The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) is working with Ennomotive in supporting Acciona to launch I’mnovation, the open innovation program of the company, in Chile.

ACCIONA is a world-leading company both in sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy generation. This company has 5 business divisions, +7,500 M EUR annual turnover, and +40,000 employees. ACCIONA has been present in Chile for over a decade and has +3,000 professionals that develop large infrastructure, water, industrial, and service projects.

The goal of this program is to transform the mining, energy, and construction industries to become more sustainable in Chile. In this sense, 8 challenges have been identified in areas with big potential for growth for ACCIONA, related to digital transformation and the fight against climate change in Chile.

One key area of this program is sustainable mining, where ACCIONA intends to provide solutions for the Chilean mining companies to make their operations safer and more environmental-friendly.

The second area is renewable energy where there are many on-going projects in Chile and ACCIONA is one of the global leaders in this sector. The company is looking for solutions to improve the efficiency of distributed generation grids, optimize the operation and maintenance of thermal solar plants and scale up renewables to isolated construction works to reduce the carbon footprint.

The third area focuses on Smart Cities and mobility, the use of electric vehicles in big cities and airports like the one in Santiago de Chile.

ACCIONA is looking for startups that provide technological solutions that solve these challenges. The best proposals will be awarded 25,000 USD to build a real-life pilot on site in Chile. Such pilots will be executed in collaboration with Acciona and will go on for a 3 months period.

Renewable Energy Challenges

1. Management and network stability services through the control of consumption and renewable generation

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The energy transition is moving towards more spread out and decentralized systems, with greater penetration and integration of renewables and storage, which means they do not go one-way anymore.

ACCIONA I’mnovation is looking for startups with advanced and smart solutions that enable more efficient network stability by integrating power demand control. Join the challenge here.

2. Energy sustainability in temporary, isolated construction works 

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The energy in temporary construction works for building infrastructures in isolated places is supplied by diesel power generators. Also, consumption has a different demand profile that depends on the progress of the works.

ACCIONA I’mnovation is looking for startups with efficient and flexible solutions for the portable supply of renewable power in construction sites to reduce or eliminate dependency on diesel. Join this challenge here.

3. Efficiency in operation and maintenance of a CSP and Solar power plant using real-time weather and market data

Cerro Dominador is a power generation plant in Chile that combines photovoltaic and thermal solar power. Besides, it is the first CSP (Concentrating Solar Power) plant in Latin America. The efficiency of this kind of plants may vary depending on the charging plans, weather conditions and energy sales. 

ACCIONA I’mnovation is looking for startups that for instance use ‘Digital Twin’ technology’ to optimize the operation and maintenance of a thermal solar power plant like Cerro Dominador. Join the challenge here.

Sustainable Mining Challenges

4. Efficiency and digitalization of the leaching copper process

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The heap leaching process in copper mining is complex and needs more digitalization. In this process, large portions of land are irrigated with water and sulphuric acid through a system that does not consider the copper concentration in each area. Consequently, a balanced irrigation process is not completely efficient.

ACCIONA I’mnovation is looking to digitalize and make the heap leaching process more efficient by learning in real-time about the copper concentrations in each heap leaching stack and also improve the supply of water and acid. Join the challenge here.

5. Safety and Health Monitoring for On-Site Workers

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Mine and Construction sectors are constantly working towards a zero-accident rate. Real-time monitoring solutions for the workers would enable active management of their safety and health.

In this challenge, ACCIONA I’mnovation is looking for smart, real-time monitoring solutions for mining workers that enable the reduction of the accident rate. The solutions must work in both open pit and underground mines and use devices the workers already know how to operate. Join the challenge here. 

6. Monitoring of piping systems for both tailings and copper concentrates

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In copper mining, copper concentrates and tailings (mining waste) are produced and carried through two different piping systems. Occasionally, these pipes have leaked and caused a serious environmental problem.

The goal of this challenge is to monitor in real-time the status of the pipes to anticipate any type of fault and implement preventive actions that protect the environment. Join the challenge here.

Smart Cities Challenges

7. Real-time monitoring and management system of equipment fleets in airport facilities

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The planning and scheduling of resources for the handling of an airport must be adapted in real-time to the needs of the different players involved (airlines, travelers, etc.) to ensure the best quality of service. However, the lack of a monitoring and tracking system for these resources has a negative effect on productivity. 

ACCIONA I’mnovation is looking for startups whose solutions help improve the management, planning, and scheduling of airport equipment fleets to improve productivity. Join the challenge here. 

8. Smart and sustainable charging points for electric vehicles

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Electric transportation needs to be promoted in cities in a smart and sustainable way to reduce the pollution levels in urban centers and fight against Climate Change. 

Consequently, ACCIONA I’mnovation is looking for startups that provide solutions that help develop the charging points of the future. They must be smart, integrate renewable energy generation and storage, and charge different kinds of electric vehicles. Join the challenge here.