Sydney secures new cyber R&D ‘nerve-centre’

The NSW Government has partnered with global telecommunications giant, BT, to secure a cybersecurity research and development facility for Sydney's north.

“This facility is a major boost for our economy and will be a real-time nerve-centre protecting large enterprises, industries, governments and even nations from cyber attack,” said Matt Kean, NSW Minister for Innovation.

The state government has sweetened the public-private collaboration with a $1.67 million investment in the facility, which will expand upon BT's existing security operations centre in North Sydney. The newly expanded hub will be BTs first R&D facility based outside the United Kingdom.

BT will also inject $2 million for capital infrastructure as well as a further “multi-million dollar investment” to attract cybersecurity specialists, according to Kean.

More than 170 jobs will be created to support the centre, the government announced, providing a magnet for Australia’s “best cybersecurity talent” and a facility to “nurture the next generation of specialists.” This will also align with the Government's $96 million Jobs for NSW objectives. 

Beyond its primary remit in cybersecurity, the Centre will also seek to further develop machine learning, data science analytics and visualisation capabilities, big data engineering, cloud computing, data networking and the “full lifecycle of software engineering,” Kean said.

The prospective launch of the Cybersecurity Centre comes after a recent splurge by the NSW government on a number of innovation initiatives, among which include a $35 million incubation hub – based in the Sydney CBD – to nurture local start-ups (announced earlier in July), and a $10 million innovation strategy to spur innovation and collaboration within government (announced in November, 2016).