Competitiveness Technology and Innovation

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Innovation and Competitiveness in Mining Value Chains

The mining sector is a very important activity for many Latin American countries. In Peru, Chile and Brazil, it reaches respectively 11.7%, 9.9% and 1.9% of GDP, and 21%, 60%, and 46% of exports in 2015. Still, the mining industry has had limited success in sparking a process of economic transformation and diversification spreading to other activities.

In order to transform the mining industry into an engine of dynamic and sustainable development, decision-makers require a clearer understanding of the evolution of the industry and of the challenges it is facing; the industrial organization of the sector and the prevailing forms of governance of the mining value chains; and the capabilities (technological and other capabilities) needed to meet the new demands coming from mining companies. To this aim, it will be critical to identify the type of knowledge, human capital and capabilities that are currently available; and those that are expected to be required to address the challenges that the mining industry is facing along the entire value chain.

In this context The Competitiveness, Technology and Innovation Division of the IDB prepared the Research Project “Innovation and Competitiveness in Mining Value Chains” with the aim of generating new knowledge that can help policymakers to design policy actions targeted at creating the conditions that can help boost the development of a critical mass of innovative mining providers, which can not only impact in the productivity levels of the industry itself, but that can also trigger structural transformation in the long run.


The aim of this Call for Proposals is to select research proposals that map and characterize the copper mining value chain in Argentina (copper or another metallic mineral with a significant level of activity for the country), Brazil (copper) and Peru (copper), using quantitative and qualitative methodologies, to capture the following dimensions:

a. The activities that intervene in the different stages of the mining chain;

b. The actors involved in these activities (i.e., mining companies, suppliers, government agencies, universities); 

c. The services and inputs required to conduct each of the activities, distinguishing whether suppliers are local/national or foreign; 

d. The specific technologies and scientific/technical knowledge involved in the different stages and activities of the chain;

e. The capabilities required in each stage of the value chain. 

f. The estimated value added associated to each link within the chain.

g. The regulatory and public policies that explain the extent to which local/national value added is larger/smaller than expected, and the policy recommendations for each case to improve and upgrade the participation of local/national actors in value added.



UPDATE (Sept 15, 2018)

About the case study of Argentina:

In recent days we have received several inquiries regard to the study of value chains in copper mining for Argentina, due to the current situation of copper exploitation in the country:

• A copper mining project is currently in operation, where a depletion of the deposit is projected towards the end of 2018

• There are 7 copper projects, in different provinces (Catamarca, San Juan, Salta and Mendoza), which are not yet active.

Due to this situation, the IDB have decided to make the conditions in the Argentinean case more flexible, considering the following options:

• Given the magnitude of the "La Alumbrera" project and the vast number of years it has been in operation, the research teams can submit proposals for the global value chain of the mine, from which important lessons can be learned for future projects.

• It opens the possibility for the teams to propose studies value chains of mining projects (other than copper, which), where their level of activity and years of operation, allow to deepen the research questions and guarantee a correct implementation of the proposed methodology.

For Peru and Brazil the original terms remains, admitting proposals exclusively from GVC in copper.




Please read the right column of this web page for more information about the schedule of activities and download the full document of this Call for more details on the methodological approach and the contents of the proposal.


Please download the full document of the Call for Proposals

UPDATED VERSION of the Call for Proposals (Sept 15, 2018) Download here

Proposals may be submitted in English, Spanish or Portuguese

More information and submission of proposals: /

Due date for proposal submission: September 30, 2018

Announcement of selected research proposals: October 15, 2018