The Federal Government has announced it will back the Northern Territory’s energy resources sector by locking in $1 million in funding to help boost competitiveness and productivity in the oil and gas sector.
The new funding has been made available through the industry-led growth centre National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), the Australian Government’s growth centre for the oil, gas and energy resources sector.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator, Matt Canavan, launched NERA’s Northern Territory Project Fund while visiting SPEE3D at Charles Darwin University, which received $437,000 from NERA under a previous funding round.
SPEE3D, a metal 3D printing company, used the previous round of funds to develop a new high-speed, low-cost metal 3D printer technology, designed specifically for the oil and gas industry. The technology already reshaped work in remote areas by allowing onsite metal parts production, saving time and money for resource companies which would otherwise have to shut down operations while waiting for parts from interstate or overseas.
Minister Canavan said in a first for NERA, the new funding round will specifically target the NT energy resources sector.
“A diverse, productive and sustainable NT energy resources community is critical in keeping Australia at the forefront of the global stage,” the Minister stated.
“As SPEE3D amply demonstrates, partnerships between the government and industry can produce awesome results. Providing matched funding for innovative ideas helps the energy resources sector adopt and commercialise new technology, and secure new services and products to boost the region’s global competitiveness.”
NERA Chief Executive Miranda Taylor said project proponents who can demonstrate innovative approaches, clear commercialisation applications and implementation timeframes should consider applying.
“NERA’s project funding and industry networks are actively supporting Australian solutions to the challenges faced by our energy resources community around the country to improve our sector for the benefit of all Australians,” Ms Taylor said.
“By unlocking these opportunities for all players from the energy resources sector – from the big end of town, to researchers, government, skills organisations and small businesses, that are collaboratively coming up with the innovative solutions to our industry challenges – we have the potential to unlock a further $10 billion in value to the Australian economy, but we must work together in order to do it.”
Proposals for the Northern Territory Project Fund are now open, with SMEs, operators, researchers, public sector entities and innovators all being invited to apply. Projects must have matched industry funding, be undertaken in the NT and address one or more of the knowledge priorities identified in the NERA Sector Competitiveness Plan – a strategic roadmap for Australia’s oil, gas, coal and uranium industries and value chains. The funding is part of NERA’s collaborative $15.6 million Project Fund, however, all applications need to be received by 8 October 2018.
More information on the announcement can be found here.