Australian businesses grow and prosper through cyber security innovation.

The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network is on the verge of shifting the cyber security ecosystem. Government’s research capabilities will line up behind industry’s priorities as identified by the Growth Network. Talented and innovative cyber security companies are being unearthed and first steps have been taken to attract venture capital and access global cyber security markets.

“Creating a vibrant cyber security industry in Australia will deliver a measurable economic benefit to this country through jobs and new business opportunities.”

Craig Davies, Chief Executive Officer Australian Cyber Security Growth Network

Delivering the Strategy

  • The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network commenced operations in early 2017 and has been the catalyst for new energy in the cyber security start up and scale up sector. Negotiations have been finalised for the first two network nodes and the Growth Network is in active engagement with other jurisdictions for announcements later in 2017.
  • The Growth Network has already begun taking Australian cyber security products and services to the world – starting with a highly successful delegation to the RSA Conference in San Francisco.
  • Government’s data innovation capability, Data61, has been actively driving new opportunities to bring Australia’s cybersecurity ecosystem together and encourage information sharing, cross-collaboration and growth across Australia’s cyber security research, government and industry cohorts. Data61 has been crucial in supporting the early activities of the Growth Network, and establishing SINET61 - the partnership between Data61 and the SINET international network of cyber security professionals that brings together venture capital and innovators.
  • Over 40 of Data61’s PhD students have a specific focus on cyber security related themes and this number is expected to continue to grow significantly in 2017. Data61’s current scholarship round includes twelve new cyber focused PhD offers.

Building on the Strategy

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is upskilling its Entrepreneurs’ Programme Business Advisers to recognise businesses facing a high cyber threat environment and provide advice around cyber resilience, information security and cyber security maturity. This will directly support Australian small and medium enterprises.

In February, Austrade delivered a comprehensive program of events, briefings, and site visits for 26 Australian cyber security companies, as part of the Cyber Security Mission to the San Francisco Bay Area, coinciding with the world’s largest cyber security conference, RSA 2017. The newly appointed CEO of the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network led the mission, which provided the delegation with an opportunity to connect with potential partners, customers, and investors.

Austrade also released its Cyber Security Industry Capability Report, highlighting Australia’s strengths and capabilities both in home grown industry and as a location for international investment in cyber security. International companies have taken note of the Cyber Security Strategy’s direction and have chosen to invest in Australia. Austrade’s program of landing pads also provides a safe location for Australian cyber security business to access global opportunities. SINET61 has also provided access to global institutional investors specialising in cyber security via the SINET61 network.

Domestically, partnering arrangements between industry and our academic institutions is growing, strengthening research, innovation and skills development. Examples include the Oceania Cyber Security Centre, which brings together eight Victorian universities as well as the Defence Science Institute and private sector organisations, and initiatives between Optus and Macquarie University; the Commonwealth Bank and the University of New South Wales; Dimension Data and Deakin University; and CISCO and Edith Cowan University, the University of New South Wales and Curtin University

“As an innovative, growing cyber-security company, we see the focus on bringing businesses and researchers together to develop the next generation of products and services as highly encouraging for the future of our indigenous cyber-security capability.”

Dr Jane Melia, Vice President of Strategic Business Development, QuintessenceLabs

Through its Next Generation Technologies Fund, the Department of Defence has invested in a partnership between Data61 and several Australian universities to drive strategic research and development into tackling emerging threats to Australia’s cyber security.

Next Steps

The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network plans a further two international delegations in 2017 – to the UK and Singapore. SINET61 will be run again in 2017, in partnership with the growth Network, cementing Australia as a hub for bringing together cyber innovators, buyers and investors. And GOVPitch will bring innovative start-ups and scale ups to the Government’s Digital Marketplace and connect solutions with buyers – government can set an example, supporting Australian industry by onboarding homegrown, high impact solutions.

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Growth and Innovation

The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network will increasingly engage with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the joint Cyber Security Centres and the Academic Centres of Cyber Security Excellence as they are established. Bridging the links between business, government and academia will create a fusion of Australia’s cyber security expertise and identify new opportunities for investment, information sharing and research.

“Our commitment and ability to upgrade security infrastructure to meet increasingly sophisticated attacks is a major challenge of significant concern. This is an area where public-private partnerships to boost development of advanced sovereign cybersecurity solutions could be particularly effective.”

Dr Jane Melia, Vice President of Strategic Business Development, QuintessenceLabs