Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders with O2N director Megan Dixon.

Hub to take resources sector to zero AND hero!

Dubbo’s status as a leader in critical minerals and future skills will be strengthened, thanks to a significant investment from the NSW Government.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders has today announced $207,687.50 for the Orana Opportunity Network O2N to develop a business case for the Zero Business Incubator and Innovation Zone (ZERO Hub).

“We all know the world is moving towards a zero emissions future, but the state’s resources sector can’t reach that goal unless the supply chain does too,” Mr Saunders said.

“This project seeks to address this by establishing a physical hub to stimulate the growth of businesses, research partnerships and skills for the future, including in critical minerals production and processing, resources technology, manufacturing, circular economy industries and new energy solutions.

“Dubbo is ideally located to host a hub of this kind, and I’m pleased we’re able to support O2N to take this concept to the next level.”

The funding will enable O2N to consolidate partnerships, and undertake a more detailed feasibility study, including design requirements, site selection, and operational and governance structure for the facility.

O2N Director Megan Dixon said the vision for the innovation centre includes a physical facility to accommodate shared office space and equipment, business advice and guidance for research and collaborative partnerships focused on the energy and resources sector that is really developing in this region.

“This project is one we’ve been working on since 2019, so we’re super excited to actually be funded for this,” Ms Dixon said.

“We’ve done the pre-feasibility study work but to get the funding to do this next stage of work is tremendous because we’re a not-for-profit.

“Now it’s about using this funding to scope the project properly, and work with our partners who have given in-principal support, but now we can actually take that next step!”

The Regional NSW – Business Case and Strategy Development Fund is part of the $3.3 billion Regional Growth Fund and will help create a pipeline of investment-ready projects for future funding opportunities.

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