Manufacturing initiative support for innovators to drive energy transformation 

Hunter firms eye $275m net-zero fund

HUNTER start-up companies stand to benefit from a $275 million government funding package designed to promote net-zero manufacturing opportunities. 

The Net Zero Manufacturing Initiative will support workers, small businesses, manufacturers and innovators to take advantage of the energy grid’s transformation. And several Hunter cleantech start-ups will play a key role. 

Melt Ventures has supported several start-ups to go from idea to global scale production in recent years. MGA Thermal, Allegro Energy and Refilled are among its major success stories. 

Read the Newcastle Herald to find out more or keep reading for the full article below.

Melt founder and chief operating officer Brett Thomas said he was hopeful that start-ups that had previously been supported through Melt would now successfully apply for funding from the new initiative.

“What I’m going to suggest is that we take those companies that we have accelerated as part of round one (investment) and have them apply independently,” he said.

“Based on the reading that I’ve done, that seems to be applicable, because it’s all about the technical readiness levels and the commercial readiness index.”

The initiative will focus on areas that are aligned to the opportunity areas

identified through the NSW Decarbonisation Innovation 2023 Study, released by the Office of Chief Scientist and Engineer.

This includes future energy systems and storage, transportation, built envi-

ronment, biomanufacturing, power-fuels including hydrogen, and agricultural


“There are incredible opportunities for small, medium and large businesses

to be a part of this,” Climate Change and Energy Minister Penny Sharpe said.

“These grants are all about ensuring NSW manufacturing is part of this revolution. They will lead to new secure, long-term jobs that are good for the planet but also build wealth in local communities and give NSW security and sovereignty of the renewable energy supply chain.”

Mr Thomas said he was keen to see greater coordination across the Hunter’s new energy projects.

“We are really proud that the Hunter is becoming the centre of this energy transition. One of the things that the Melt is trying to do is coordinate all of the precincts that are starting to gain momentum,” he said.

“We want the Hunter to be a super precinct. “What does each of those precincts see as its superpower? And then how do we amplify all of their individual superpowers to get the best outcome? Not just for the  Hunter, but for the nation?”

Ms Sharpe ruled out any grants going to projects such as the development of small modular nuclear reactors, despite a Newspoll yesterday showing two-thirds of younger Australians backed the technology.

“We’re looking at, even if you wanted to start today … a 14-year horizon to get it in the ground, which we don’t actually have,” she said.

“The second point that I make is that nuclear energy is 350 per cent more expensive than renewables.”

Learn more

Learn more and apply to the Net Zero Manufacturing Inititiative here.

Want help to apply?

Thinking of applying? The Melt can guide you through the application process and help you to develop your application. Get in touch with us at