Alpha Foundation
for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health, Inc.
7 August 2014: New Executive Director for the Alpha Foundation

The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health is pleased to announce that Dr. Warren Hunt has been appointed as Executive Director. His biography can be found here. Dr. Hunt succeeds Dr. David L. Belden, who served in that position since December 2012 and retired in August 2014. According to Michael Karmis, President of the Foundation: “Dr. Belden served as the first Executive Director of the Foundation. In that capacity, he had a significant role in developing the financial, organizations and management instruments necessary for the establishment and functioning of the Foundation as a mature entity. For his contributions, the Board is pleased to recognize Dr. David L. Belden as Executive Director, Emeritus.”

24 May 2014: Second Call for Proposals

The Alpha Foundation is pleased to announce its second major solicitation, seeking to award research proposals addressing the root causes of disease, injuries, and fatalities in the mining industry and achieve successful implementation of practical solutions derived from the research effort.  Concept Papers are due by August 1, 2014. Please see detailed announcement with information, instructions and deadlines at Second Call for Proposals.

1 May 2014: Announcement of $750,000 in short-term research grant awards
The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health has announced approximately $750,000 in short-term research grant awards targeting innovative solutions towards fulfilling its vision of enabling miners to be free of work-related injury and disease. This is the second set of grants awarded by the Foundation. See Press Releases for more details.

The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health, Inc.

The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health, Inc. (Foundation) was established as part of a Non-Prosecution Agreement (Agreement) entered in December 2011 by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, the United States Department of Justice and Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. ("Alpha") and Alpha Appalachia Holdings, Inc. This Agreement was related to the explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine, an underground coal mine owned by Performance Coal Company, a former affiliate of Massey Energy Company, which Alpha acquired in June 2011, over a year following the UBB explosion. Pursuant to that agreement, Alpha agreed to establish a trust to fund projects designed to improve mine health and safety by providing $48,000,000 into the trust.

The guiding principles of the Foundation as set by its charter and the Board of Directors are:
  • Mission: To improve mine health and safety through funding research and development projects by qualified academic institutions and other not-for-profit organizations
  • Vision: To enable miners in the future to be free of work-related injury or disease by the implementation of the results of the projects funded by the Foundation and undertaken by the best researchers from any discipline that can contribute.
As mentioned in the first report of the Board of Directors (see Report_Fall_2012.pdf), the Foundation is seeking participation from outstanding researchers and organizations and it is committed to fund projects that explore innovative ideas and concepts, complement existing research efforts and address knowledge gaps in mine safety and health research.

The Directors are looking forward to working with the safety and health research community and all stakeholders to advance projects that can fulfill the Foundation’s vision of eliminating work-related injury and disease for the nation’s miners.  The Foundation also encourages interested research groups to follow its progress and solicitation schedule via this website.