU$ 4 million in Australian Research Council (ARC) funding for the development of data science skills for the mining industry.

According to a recent press release, research activity will be focused on data analytics related to the long-term impact of resource use on Australia’s economy, society and environment.

Data science skills for the mining industries

Led by the Centre for Translational Data Science Director, researchers will help develop the necessary data science skills for Australia’s resource industries to make the best possible evidence-based decisions when using the natural resources.

As an asset-rich nation, Australia continues to play a leading role in delivering the world’s essential resources.

However, investing in transformative technologies and collaborative research is important to maintain that position.

New approaches to data analysis will allow for an improved understanding of how the resource sector can mitigate risk and impact.

Moreover, it will prepare Australia’s resource economy for a long-term approach to resources and mining.

Funding to establish data science centre

The AU$ 4 million ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre grant will go towards establishing an AU$ 11 million data science centre to support the management of Australia’s natural resources.

The Data Analytics for Resources and Environments Centre (DARE) will enable researchers to apply their data science models against real world challenges.

These include water storage, biodiversity loss and the extraction of mineral resources.

DARE aims to make the best possible evidence-based decisions in harnessing the nation’s natural resources and environment.

Australia had experienced the most challenging conditions with drought causing untold heartache for farmers and testing conditions for the management of water supplies everywhere.

The management of all natural resources face the common central issue of how data is exploited to build predictive and integrated models.

This can then be used to make economic and sustainable decisions in the face of high levels of uncertainty.

Collaboration is key

The funding is part of a broader AU$ 7.67 million investment.

This will also be used to fund a centre at the University of Adelaide that will focus on product quality and maximise resource recovery in the mining industry.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan explained the need to guarantee that research is turned into real-world benefits since Australia’s world-leading research sector will be a key driver of jobs and productivity.

Successful collaboration between research and industry produces unambiguous benefits.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan shared that the funding would help keep Australia’s resources sector at the top of its research game.

A key part of last year’s National Resources Statement was to better focus the sector’s innovation and R&D on long-term, sectoral growth.

The country is blessed with abundant, high quality resources such as coal, iron ore and gas, which return billions to the economy each year.

Additionally, demand for the minerals that drive modern technologies, like lithium, rare earths, nickel and cobalt, is also surging.

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