Cyber Innovation Node number four launches in NSW

Follows flurry of activity in state around boosting sector

The New South Wales Government has partnered with AustCyber, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, to establish a ‘cyber security innovation node’ aimed at accelerating growth in the sector.

“The node will develop and run programs bringing together industry, government and research organisations to take our cyber security industry forward. We will focus on growing our businesses and exports, building R&D links, encouraging innovative technologies, and developing industry skills,” said director of the NSW Cyber Security Network Todd Williams in a statement today.

Williams said the node would connect cyber security companies with state business growth initiatives, and work closely with agencies including the Department of Industry; Department of Finance, Services and Innovation; and the Office of Chief Scientist and Engineer.

The NSW node is the fourth node to be stood up in partnership with AustCyber. The Australian Capital Territory node in Canberra became operational in July last year, Western Australia's node launched in Perth in August this year, while South Australia's Adelaide node started work last week.

In April, the network’s chief operating officer Michelle Price said agreements to establish local nodes were being negotiated with each state and territory. Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania's node are expected to launch by the end of 2019.

In each case AustCyber provides $50,000 direct funding each year, which is matched by at least the same amount by each state of territory.

In NSW, the NSW Department of Industry is administering the funding for the next three years. Government funds will represent 25 per cent of project costs, with industry to provide 75 per cent in cash or in-kind contributions, a department spokesperson said.

One new full time business development position will be created to coordinate node activities in the state.

“An AustCyber Node in NSW will help local cyber security companies of all sizes – not just start-ups – connect into the broader national cyber security ecosystem. AustCyber will help them find customers and investment, improve commercialisation, connect to export markets, and grow a more coordinated founder community,” Price said.

The NSW node will be coordinated by the NSW Cyber Security Network, which is funded by the state government and member universities and aimed at connecting the institutions’ research to industry need.

The network launched in February with $2 million government funding.

Dr Maria Milosavljevic, the NSW government’s chief information security officer, said the node would boost the state’s cyber security capacity.

“[It] will be enhanced over the long term by the node’s work on cyber security industry development, including having a point of contact for collaboration between government, research, and industry organisations,” she said.

The announcement follows the launch of the NSW government’s first cyber security strategy in September which lays out a $20 million cyber action plan for the state.

It also comes just days after the government announced a new program dubbed ‘Cyber Security Connect’ to help develop a coordinated approach to boosting the state’s information security industry.

The NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node is one of the measures outlined in the program plan.

There are an estimated 19,000 people employed in Australia’s cyber security sector. According to AustCyber, Australian businesses spend $4.3 billion a year on cyber security, and industry revenue is forecast to reach $6 billion by 2026.

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