Perth, Australia, April 10, 2024–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rio Tinto partners with the world's leading venture studios and emerging investors to help develop and commercialize breakthrough technologies in the mining industry and find better ways to deliver materials We support the company's efforts. The world needs it.

Rio Tinto has partnered with Founders Factory to invest A$14.4 million in pre-seed and seed-stage startups around the world over the next three years. The focus will be on technologies in the areas of safe mine operations, decarbonisation, exploration processing and automation.

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

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

The partnership with Rio Tinto and the Western Australian Government will support Founders Factory's first Australian location in Perth, Western Australia, and enhance the state's innovation credentials. Founders Factory successfully operates in London, Johannesburg, Milan, Berlin, Bratislava, New York and Singapore.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore CEO Simon Trott said: “Technology is always at the forefront of the industry and Western Australia could become the Silicon Valley of the world's mining industry.”

“Our iron ore operation in the Pilbara is one of the most technologically advanced in the world. This exciting new partnership builds on our innovative heritage and unlocks new technologies to support our business. gives us the opportunity to find better ways to provide the materials the world needs.”

“With support from industry and the State Government, local and international start-ups will gain access to investment opportunities and real-world testing and expansion support to help grow Western Australia's innovation economy. ”

Western Australia Premier Roger Cook said: “Securing the internationally renowned Founders Factory in Perth is a major coup for our country.

“This is the first time the technology accelerator has operated in Australia and will serve as a springboard for innovative local businesses to reach international audiences and maximize their chances of success.

“My Government is committed to decarbonizing our economy by 2050 and it is essential that we support local start-ups that develop technology to achieve this goal.

“This three-year partnership will further strengthen WA's position as a global leader in research and development, helping to diversify our economy and create jobs for the future.”

Founders Factory CEO Henry Lane said: “We are excited to partner with Rio Tinto and launch our operations in Western Australia. “We can further drive automation and accelerate the industry's transition to net zero.”

“This program will help international and local founders test their technology with global leaders in the field and find their path to commercial scale and impact.”

Note to editor

The program complements Rio Tinto's existing corporate venture capital activities, which were launched in 2021. Learn more about.

The automation B-roll used at the Rio Tinto iron ore site in the Pilbara is available here.

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