Foundation Partner Profile - Kane Usher, GM - Innovation, METS Ignited

Kane Usher

Managing Director - Innovation of METS Ignited

Managing Director - Innovation of METS Ignited

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  • General Manager - Innovation at METS Ignited (Industry Growth Centre for METS) 
  • Productivity Excellence Centre Engagement Lead at Rio Tinto Technology & Innovation
  • Innovation Lead at Rio Tinto Coal Australia

Kane’s training in robotics led to an early career in mining automation, working with CSIRO, CRCMining, and BHP Billiton.

Most recently with Rio Tinto, his work included managing teams and leading projects covering mining analytics, HME fleet strategy, reliability, HME contracts, and delivery of major fleet. There his key responsibilities included leading the innovation strategy, setting up an integrated operations centre, and related projects across the mining value chain. 

With this industry experience, grounding in robotics R&D and a good understanding of the innovation challenges and barriers for the mining sector, Kane is well appointed in his new role as General Manager Innovation with METS Ignited.


METS Ignited is an industry-led, government-funded, Industry Growth Centre for the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector. 

The key objective of METS Ignited is to grow the global footprint for Australian METS companies. To do so they have established the METS ten-year Sector Competitiveness Plan in consultation with industry. 

This plan sets out five programs of work covering Brand, Alignment, Innovation & Collaboration, Global Competitiveness and Skills for 2026. Kane’s role focuses on the Alignment, Innovation & Collaboration themes, although many of the activities between the themes are interrelated.   


METS Ignited is progressing work towards increasing commercial outcomes from collaboration. Co-working spaces provide a rich environment for start-ups, SMEs, METS providers, researchers, and customers (mining companies) to collaborate on projects of significance.

In their initial engagements, METS Ignited were quickly impressed by the energy and ambition that CORE and fellow foundation partners Unearthed and NERA showed towards growing SME participation in the METS and resources sector.

CORE’s co-working, collaboration and innovation space is Australia’s first hub focused on resources technology, positioned alongside world-leading resources companies in the Perth CBD.


Although technically gifted, many SMEs lack the networks, connections, and business acumen to take advantage of a technological edge. Co-working spaces are a great enabler for peer-to-peer learning (one of the more effective educational mechanisms) and provide opportunities for SMEs to develop these networks and skills. 

CORE is a well-appointed, central location for meetings and catch-ups. The people working in the space are always receptive to new initiatives, plus it is a fantastic way to remain “tuned in” to industry issues and trends.


The 10 year METS sector competitiveness plan, including any guidance required on their Project Fund and related grants.

Kane is always keen to talk and learn more about novel applications, technology and ideas across the mining value chain.