Industry collaboration and Australian innovation were front-and-centre at Parliament House this month as NERA and our fellow Growth Centres converged on the nation’s capital for the first Growth Centres Showcase event.
The event brought industry and government together to highlight the collective and individual work led by Growth Centres to overcome barriers to innovation, productivity and growth across the industry sectors with competitive strength and strategic priority for Australia.
The Showcase was a chance for the Growth Centres to promote their projects directly to parliamentarians and policymakers, demonstrate their sector impact and communicate how Growth Centres are helping industry partners:
- collaborate, innovate and increase commercialisation of technologies;
- enhance management and workforce skills;
- build capabilities and capacity; and
- improve their access to markets and international opportunities.
Since NERA opened its doors in 2016, we have approved over $13.526m of funding in a diverse range of collaborative projects, with $19.89 million invested by industry and our other collaboration partners.
Today, we work across the entire energy resources sector to create connections to innovate and transform the energy resources sector to unlock +$10 billion of value to the Australian economy. Our lighthouse projects demonstrate our sector-wide impact and support a wide range of technology and innovation solutions that help achieve our vision of Australia as a global energy powerhouse while transitioning towards a low carbon and digitised economy and balanced security, affordability and accountability. To date we have 37 approved projects across Australia and over 100 project partners.
NERA was fortunate enough to be accompanied by four of those project partners at the Showcase, with industry representatives engaging with guests about their technology partnership with NERA and how it was delivering sector-wide impact. Those partners were:
- Steven Camilleri, Chief Technical Officer at SPEE3D;
- Nikki Cheesman-Dutton, CEO at CD Power;
- Leon Morgan, Marketing & Stakeholder Relations at Sentient Computing; and
- Professor Eric May from the University of Western Australia.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology the Hon. Karen Andrews MP opened the proceedings and engaged with NERA project representatives, including immersing herself in a VR experience with Sentient Computing’s training module for electrical isolation – as an engineer herself, this really resonated with the Minister.
Minister Andrews also announced ongoing funding for the Industry Growth Centres, which will allow all six Growth Centres to continue their transformational work across the country for the benefit of all Australians. The Minister acknowledged the ability of the Growth Centres to forge sector-wide collaborative networks that are helping to drive innovation across areas of competitive advantage for Australia.
“The common focus across the Centres is getting industry and researchers working together, and managers and workers properly skilled, to support Australia’s transition to smart, high value, export-focused industries,” said Minister Andrews.
NERA CEO Miranda Taylor said the Showcase provided a wonderful opportunity to highlight the work of all our project partners.
“In the nearly three years since our establishment, NERA has been helping to transform the efficiency and productivity of the energy resources sector and accelerate the growth of a smart, value and export focussed SMEs. In 2019 and beyond we look forward to continuing this important work by creating deeper connections between research and industry and maximising opportunities for the translation and commercialisation of innovation. The strong engagement with our project partners is central to achieving this,” said Ms Taylor.