The ACT government will make a play to position Canberra as the cyber capital of Australia, announcing plans to establish a new cyber security hub.
ACT Assistant Minister for Economic Development Tara Cheyne has announced the territory government will spend $700,000 to begin the Canberra Cyber Hub project.
The hub will focus on growing Canberra's cyber security education pathways and promoting Canberra's cyber security pathways.
Former UNSW Canberra rector Dr Michael Frater has been asked by the government to lead the establishment of the hub.
Dr Frater finished at UNSW Canberra in December. During his time at the university he led the development of cross-disciplinary research in cyber security and space.
"The Canberra Cyber Hub will work to advance and showcase our expertise as the cyber capital of Australia," he said.
"With the Commonwealth government due to spend $1.67 billion on cyber security over the next decade, our proximity to government puts us in a competitive position to be able to capitalise on this investment through better collaboration and capacity-building.
"The Canberra Cyber Hub will aim to build our skilled workforce through education, helping start-ups and other businesses attract investment, showcase our research capabilities and cement Canberra as a key player in the national and international cyber security landscape."
The Canberra Cyber Hub will have four objectives. Alongside growing education pathways and promoting Canberra's cyber security capabilities, it will help accelerate the growth of small and medium enterprises and it will promote the ACT's research capabilities.
The ACT government will fund the Canberra Innovation Network to help with the growth of small and medium enterprises.
Ms Cheyne said the hub would "harness Canberra's unique cyber capabilities to create more jobs and further diversify the ACT economy".
"Canberra is well-placed to be a leader in cyber security due to our high concentration of cyber security stakeholders, established education and research capabilities, highly skilled workforce, collaborative business community and close proximity to government," she said.
Independent industry network AustCyber forecasts that there will be 7000 new jobs created in cyber security in Australia by 2024. There were 26,500 workers in cyber security in Australia last year, and cyber security providers generated $3.6 billion in revenue. Most of that ($3 billion) came from the domestic market.
The network has previously predicted there could be a shortage of 18,000 cyber security jobs by 2026.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr hinted at the hub last year, when he shared his desire for the ACT to be a major cyber security hub.
He said jobs in cyber security were an area of opportunity for the ACT in its economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis, and there would be opportunities in both jobs and education.
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