Siemens has launched the Digital Mining Incubator (DMI) at Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct.
The Digital Mining Incubator is a co-creation space focused on developing mining engineering competence. The incubator is integrated into the Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct and is aimed at upskilling young individuals who have an interest in the mining sector, as well as disadvantaged individuals interested in actively participating in the future of mining.
Together with mentors from Wits, Tshimologong and Siemens, students will be enabled with the necessary tools and skills to effectively transform and develop the South African mining sector.
Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens CEO for Southern and Eastern Africa, says, “Our partnership with Wits and Tshimologong is about advancing the digital opportunities that mining offers our youth. Failing to position the mining sector in South Africa within discussions about the Fourth Industrial Revolution means remaining stagnant on the path towards industrialisation. It’s like being back in the ‘80s watching black and white television and constantly trying to reposition the bunny aerial to get rid of those blurry lines, all while living in the year 2018. This is not where you want to be.
Professor Barry Dwolatzky, director of Wits University’s JCSE (Joburg Centre for Software Engineering) and Founder of the Tshimologong Precinct, says, “Having Siemens open a digital incubator dedicated to promoting innovation in mining is a very significant landmark in bringing the benefits of 21st century digitalisation to one of the most critical sectors in the South African economy. The DMI will provide a dedicated platform for developing innovative solutions to some of our mining industry’s greatest challenges including health and safety, environmental protection and improved productivity.”
Digitalisation in the mining industry goes well beyond the automation of production. It allows for new approaches to business processes and creates real opportunities to merge the digital and physical worlds. The value of data coupled with machine learning, artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing offers South Africa a remarkable opportunity to create smart mines of the future. For example, imagine intelligent machines able to adjust operating parameters based on information received from other machines.
“At Siemens we believe that there needs to be genuine investment towards the localisation of technology and the development of digital talent to enable a strong, future-oriented workforce. The integration of digitally adept youth into the world of work will not only inspire new ideas, it will also transform and advance industries,” concludes Sabine.