María Jose Jurado, researcher at Geosciences Barcelona-CSIC (GEO3BCN-CSIC), has been nominated for the EIT Innovation Award 2020 for her work on INNOLOG project. Jurado is the PI and coordinator of the project that started in 2017 aimed to develop more efficient and sustainable solutions for the mineral exploration. María José Jurado is one of the 4 nominees representing the "Raw materials" community in the EIT 2020 Awards.

"This nomination recognizes the innovation and transfer experience in the subsurface exploration that has allowed us to design, coordinate and develop the INNOLOG project funded by EIT Raw Materials", said María José Jurado.

INNOLOG project has developed three new exploration tools, based on innovative technologies which have been applied for the first time to the subsurface exploration: two of the tools are based on hiperespectral and laser technology imaging and the third one is a mineral identification software relying on the last machine/deep learning techniques.

"Mineral resources research is one of the main applications of these new tools, although they can also be used in the exploration of other subsurface resources and renewable energies. We hope to develop new applications in future innovation projects in the framework of the Green Deal", said Jurado. Jurado's solution aims to increase the efficiency of the resources exploration technology and, at the same time, to reduce its environmental impact.

Talking about the INNOLOG project, María José Jurado highlights the importance of building ”a human team implied in tackling the innovation challenges faced b the project from a collaborative framework”. The interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration ensured multiplying the capacity and potential of the team and individuals as the project results show", said María José Jurado.

According to INNOLOG coordinator, the experience has allowed to the members of the project team “to integrate knowledge not only to reach the shared goals but also to optimize results of the developed innovations". Jurado also emphasizes the communication among different international partners that has been "decisive and fulfilling" for the team and for the project. "Collaboration has been essential to address the innovation of the industry partners. In this case, Magnesitas Navarra S.A. (MAGNA), which has been one of the project partners, and also other mining companies interested in innovation easing tests and pilot trials in a real context", said Jurado.

Next 8 of December 28 nominees from 13 different countries will e-pitch their innovations. Award winner will be announced during a live EIT Award 2020 ceremony on 9 December.. There are 4 categories: EIT Change Award, EIT Innovators Award, EIT Venture Award y EIT Woman Leadership & Entrepreneurship Award.

This year the public will also be able to vote for the winner of the fifth category, the EIT Public (Citizen) Award. Online voting for the EIT Award will open on 16 November 202o on the EIT Awards website.

GEO3BCN-CSIC, the General Council of the Catalan Chambers of Commerce, the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), the Geological Survey of Slovenia (GeoZS), the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU,), Magnesitas Navarras S.A. (MAGNA), the Universidad Politécnica de Marid (UPM,) and the Technological Development Centre of Remote Acquisition and Data processing Systems from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (SARTI-UPC) are the partners of this international consortium.

EIT organises annual awards to showcase some of the leading entrepreneurial talent and innovative projects that Europe has to offer.

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