NERA plan to boost SME success in energy and resources supply chain

The energy and resources industry growth centre is to launch GeneratER, a new open innovation challenge aiming to boost SME manufacturers in the energy resources supply chain.

With similar programs successful in a wide range of industries, National Energy Resources Australia will launch GeneratER next week in Perth, offering SMEs the opportunity to capture a greater share of the multi-billion dollar spend in the energy resources supply chain.

GeneratER in WA will see NERA partner with operators and contractors to identify a range of operational or business challenges and opportunities that, if solved, will contribute to improved efficiency and sustainability and grow local jobs.

The first partnership challenges of the GeneratER program have been forged with leading energy company Chevron Australia and will be announced at the launch event.

Pilot challenges will be established to:

  • Provide a simplified test strip technique for field operators to confirm mono ethylene glycol quality without the need for a laboratory
  • Use drones loaded with sensors to fly into hazardous areas to investigate abnormal situations, reducing health and safety risks
  • And provide solutions for automated, remote sensing and data aggregation and tracking for cathodic protection status and system amperage for oilfield wells on Barrow Island.

The competition is open to all including companies outside the sector looking to expand and diversify.

And there are significant opportunities – a NERA report from 2020 found local suppliers could increase their share of the multi-billion dollar spend in the domestic oil and gas supply chain if they can unlock commercial opportunities for innovative solutions.

NERA CEO Miranda Taylor said GeneratER had a strong focus on manufacturing to decarbonise, digitise and diversify the energy sector supply chain.

She said: “GeneratER will help stimulate the supply chain in the sector by identifying a small number of businesses or operational challenges that will be open to SMEs that can manufacture or provide technological solutions for piloting.

“Our research has demonstrated that stronger, local supplier capabilities in the oil and gas supply chain could capture an additional $7 billion of gross value added by 2030, generating up to $49 billion for the economy.”

WA state development minister Roger Cook welcomed the launch, which will be followed by programs in other states.

Cook said: “GeneratER is a priority initiative for the Western Australian government’s LNG jobs taskforce.

“Announced in 2018, the taskforce brings together industry, government and unions with the shared vision of establishing the state as a global LNG hub, creating opportunities for innovation, investment and new jobs in the industry.”

WA will partner with NERA to deliver GeneratER to maximise opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

Find out more and lodge expressions of interest in the Chevron challenge here.

Picture: Chevron

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