R&D Proposals for Mining Safety Due Jan. 16

The main goal of the office's broad agency announcement is to promote the modification or final development of practical technologies or systems that can be adopted by the mining community quickly.

Time's getting short for proposals to be submitted in response to the NIOSH Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, which by Jan. 16 wants to receive concept papers to conduct research, exploratory development, testing, or evaluations of new technologies to improve mine safety or to adapt technologies from other industries for application in mining environments.

The main goal of the office's broad agency announcement is to promote the modification or final development of practical technologies or systems that can be adopted by the mining community quickly. With that in mind, proposals to conduct theoretical or basic research will not be considered, and NIOSH indicated it encourages proposals that include collaboration with mining industry partners who understand the reality of the mining environment and can provide insight into mine design requirements and potential commercialization of the technology.

According to the agency, high-priority health and safety topic areas include the development of:

  • Low-cost personal gas monitors to assess breathable air
  • Self-Contained Self-Rescuer/Closed-Circuit Escape Respirator communications
  • Miniaturized Continuous Personal Dust Monitors with silica measurement capability
  • Application of unmanned aerial vehicles in GPS-denied environments
  • Develop Helmet-CAM technology for underground coal mines

"These topic areas are provided to guide responders in addressing NIOSH’s highest priorities; however, NIOSH strongly encourages responders to propose solutions to health and safety issues that are outside of these areas," according to its announcement. "In addition, NIOSH welcomes proposals in the surveillance area or other work that involves the extraction of predictive information that could produce useful data for identifying the future technology needs of the mining industry." Responses will be accepted through 3 p.m. Eastern time on Jan. 16.

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