BHP backs new CORE Innovation Hub in Newman

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BHP workers at Newman - which will be home to the new regional hub. Image Supplied.

CORE Innovation Hub and BHP have announced the launch of the first centre of excellence in Newman – 1,186km north of Perth in the heart of the Pilbara – which seeks to provide support for the Mining Equipment Technology and Services (METS) sector.

Being Australia’s first co-working, collaboration and innovation hub to focus on resources technology, CORE Innovation Hub aims to facilitate growth for energy and resources-based startups and SMEs. The first Hub was established in Perth in 2015 before expanding to Adelaide last year.

The METS specialist hub, co-working and education space will support the surrounding region and booming mines, committing to an investment in supply chain capabilities and investment in future skills. The Hub will be powered by BHP –the world’s second largest mining company based on revenue.

The 12-month initial project is set to increase the viability of and access to local businesses along the METS supply chain and will help diversify Newman’s regional economy. Businesses can take advantage of CORE Innovation Hub’s established ecosystem in mining and resources while allowing to seek out potential partners and work with experts in the industry.

The Newman Hub will aim to also stimulate employment opportunities and facilitate the sharing of innovative ideas to grow the METS industry capabilities.

Renee Hakendorf, CORE National Innovation Hub Lead, said the centre would focus on future skill development for the wider supply chain.

“The creation of the Newman METS Hub is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses and the broader community. Newman and surrounding Pilbara region employees more than 63,000 people and has approximately 2,085 small to medium local businesses which stand to benefit from this initiative,” she said.

It is an investment in the future of Newman. We are looking to partner with local businesses, government and academic groups to co-design the Hub.

We want to engage a broad cross-section of the METS supply chain right from the start to ensure we are supporting economic growth of Newman and setting up the entire mining region for success.

Renee Hakendorf, CORE National Innovation Hub Lead

Local businesses wanting to work with BHP will benefit with the Hub aiming to fast-track the procurement process for such businesses.

Marie Bourgoin, BHP General Manager for Newman Operations, added she is proud of the Hub – which is the regional-based centre of its kind.

We are proud that BHP funding has made the vision for a METS hub in Newman a reality. We hope the hub will provide a space for the local METS sector to meet and collaborate and create opportunities to advance our partnerships across the sector.

Marie Bourgoin, BHP General Manager for Newman Operations

At time of publication, the final location of the hub is yet to be confirmed.