Supporting the Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: the Amazon CoLab

An Impact Research project to support ConservationX Labs' innovators for artisanal gold mining technologies in the Amazon.

Supporting the Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge: the Amazon CoLab

The Amazon CoLab is a six-month acceleration program to support innovator teams identified through the Challenge with developing, testing, and advancing solutions to protect people and ecosystems in the Amazon, adapting and implementing their technologies in the Amazon of Colombia, Peru, Guyana, Suriname, and Ecuador.

During our engagement, we supported two cohorts to a total of 18 innovator teams with technologies ranging from hardware to software in all different stages of development. During the fellowship, we were in charge of systematizing information, updating the databases (search for impact investors and mentors), and monitoring the use of customized tools created to improve the team’s ventures. The Amazon CoLab assists teams with product development, market validation, business development, and field testing to enable innovations’ uptake and adoption. We focused on supporting these technologies through a financial sustainability and environmental and social impact lens in the Amazon region. Additionally, we monitored the impact and assessed capacity building and satisfaction of the ventures accelerated to inform continuous improvement of our processes.

Artisanal Gold Mining is such a complex and challenging environment to innovate -limited education of the community, hard-to-access regions, labor-intensive process, and limited flexibility on how the mining cooperatives are set up makes technology adoption particularly tough. Our work intended to provide the innovators with the right toolset for them to be able to navigate these complex environments.

Amazon CoLab Cohort 2 Innovator Teams at the Innovation XChange in Lima, Peru (December 2022)

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