The growth centre is part of the Federal Government’s $248 million Industry Growth Centres Initiative, designed to boost Australia’s industry innovation, competitiveness and productivity by focusing on areas of competitive strength and strategic priority.
NERA will work closely with researchers from universities, CSIRO and research centres to build links with business and industry organisations.
Oil and gas industry veteran Ken Fitzpatrick – who has previously worked in a number of senior positions at PTTEP, Woodside, Nexen, ExxonMobil and Ampolex – will chair the growth centre and work with a strong board and management team drawn from across the oil, gas, coal seam gas, coal and uranium industries as well as their service providers.
Minister for Energy, Resources and Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg said the growth centre would help position Australia’s energy and resources sector for the next wave of investment.
“Australia’s energy and resources sectors make a vital contribution to the Australian economy. 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,”? Mr Frydenberg said.
Dr Malcolm Roberts, Chief Executive of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), said the announcement recognises the importance of the oil and gas sector to the Australian economy.
“The investment of more than $200 billion in new gas projects will see Australia emerge as the world’s largest exporter of LNG by 2018. NERA’s focus on innovation, collaboration and productivity in order to reduce costs and improve Australia’s global competitiveness is welcome,”? Dr Roberts said.
“This is absolutely essential if Australia is to maximise the benefits of the current wave of new LNG projects and position itself as a low-cost destination for future investment.”?
NERA plans to establish offices in Adelaide and Brisbane.