NORCAT and Vale Team Up to Accelerate Technology Adoption in the Global Mining Industry

NORCAT Open Innovation Challenge looks for solutions to improve safety, efficiency and sustainability

Sudbury, ON. NORCAT, a global leader in the development and provision of skilled labour training and innovation services, and Vale, one of the world’s largest mining companies, are excited to announce the launch of the NORCAT Open Innovation Challenge to facilitate and enhance Vale’s capabilities to bring new, state-of-the-art technologies into their mining operations and accelerate the rate of technology adoption in the global mining industry.

As current global events disrupt regular business operations and the global mining industry continues to undergo a digital transformation, mining companies around the world are looking to become more agile and resilient by embracing digitalization and investing in technologies related to safety, sustainability and operational efficiency. The NORCAT Open Innovation Challenge is looking to identify technology-enabled solutions to three common problem areas identified by Vale. Specifically, the NORCAT Open Innovation Challenge is focusing on the issues of smelter acid management, underground operator alertness and excessive water and run of material in underground mines.

"As the global ‘one-stop-shop’ for all that is the future of mining technology, our goal is to facilitate and encourage innovative and disruptive thinking within the mining technology ecosystem," says Don Duval, NORCAT CEO. "As the mining industry continues to transform, it requires new levels of openness, innovation and collaboration. Challenge- based initiatives have proven to be effective in uncovering new ideas and different points of view, and we are excited to partner with Vale to further the acceleration, adoption and deployment of emerging technologies that are poised to transform the global mining industry."

The NORCAT Open Innovation Challenge is open to innovative startups, entrepreneurs and problem solvers from across Canada. Successful applications must have the capacity and confidence to develop and deploy a proof-of-concept inside one of Vale’s operations in Sudbury, Ontario by March 2021. As part of the process, Vale will provide technical oversight and feedback to winning entries over a four-month period to prepare for product development and testing prior to completion.

"At Vale, we are obsessed with safety and risk mitigation," says Anthony Downs, Manager of Digital and Information Technology for Vale’s Base Metal Operations. "Open innovation is a key enabler that allows us to rapidly identify and trial novel risk management solutions. When they prove effective, we move them to implementation within our operations at an accelerated pace. Vale is pleased to partner with NORCAT on this challenge and looks forward to reviewing the innovative solutions the challenge inspires."

As part of its mandate, NORCAT continues to identify and engage with mining technology companies from around the world to support the development and adoption of innovative technologies poised to transform the global mining industry. By doing so, NORCAT helps to connect and broker relationships between mining technology companies (the "builders" of innovation") and global mining companies (the "buyers" of innovation) creating a vibrant tech ecosystem unique on the global stage.

For more information about the NORCAT Open Innovation Challenge, please visit


NORCAT is a leader in skilled labour training and innovation services focused on developing and delivering programs, services, and resources that enhance productivity and safety in the global skilled labour industries.


With a mission to transform natural resources into prosperity and sustainable development, Vale is a global mining company with headquarters in Brazil. Vale is a leading producer of iron ore and nickel. Canadians have been working in, and benefitting from, the mining industry for more than a century. Vale is proud of their accomplishments in Canada and is excited about what the future holds. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:

Lindsay Lane

Manager, Marketing and Communications


(705) 521-8324 ext 337

Danica Pagnutti

Corporate and Indigenous Affairs

Vale Canada, Ontario Operations

(705) 682-7165