As part of the MIREU project, the regions of Cornwall & Saxony are involved in a Twinning Project with the regions represented by The University of Exeter (UNEXE) and Geokompetenzzentrum Freiberg (GKZ). The regions share extensive mining heritage, both hosting Mining Landscape UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and are experiencing a green revolution fuelled resurgence in the geo-resources sector.
The project enables the regions to exchange experience, knowledge and best practice while stimulating innovation, co-operation, and research. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the MIREU Mining Heritage Workshop, co-organised by UNEXE & GKZ, planned to be held in Cornwall in April 2020 was cancelled.
To replace the lost networking opportunities between the regions UNEXE and GKZ organised a series of virtual networking sessions targeting Cornish stakeholders that would have attended the heritage workshop.
The first was a joint presentation to the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, founded in 1814 to promote the study of the geology of Cornwall with attendees comprising of a mixture of professionals, enthusiasts, students and retirees. As a result of the talk, RGSC has expressed interest in organising a society trip to Saxony when possible.
Secondly, in collaboration with Future Focus, UNEXE and GKZ presented at a Future Focus Business Breakfast. The business breakfasts are a series of talks designed to strengthen the links and collaboration opportunities between the mining industry, and related sectors, and research in Cornwall. A poll was circulated following the talks with all ‘respondees’ wishing to have further involvement with the twining project. 42.9% expressed interest in an online networking event and 28.6% in an in-person visit to Saxony/Cornwall.
According to the poll result, UNEXE and GKZ are now organising a follow-up online event to be held by the end of 2020 to investigate which business and research fields are of the participants’ main interest and the possibility of match-making. Furthermore, the Cornish and Devon regional authorities expressed interest in discussing mining regulation and planning with the Saxon mining authority, as such a separate event is being planned to bring these groups together.
More information about Cornwall & Saxony, the links between them and the twinning project can be found in an upcoming deliverable.
Rowan Halkes & Meng Chun Lee