The Western Australian Government has demonstrated its ongoing support of an innovative and vibrant energy resources sector through the signing of a two-year, $1 million funding agreement with National Energy Resources Australia (NERA).
Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, said that the investment builds on previous contributions to NERA over the past four years, and ensures the industry growth centre will continue to be headquartered in Western Australia, supporting jobs and the economy.
“NERA’s work is aligned with the aims of the State Government’s LNG Jobs Taskforce to enhance WA’s global competitiveness and maximise opportunities for local participation in the LNG sector,” Mr McGowan said.
“As an integral partner of the taskforce, NERA is participating in the steering group and partnering with industry and the WA Government on key initiatives such as the REGENERATE supply chain program to be launched next year.”
“The State Government is also working with NERA to support the development of the hydrogen industry, and the government’s investments in the sector will also fund establishment of Hydrogen Technology Clusters here in WA,” he said.
NERA CEO, Miranda Taylor, said the arrangement shows the commitment of the WA Government in supporting and creating jobs in the energy resources supply chain at the same time as driving a greener, cleaner and brighter energy future for all Western Australians.
“Since NERA’s inception, a significant part of our strategic work program and resources have been focused on leveraging value for the WA economy from the huge investment in the state’s oil and gas and LNG sector,” Ms Taylor said.
“NERA plays an essential role in creating the connections, collaboration and innovation partnerships required to expand market opportunities and achieve the critical mass needed to attract technology investment and support innovative SMEs to enter the oil and gas industry’s supply chain.”
“Furthermore, NERA is working with WA to support innovative SMEs that are supplying diverse technologies, services and capabilities. It’s these businesses that have and will continue to create the opportunities for new investment and jobs in WA,” she said.
“And at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is making life hard for SMEs, this partnership demonstrates the government’s support for local businesses in the energy resources sector supply chain.”
The funding package will enable, among other initiatives:
NERA’s REGENERATE program that supports innovative local businesses to connect with potential buyers in the energy resources sector by developing and providing solutions to address genuine industry challenges. The program aims to fast track commercialisation of technologies from WA businesses to tier 1 contractors and large operators in the energy resources sector through identifying key industry challenges, sourcing local solution providers and supporting supplier-buyer partnerships through pilot studies.
Hydrogen Industry Clusters
NERA is working to establish Regional Hydrogen Technology Clusters to help build capabilities and drive industry collaboration across the hydrogen value chain and maximise economic benefits by ensuring Australian companies are well placed to supply new technology, products and services to domestic and international markets.
NERA recognised that in order to establish a successful National Hydrogen Technology Cluster, an initial bottom-up approach is first required. Through developing regional clusters around key hydrogen projects and potential hubs, or in regions that will service those hubs (e.g. metropolitan areas, such as Perth), NERA will help to enhance local cohesion and capability in the hydrogen value chain.
Subsea Innovation Cluster Australia (SICA)
SICA brings together Australian operators, service companies and research institutions to address challenges specific to the Australian oil and gas subsea industry in the areas of inspection, maintenance, and repair. With a growing membership of 38 organisations ranging from small to medium SMEs, researchers and large operators, SICA is launching collaborative projects to develop technology solution to sustainably grow benefit the sector.