In the past couple of years, the IOTA Foundation has embraced proactive participation in collaborative research and development efforts funded by the EU commission. The main purpose has been twofold: to enable other parties to leverage the power of IOTA in solving new problems and to identify and work on new requirements that increase the long-term technology maturity and adoption of IOTA.  

The trust in the IOTA Foundation as a partner in such initiatives has grown since then. We are happy to see that, following the +CityXchange project and other Climate KIK initiatives, IOTA technology is increasingly being used for the public good as a secure and open infrastructure that provides digital trust.  

As confirmation of this, early this year and after a competitive selection process, IOTA was chosen to be one of the recipients of the Dig_it grant, a new collaborative project funded under the EU Horizon 2020 program. The Dig_it project is a Research and Innovation Action that brings together a consortium of 16 partners spread across Europe. Over a period of 48 months, the Dig_it consortium will leverage seven million euros of funding to digitize the mine supply chain (of gold, copper, and charcoal) and to create a more sustainable mining industry.  

The project officially kicked off on May 5th. Because of the travel restrictions and social distancing measures currently in place in Europe, this was a virtual kick-off meeting. The meeting was attended by all partners. The project is coordinated by ITAINNOVA, a research and development organization based in Spain, and includes a number of technology partners and exploitation/adoption partners, directly involved in the mining industry.  

The appointed technology partners are Brunel University, Core Innovation, Tau, Rotech technology, LIBRA AI, ICCS Research, EUROCORE, STRATAGEM, Libra, SINTEF Molab, SINTEF Helg. & Schneider Electric. IOTA is the only DLT provider.

This makes IOTA the only technology selected to create a trusted layer of data sharing for the mine supply chain of the future.

The ambition of the Dig_it project is simple: to collect data from the mining industry using an industrial Internet of Things platform and transform it into knowledge and actions that improve the health and safety of workers and the industry's impact on the environment.

The data leveraged will include data from people, workers, and new smart garments with embedded sensors. This data will be enriched with data from monitored machines, vehicles and tools involved in the mine operations, environment conditions and data from the ground, market data all combined to gain more knowledge from an industry so far very little digitized.

The Dig_it project will not focus on the quantity of data but rather on the quality of it; trying to exploit the expertise of some of the adoption partners (Marini Marmi, Italy, Subterra Ingegneria, Spain, Tapojarvi and Hannukainen, Finland, Titania AS, Norway) directly involved in this industry, to only select, combine and use the most relevant data.

Beyond improved efficiency (process optimization, flexibility, cost savings), Dig_it also aims to tackle another major issue affecting the mining industry: public opinion around the current poor reputation of the industry due to its impact on the environment and on the health of their workers.  

To this purpose, part of the data collected by Dig_it will be presented to the public. In order to guarantee their origin, authenticity and integrity, the project will adopt Distributed Ledger Technologies. Shared data will prove to the public how the decisions taken by the Dig_it system allow the reduction of CO2 production, water consumption and waste production.

IOTA will be used as a trust infrastructure for different stakeholders to open up part of their data to the public. IOTA Streams will be used to manage and guarantee access to immutable data to specific beneficiaries, including public authorities, the general public etc. IOTA Unique Digital Identity will allow to verify data authenticity. The permissionless nature of the IOTA ledger will guarantee data integrity and that no party will control the infrastructure, while its feeless nature will guarantee that such data is always free to access.

The figure below summarizes the different types of data, technologies and outcome generated by the project and responsible partners.

In order to develop the required interfaces towards IOTA and infrastructure integration, the IOTA Foundation will leverage 155K EUR public funding and will collaborate with ITAINNOVA. This will empower their developers to use IOTA with the result to further expand and grow the IOTA Ecosystem.

In Dig_it, the development of new technology will start by learning from real stakeholders and their problems. After the initial development phase, the project will start testing solutions in real use cases. Deployment and test of new solutions will start from the last quarter of 2020. Use cases will be validated in 5 mines, located in Spain, Italy, Norway and Finland. All mines are underground, focus on different materials and provide unique challenges.

The IOTA Foundation is very proud to be part of the Dig_it project and consortium and excited to be able to learn from real-world problems and to help the mining industry to make a real and positive impact.

In our mission to help foster positive and innovative use of the IOTA technology, the IOTA Foundation hopes to continue being involved in similar collaborative initiatives.

To learn more about the progress of the Dig_it project, continue to follow us on the IOTA blog. We will share the updates on the project and the technical solutions we will develop as it progresses.  

For more, information, visit the Dig_it website:

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