Tenders have closed for a $130 million Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Centre of Excellence with the winner to be announced in May.
Four applications have been received for the project which is part of the government's Backing Australia's Ability statement.
An advisory panel, headed by Hewlett-Packard managing director Norman McCann, will assess each tender and recommend a preferred applicant in May.
Tenders were received from the Federation Consortium - Australian ICT Institute, National ICT Australia, The Horizons Institute, and Innovation Lab Australia.
Acting Communications Minister Rod Kemp and Education Minister Brendan Nelson said all four submissions were highly competitive.
"We commend the consortia on the high standard of their applications and the encouraging alliances between universities, public research organisations and the private sector that have been formed to forge these proposals," Senator Kemp said in a statement.
"The selection process will lead to the establishment of a world-class research and research training institute that can take Australia's ability to create and exploit information and communications technology to a new level," Dr Nelson said.