NERA program to stimulate SMEs in the energy supply chain

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NERA (National Energy Resources Australia) has launched a first open innovation program in Australia, titled GeneratER, to stimulate small and medium-sized enterprises in the energy resource supply chain and find local manufacturing and technology solutions at low cost. complex challenges.

GeneratER was created by NERA – an independent, federally funded NFP that supports Australia’s energy transition – to give SMEs (including those currently outside the sector) the opportunity to capture a greater share of their spending. multibillion dollars in the energy resource supply chain.

Australia is home to a large and dynamic energy supply chain, comprising thousands of companies and worth several billion dollars, allowing suppliers to capture a smaller share of domestic and export markets compared to their global peers.

This is particularly evident in the more complex segments of the market and is largely due to the relative immaturity of the Australian supply chain and the relationships established with global partners.

GeneratER has been tailor-made to overcome these barriers and help Australian SMEs move up the supply chain, boosting innovation and productivity while simultaneously developing local businesses and jobs.

WA State Development Minister Roger Cook welcomed the launch of the program, which will be followed by challenges to roll out nationwide.

“GeneratER is a priority initiative for the Western Australian Government’s LNG Use Working Group. Announced by the Prime Minister in 2018, the task force brings together industry, government and labor unions with a common vision to establish the state as a global LNG hub, creating opportunities for innovation, investment and new jobs in the industry, ”Cook said.

“The Government of Western Australia is partnering with NERA to implement the GeneratER program, which will help SMEs across Australia connect to the energy supply chain, demonstrate local solutions to the challenges of industry and maximize opportunities for collaboration and innovation. “

NERA CEO Miranda Taylor said this initiative has huge potential if the supply chain can be supported to mature and grow.

“With a strong focus on manufacturing solutions that will decarbonize, digitize and diversify the energy sector supply chain, GeneratER will help boost the sector’s supply chain by identifying a small number of business challenges or operations that will be open to SMEs capable of manufacturing or providing technological solutions for piloting, ”said Ms. Taylor.

“Our own research has shown that building the capacity of local suppliers in the oil and gas supply chain could capture an additional $ 7 billion in value by 2030, generating up to $ 49 billion for the industry. ‘economy. “

A 2020 NERA report found that local suppliers could increase their share of multibillion-dollar spending in the national oil and gas supply chain if they can open up business opportunities for innovative solutions.

Ms Taylor said major operators have responded to these findings and are committed to working with Australia-based suppliers to explore the potential for innovative solutions to local industry challenges.

“The opportunity to pilot some of these solutions will help local SMEs deliver technology products and services to larger Australian-based energy resource companies, increase the size of domestic spending, and potentially expand to business chains as well. ‘global sourcing,’ Ms. Taylor said.

GeneratER’s WA program has seen NERA partner with operators and major entrepreneurs in the energy resources sector to identify a range of operational or business challenges and opportunities that, if addressed, will help improve efficiency. , sustainability and local job creation.

“Pilots are an important step in the innovation process and play a key role in the development, refinement and adoption of new technologies. The pilot solutions help prove their viability and accelerate their adoption in the supply chain, ”said Ms. Taylor.

“And while the first round is only open to companies based in WA, we fully intend that there will be future themed tours taking place nationwide.”

The first partnership challenges of the GeneratER program were forged with energy leader Chevron Australia.

Supply chain management general manager Tim McCarthy said Chevron is committed to building local capacity.

“We are proud of the contribution we make to Australia by investing in our local suppliers,” said Mr. McCarthy.

“The GeneratER platform is an exciting opportunity for businesses in Western Australia to showcase their innovative solutions and potentially help us solve some of the world’s most complex energy challenges. ”

The first challenges to launch:

  1. Provide a simplified ‘test strip’ technique for field operators to confirm the quality of mono ethylene glycol (MEG) without the need for complex laboratory analysis
  2. Reduce risks to the health and safety of personnel through the use of drones certified to fly in dangerous areas, to investigate abnormal situations through on-board sensors
  3. Provide solutions for automated and remote monitored sensing and aggregation / monitoring of data for cathodic protection status and system amperage / voltage for oil field wells on Barrow Island

Expressions of interest are open for Chevron challenges and more information about the program can be found here.


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