MICA is a National ecosystem initiative designed to modernize mining and improve its productivity and environmental performance, strengthen the Canadian mineral supply chain, and increase the domestic and export sales of Canadian innovators.
By accelerating the development and commercialization of innovative and clean technologies in the mining sector, the initiative is expected to extend the operational life of existing mines and reduce the time it takes to bring new mineral deposits into production.
Connect Regional Mining Clusters to Cross-Sector Innovation Centres across the country to create a National Network to commercialize innovations into the mining industry and use the Canadian advantage of SME based innovations to create a National mining technology ecosystem.
- Build a National ecosystem as a network of collaborative regional networks.
- Accelerate the number and scale of homegrown Canadian mining SMEs.
- Commercialize new, late stage, high impact mining technologies.
- Create regional networks and rapidly increase domestic and export sales.
- Help scale up Canadian SMEs to participate in global mining supply chains.
MICA is led by The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) and headquartered in Sudbury, ON. CEMI will provide the management and overall program administration for MICA. CEMI has successfully managed over 250 projects, leveraging almost $115M in federal and provincial funding, matched by industry. Since 2007, CEMI’s projects and programs have evolved to focus on practical solutions that resulted in the commercialization of over a dozen products and services and the creation of over 150 jobs.
MICA will operate across Canada with the support of the following main partners: the Bradshaw Research Initiative for Minerals and Mining, InnoTech Alberta, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, MaRS, Groupe MISA and the College of the North Atlantic.
BRIMM – The Bradshaw Research Initiative for Minerals and Mining (BRIMM) is a multidisciplinary research hub at the University of British Columbia (UBC) focused on breaking down traditional research silos and generating innovative mining and exploration sector solutions. By working across the UBC campus, BRIMM has access to top minds in the fields of Mining Engineering, Microbiology, Geology, Business, Policy, Data Science and more. It is through these connections that BRIMM can find the perfect team of researchers for the big mining challenges of today. BRIMM was initiated in 2017 and has already developed four research themes to focus on and tackle these big problems. These themes are Ore-Body Knowledge, Mining Microbiome, Sustainable Mine Energy Systems, and Water Stewardship with more planned for the coming years.
InnoTech Alberta – InnoTech Alberta, a subsidiary of Alberta Innovates, is a leading research and technology organization serving the needs of industry, entrepreneurs and the public sector. InnoTech’s leading-edge expertise and industrial-scale research and demonstration facilities accelerate and de-risk technology development and deployment for our clients with a focus on industrial solutions and commercial application. With over 230 employees, InnoTech operates within several locations across the province, including Vegreville, Edmonton, Devon, and Calgary. InnoTech is Alberta’s innovation engine – with 100 years of bold ideas that feed, grow, fuel, and build Alberta’s agriculture, energy, environment, and forestry sectors.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic – Saskatchewan Polytechnic has four applied research centres with expertise in data and digital integration, conventional and additive manufacturing, bioplastics, natural resource conservation, nursing and health sciences. The Digital Integration Centre of Excellence (DICE) Technical Access Centre (TAC) focuses on data acquisition and knowledge generation in the mining and agricultural sectors. The Innovative Manufacturing Centre (IMC) capacity and expertise include rotational and injection molding, bioplastics, and rapid prototyping in over twenty-five materials including metal. Natural Resource Technology researchers work from Prince Albert and the boreal forest research lab and teaching facility in northern Saskatchewan, the Hannin Creek Education and Applied Research Centre. The Centre for Health Research, Improvement and Scholarship (CHRIS) supports researchers in Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Schools of Health Sciences and Nursing. Expertise includes Interprofessional Care, Rural Health, Cultural Empowerment, and Vulnerable Populations.
MaRS – MaRS is North America’s largest urban innovation hub, occupying 1.5 million square feet in downtown Toronto. MaRS supports more than 1,200 Canadian science and tech companies that are tackling some of society’s greatest challenges, providing them with tailored resources at every stage of their growth, from startup to scale-up. MaRS focuses on four sectors — cleantech, health, fintech and enterprise software — where the potential is greatest to build high-impact companies that strengthen the Canadian economy and increase the competitiveness of established industries, from mining and energy to transportation and agriculture. MaRS’ advisory services connect companies to talent, capital, customers and more, helping high-growth companies succeed on the global stage.
Misa – Group MISA was founded in 2007 as part of the ACCORD program by the Government of Quebec. Since its inception, mining innovation has been at the heart of its mission. Following a business approach, MISA is working to help develop innovative equipment, expertise and services that are sustainable and economically beneficial to the mining industry. MISA supports more than 10M$ in mining innovation investments per year. The innovation program is validated by expert networks, exclusively composed of mining operators from exploration and extraction companies. In 2020, MISA moved to the status of “pole of excellence” by the Government of Quebec, confirming expertise quality in mining innovation and mission deployment throughout the whole province.
CNA – College of the North Atlantic (CNA) is Newfoundland and Labrador’s (NL) only public post-secondary college, and one of the largest educational and skills training centres in Atlantic Canada. With a network of multiple campuses throughout the province, CNA has been a major contributor to the workforce and innovation needs of NL’s $4 billion mining sector for nearly 60 years. Since 2015, CNA has conducted dozens of applied research projects with provincial mining sector companies that have attracted over $10 million in external funding. Included among them are short-term NRC IRAP (National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program) projects and multi-year/partner National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) projects that have, simultaneously, created over 50 paid experiential learning opportunities for CNA students that, in turn, led to full-time employment for graduates.