Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA

Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA

Former Minister for State Development; Transport; Innovation

    Hackathon helping unearth our high-tech future

    21/03/2015 12:00 AM
    • $25,000 Minerals Research Institute of WA grant supports innovation
    • Perth-created event goes national in 2015

    A marathon 54-hour innovation event this weekend will benefit the resources industry and help build the State's growing technology sector.


    Launching the 2015 Unearthed Hackathon at Perth's Resource Innovation and Information Technology (RIIT) centre, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said such events were extending Western Australia's global mining leadership.


    "The State Government is backing the Western Australian event with $25,000 in sponsorship because we're backing the jobs that the rapidly growing tech sector is generating," Mr Marmion said.


    "Sustainability and growth means not just extracting our minerals and energy but mining our human resources as well, building on innovation and exporting that expertise around the world."


    Unearthed will see more than 70 computer software developers solving production and technology challenges set by the resources industry.


    The inaugural 2014 event produced 18 high-quality prototypes over the weekend.


    "In the past year one of those prototypes - designed to save the Western Australian iron ore industry more than $100 million per year - has gone on to advanced development, with the designers forming a company and working with a technology accelerator towards commercialisation," the Minister said.


    "I am excited to see an event that delivers real results, especially with technologies which increase efficiency and reduce costs - both crucial factors in the competitive world of mines and petroleum."


    Unearthed was so successful in 2014 it will be held in four States this year.


    "The growth of this event is an indication of the State Government's strong commitment to technology innovation and employment," Mr Marmion said.


          Fact File

    • The State Government funds Perth's Unearthed through the Minerals Research Institute of WA
    • The CSIRO provides a data base, research challenge and two mentors
    • Unearthed will also run in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane
    • RIIT is a not-for-profit company aiming to build resources sector technology start-ups

    Minister's office - 6552 6800