Federal government announces new centre for innovation

Federal ministers Josh Frydenberg and Christopher Pyne have announced the government will launch a new Growth Centre to drive innovation and productivity in the Australian resource sector.

The Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre will be run by an organisation called National Energy Resources Australia (NERA).

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne said the Australian Government will invest $15.4 million over four years into the public venture, as part of the $248 million federal Industry Growth Centres Initiative.

“This Growth Centre will focus on harnessing the sector’s existing competitive strengths, embracing innovation and putting research to work,” Pyne said.

“The Growth Centre will work closely with researchers from universities, CSIRO and Cooperative Research Centres to build links with business and industry organisations.”

“Importantly it will also promote industry-led research in priority areas by facilitating deeper engagement between industry and researchers.”

Based in Perth, the growth centre will share premises with the Western Australian Energy Research Alliance (WAERA) at the Australian Resources Research Centre.

Oil and gas industry executive Ken Fitzpatrick will chair NERA, with a board and management team members from across the oil, gas, coal seam gas, coal and uranium industries and service providers.

The Department of Industry stated the centre would also establish nodes in Adelaide and Brisbane.

Minister for Energy, Resources and Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg said the Growth Centre would help to prepare the Australian resource sector for the next wave of investment.

“Australia’s energy and resources sectors make a vital contribution to the Australian economy,” he said.

“During this challenging time, the Growth Centre will drive collaboration and innovation, and direct research to industry needs, ultimately improving productivity to ensure Australia remains globally competitive.”

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