Australia’s subsea energy sector gets $1.4m export boost through SME Hubs initiative

11 May 2020

The value of Australia’s subsea energy sector has been recognised with the announcement of $1,400,000 to establish an Australian Subsea Industry Export Hub that will support SMEs realise greater export opportunities, increase export revenue and grow employment prospects by showcasing our country’s world-class subsea skills and technologies to the global energy sector.

NERA has welcomed this announcement by Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham, with the Australian Subsea Industry Export Hub among ten new hubs from across six sectors and five states to receive more than $4.9 million under the SME Export Hubs Initiative.

The initiative will allow SMEs to access opportunities to co-operate and collaborate with businesses in their region, develop collective branding, leverage infrastructure, utilise existing knowledge to improve local export capacity, access global supply chains, encourage business growth and create local jobs.

The export hubs will work with Industry Growth Centres to facilitate SME export opportunities.

The announcement is good news for Australia’s energy ecosystem, with NERA project partner Subsea Energy Australia (SEA) to lead the Australian Subsea Industry Export Hub and funding allowing SEA and Subsea Innovation Cluster Australia (SICA) to expand existing activities to bring Australia’s energy industry to the international stage, increase competitiveness and facilitate access to export markets and global supply chains.

NERA CEO Miranda Taylor said the future Export Hub can help partner with existing Growth Centre initiatives to unlock the massive value and employment opportunities from Australia’s subsea energy sector.

“The subsea sector supports one of Australia’s largest energy production industries that generates thousands of jobs and substantial export revenue and operates in the high complexity zone that NERA’s research has identified as being critical for the future of the economy,” Ms Taylor said.

“Australia already has some of the world’s leading technology companies working in our industries and developing high-value and transferable solutions for other industries through remote operations and automation for extreme environments such as defence, mining and space. This further support will assist in unlocking an extra $7 billion value that the oil and gas supply chain can generate to the national economy by 2030, as identified through NERA’s research,” Ms Taylor said.

Through industry-matched support, NERA’s partnership with SEA and the formation of SICA has exemplified the value of collaboration and mutual support to address global challenges and export our domestic skills and capabilities to the rest of the world’s offshore energy regions.

Marius Martens, Chairman of SEA, said that as an export hub, the organisation will engage with SMEs within the industry, promoting export opportunities and help businesses obtain skills to harness opportunity on a global scale.

“A large proportion of the gas that has made Australia one of the biggest exporters of LNG in the world is extracted subsea; and when I say subsea, we’re talking some of the deepest, cyclone prone and remote conditions in the world. The skills and technologies, which makes this possible are unique and can be exported internationally to bring further jobs to Australia,” said Mr Martens.

About the SME Export Hubs

The Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs Initiative is supported by Industry Growth Centres to advance the establishment of local and regional hubs to assist Australian businesses take their products and services to the global market.

The SME Export Hub Initiative provides each successful hub with matched funding of up to $1.5 million for projects up to two years in length.

The Export Hubs will provide funding to develop local, regional and indigenous brands through export hub business collaborations to deliver value and employment opportunities back to Australian communities.

NERA was delighted to see Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise’s (TBSE) Southern Queensland SME Export Hub application successful in Round 1, and continues to support the TSBE to deliver their Export Hub strategy and grow the global energy potential of the region.