Updated: Global R&D firm to base cyber security centre in Victoria

The centre will create 50 new jobs in the state

Victoria has landed another win in its ongoing interstate rivalry with New South Wales and Queensland for ICT investment, with a global research and development (R&D) firm announcing its intentions to establish a regional cyber security centre in the state.

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), which is headquartered in the US, will set up a cyber security R&D centre in Melbourne to focus on challenges in national security, health, energy and environment, and cyber security across Australia and select Asia Pacific countries.

The centre will provide a collaborative space for SAIC researchers to develop hardware and software aimed at protecting information and critical infrastructure from cyber attacks.

According to Victorian technology minister, Gordon Rich-Phillips, increased adoption of Cloud computing, use of high-speed broadband networks such as the National Broadband Network (NBN), and growing threats of cyber attacks were instrumental in the centre’s development.

SAIC vice president and regional manager, Steven Rizzi, told Computerworld Australia that although the NBN will create "great opportunity for the development of a robust digital economy" for Australia, it also brings some risks to our national security.

The centre is expected to create 50 new ICT skilled jobs in Victoria, with a focus on cyber security, high-end defence simulation, and related defence areas such as geospatial systems.

"These 50 jobs will be in ICT-related career fields, and they will focus on software development and systems integration," Rizzi said. An example “related defence” area would be geospatial systems – an area where SAIC has significant technical capability.

Victoria last month notched up a win in its claim to be the nation's leading IT hub, with Interactive launching a $30 million project in the state. The investment by the Australian IT services company will create up to 300 IT jobs in Victoria during the next four years.

Follow Diana Nguyen on Twitter: @diananguyen9

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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