by George Nott

Global opportunity for Aussie cyber industry, says ACGC chair

Oct 19, 2016

Digital transformation alone will not deliver sufficient jobs and growth, the co-chair of the government’s Australian Cyber Growth Centre (ACGC) Adrian Turner said today.

Speaking at the AISA security conference in Sydney this morning, Turner added that new industries, like cyber security, are vital to securing Australia’s economic future.

“We will get productivity gains from the digital and data transition, but it won’t be enough to fuel the economic growth and jobs that we need as a country,” said Turner, who was appointed to co-chair the ACGC alongside Doug Elix in April. “So we have to both complement our existing business transformation to become data driven and create new industries.”

Cyber security also underpins the digital transformation taking place within businesses, Turner said.

“We can’t automate to scale if we don’t trust the integrity of the underlying data,” he explained. “There’s an economic imperative to getting this right.”

The ACGC is the result of a $30 million investment from the government as part of last year’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, an initiative which was welcomed by the local cyber industry. The New South Wales hub is housed at the Australian Technology Park and the Victoria hub at Docklands Goods Shed alongside Data61’s Oceania Cyber Security Centre.

Turner also outlined the strategy for the ACGC, which had been agreed last week following consultation with more than 200 industry stakeholders.

He said there would be a “national narrative” for cyber security industry growth that would communicate that the opportunity was global and not just domestic. There would be increased collaboration between academia and industry which would lead to a faster cadence and pace of innovations.

As well as helping improve skills, from schools to the boardroom, the centre would also create “commercialisation pathways”, Turner said.

“We’re building relationships with investors to bring smart money down to Australia, and from within Australia to invest in cyber companies,” he explained.

The ACGC, which operates as an independent, not-for-profit company, is currently “in the midst” of hiring a CEO, with an announcement expected in the “short-term”, Turner said.