The minerals industry, universities and researchers: different needs, mutual dependence

AUTHORS: Noel C. White

ABSTRACT : The minerals industry, universities and researchers form three key parts of a mutually-dependent relationship; each needs the others. Unfortunately, understanding of the needs and pressures faced by the other parties is not widespread. The boom and bust cycles faced by industry put their personnel under extreme short-term pressure, but there remains a longterm fundamental need for trained staff and new ideas. Universities provide graduates, but wild fluctuations in demand from employers make it very difficult to attract students in bad times; better high-level relations with companies could help. Researchers provide data and especially ideas, insights and new tools that are crucial to the continuing success of exploration, and through that, of the entire industry. To satisfy that need they need access and support; however, their methods in seeking that support are commonly ineffective. All parties need to understand better the needs and pressures the other parties have to deal with, and the negative impact on all of failure. There need to be corresponding changes in how each sector behaves in its dealings with the others. All parties should to improve their performance. All will benefit if they do.

KEYWORDS: Minerals industry; research, universities

EAN: SGA_2011_A007
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