EXplORE is an EIT RawMaterials-funded project in exploration, aiming creating a MSc exchange programme in exploration involving AGH, LTU, Oulu and TU BAF together with exploration industry. Exploration geoscientists will be educated in how to create exploration business and understanding the market conditions. By adding the necessary components of entrepreneurship in exploration and student and teacher exchange we will provide the students with the knowledge and skills to boost exploration in Europe.
Europe is highly dependent on foreign imports when it comes to metals and raw materials. While we consume over 20% of the global metals and minerals produced we only supply around 3-4% from domestic mining. Also, the share of global expenditures on exploration is small compared to other parts of the world (Australia, Canada, South America). Contrary to common believe the geological potential for discovery of mineral deposits is very good and many parts of Europe are considered “underexplored” by international standards. Importantly, we are lacking in investments into exploration and around Europe we see a declining trend in young people going into the raw materials industry. If this trend is not reversed this will further increase import dependence and supply risk to European downstream industry – posing a serious risk to industry and society alike. The EXplORE MSc-programme has the ambition to prepare skilled T-shaped students for the European exploration industry. We are doing this by pooling programmes from four of the leading resource universities (AGH in Poland, LTU in Sweden, University of Oulu in Finland and TU BAF in Germany) in Europe and adding entrepreneurial components to the existing programmes. We will also establish a teachers’ mobility scheme to further the attractiveness of the programme to European as well as non-European students. An industrial advisory board to the programme will ascertain that all modules are state-of-the-art and in line with expectations from industry. We will furthermore enhance interaction with professionals from industry and elaborate on a scheme to include teachers from industry. Furthermore, we aim to align internships and thesis work within industry in order to secure first hand working experience on an individual basis.
The universities AGH, LTU, Oulu and TUBAF have a strong track record in mining-related educational programmes in general and are seen as the leading hubs for economic geology in each country. All universities have a strong background in collaboration with exploration industry, ensuring that there is a good understanding of the exploration business models adapted in parts of Europe. Needless to say, the universities are also located in the areas of Europe that are currently (and historically) intensively explored by SMEs and larger companies. The four universities will pool their MSc programmes and open up for student and teacher exchange. Besides this, it is the ambition to also integrate an entrepreneurial focus so that the students will graduate with not only technical skills, but are well prepared to work in exploration industry, understanding economic and legislative context under which the industry is operating in Europe. In short, we aim to provide industry with a new generation of well-trained T-shaped geoscience professionals that will contribute to a vibrant and successful domestic exploration industry in Europe – and beyond.