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Rio Tinto to invest $9.3 million in technology startups

Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) said on Wednesday it is teaming up with a global venture studio and start-up investor to back the development and commercialisation of breakthrough technologies in the mining industry.

Rio will partner with Founders Factory and invest A$14.4 million ($9.3m) in global pre-seed and seed stage start-ups over the next three years, it said, adding that the focus will be on technologies in the fields of safe mine operations, decarbonisation, exploration processing and automation.

Each start-up will receive a cash investment and participate in a four-month accelerator program run by Founders Factory to support product development and commercialisation.

The Western Australian Government has also partnered with Founders Factory to invest in nature-tech start-ups that preserve and restore nature and biodiversity.

The partnerships with Rio Tinto and the Western Australian Government will support the first Australian hub of Founders Factory in Perth. The company currently operates in London, Johannesburg, Milan, Berlin, Bratislava, New York and Singapore.

“Technology has always been at the forefront of our industry and Western Australia can be the Silicon Valley of the global mining industry,” Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive Simon Trott said in the statement.

With the backing of industry and the State Government, local and international start-ups will receive investment opportunities and access to real-world testing and scaling support, helping Western Australia’s innovation economy to grow.”

 “Securing the internationally renowned Founders Factory for Perth is a major coup for our State,” Western Australian Premier Roger Cook said. “This is the first time the tech accelerator has operated in Australia, providing a springboard for innovative local businesses to reach an international audience and maximise their chances of success.”

Source: MINING.COM – Read More