Under the surface – mineral exploration meets business research

The joint European EIT RawMaterials project ”Enhanced use of heavy mineral chemistry in exploration targeting” addresses mineral exploration based on automated mineralogy and mass spectroscopy. The test areas of the solution developed in the project are located in Northern and Eastern Europe, Greenland and Asia. The project consortium is led by the Geological Survey of Finland  and consists of parties from Finland, Denmark, Norway and Poland. Oulu Business School focuses in the project on market validation, business models and go-to-market plans for the developed solution.

Nina van Vulpen, a key researcher of the business school in the project, explains the goals of her work as follows.  “My role in this project is to undertake an exploratory assessment of the role different stakeholders play in the development of business models particular to the mineral exportation sector.” According to Nina the project is a unique initiative, where there are partners from the public sector, universities and small and medium sized enterprises. She expects that the developed precision mineral detection technology has a potential for different commercial services packages, and that the technology can make the mineral exploration process more sustainable.

Nina has been “untangling” the different pieces of the stakeholder puzzle regarding the role that they would play in the creation of business models amenable especially for smaller companies. Moreover, also according to her personal view there is a need to contribute to the sustainability of the mineral exploration sector through business models in more general terms. “After the validation of the precision tools developed, I expect the practical steps for business model development to start”, she states.

Nina, who was born in the Netherlands, has her background in logistics and intercultural communication and administration. She earned her Master of Administrative Sciences degree from the University of Vaasa in 2015 and her Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering (Logistics) from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in 2009. Now she is working towards her doctoral degree. Nina has been earlier employed both in public and private sector organizations and in different countries, including the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Spain, and the UK. “I hope that my prior work experiences and multidisciplinary exposure will strengthen my contribution to this multidisciplinary research project”, she ponders. We can be sure of that, indeed.

More information:
Nina van Vulpen, Nina.Vanvulpen[at]