María José Jurado
From surface to subsurface exploration

María José Jurado

Staff Researcher Spanish National Research Council CSIC


Supported by:

EIT RawMaterials The EIT RawMaterials is supported by the EIT, a body of the European Union

Generated funding

EUR 16 000 000


To develop a new subsurface exploration tool based on hyperspectral technologies.


General Council of the Catalan Chambers of Commerce, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Geological Survey of Slovenia, GeoZS, Geological Survey of Sweden, Geological Survey of Sweden, Magnesitas Navarras S.A., Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Main product


The Project

  • The idea

    To transfer sensor technologies used in labs and surface exploration to subsurface exploration. We assembled many new components and optimised the performance of each of them to make the new tools work properly.

  • Inspiration

    A specialist in subsurface exploration, I realised the great potential of emerging technologies, provided we could involve talented engineering researchers and experienced scientists and receive the support of an industrial partner.

  • Unique selling points

    The solution increases efficiency by minimising sampling coring and other standard analyses, optimising diagnostic times and performance, and by reducing exploration-derived waste.

  • Societal impact

    Metals, minerals and raw materials are essential to securing a transition to green energy technologies. Our solution will lead to an increase in resource efficiency and environmental impact. Another field of interest for the society is the use of these new tools to assess and minimise geo-hazards (instability and active faults that can cause earthquakes), as some of them are generated in the subsurface.

  • EIT Community support

    Our Innovation Community and partner institutions have been incredibly supportive, especially by the end of the project, when designing the go-to-market strategy for our results.


The Nominee

  • The beginning

    As a PhD student in subsurface geology, I was not only very interested in this field, but also in the technologies that allow for its exploration. I was very keen to investigate how hyperspectral technologies used for rock and mineral characterisation could be used at borehole depths.

  • Partnerships & Teamwork

    UPC built a hyperspectral borehole logging tool following requirements by CSIC and MAGNA (our mining industry partner). CNR did the same with the LIBS/Raman borehole logging tool. UPM developed specific machine learning interpretation software with the contribution of SGU specialists and using the SGU hyperspectral core scanning database. Test sites were implemented by CSIC and GeoZS. UPM, MAGNA, GeoZS and CSIC took care of field tests. UPM produced outreach and training videos.

  • Rewarding moments

    Seeing the new tools we created in operation, in a real environment, was a truly rewarding moment.

As a PhD student in subsurface geology, I was not only very interested in this field, but also in the technologies that allow for its exploration.