The first CSIRO center in Chile opened its doors last Wednesday, December 14, in the Gorbea Auditorium at the Universidad de Chile.
CSIRO – the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia – is one of the world’s leading research and development firms in the world, with cutting-edge research in the fields of climate change, energy, health and mining.
CSIRO Chile will be especially focused on the latter aspect, investigating new applications of mining technology in the home of some of the world’s largest deposits of copper ore and molybdenum, as well as gold, silver and lithium.
The opening ceremony was led by CSIRO Executive Director Megan Clark and CSIRO Chile Executive Director Neal Wai Poi, as well as Mining Minister Hernán de Solminihac and the rector of the Universidad de Chile, Víctor Pérez, and other academic authorities.
The new center will work in alliance with the Advanced Mining Technology Center at the Universidad de Chile’s Sciences and Mathematics campus, with funds of some US$19.5 million from the Chilean Economic Development fund (Corfo).
CSIRO-Chile aims to integrate academia and industry through a world-class research and development center. With the arrival of CSIRO to Chile, the sector plans to accelerate the commercialization of scientific achievements, promote technology transfers and spread knowledge and human capital.
Apart from its location at the Santiago campus of the Universidad de Chile, CSIRO-Chile will also have a satellite location in Antofagasta, the heart of the country’s mining industry. There, CSIRO will work with the Universidad de Antofagasta and the Center for Technological Scientific Mining Research (CICITEM).
Private sector partners include some of the leading names in the Chilean mining sector, like the state-owned copper company Codelco, as well as BHP Billiton Base Metals, Antofagasta Minerals, AngloAmerican and Xstrata, who will be providing financial support to the center.