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Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)

At a glance

The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) is the central geoscientific departmental research and consulting institution of the Federal Government. It is part of the portfolio of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). As a geoscientific competence center, it advises and informs the Federal Government, the German economy and society on all geoscientific and raw materials management issues. BGR is one of the implementing organizations of German development cooperation and implements relevant geoscientific and raw materials management projects in around 30 countries on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Geodata as the basis for development

The collection, use and provision of digital data has been an elementary basis of BGR’s work for many years. This ensures that geoscientific data, geoinformation (including satellite data) and geodata services are used more widely and are used more than once. The goal of a digital way of working is the sustainable data storage, later searchability and networking of data stocks.

Geodata infrastructures make geoscientific information available to internal and external users from administration, science, industry and the public in a high-performance, user-friendly and long-term manner. Innovative and technologically new tools are used, for example, for the processing of 3D data for the deeper subsurface or the application of Big Data methods for the mass data management of remote sensing. Techniques of the semantic internet provide for further dissemination and networking of data statuses.

Responsible extraction of raw materials in the DR Congo: Transparent supply chains for gold from small-scale mining using digital tracking.

In the “Kampene Gold Pilot Project”, the use of combined hardware and software solutions for improved traceability has been tested since the end of 2016. Digitizing the previously paper-based documentation of the delivery routes makes it possible to retrieve information centrally. Through electronic IDs, all actors in the local trade chain are registered and their activities must be verified by dialing into the system. The system serves as a monitoring tool for mining authorities. Individual gold deliveries are regularly registered by means of a special tracking chip.