AU$140m cybersecurity research centre opens in Western Australia

Based in Western Australia, the country's Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre is expected to focus on critical infrastructure, protecting businesses, and building cybersecurity skills.

Australia's Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has on Thursday opened in the country's west, aimed at growing national capability in cybersecurity research, development, and commercialisation.

Based out of Edith Cowan University in Perth, the federal government in September pledged AU$50 million over seven years for the cybersecurity CRC, with AU$90 million in further funding raised for the centre from the WA state government, as well as 25 industry, research, and university partners.

The cyber CRC is charged with delivering advancements that will build Australia's cybersecurity capability and deliver solutions to "ensure the safety of Australians and Australian businesses online".

Specifically, the new centre aims to ensure the security of critical infrastructure by developing "innovative" approaches, tools, and techniques to predict, prevent, detect, and respond to cyber threats.

It also aims to enable Australian individuals, businesses. and industries to access cybersecurity solutions that build national and international confidence in Australia, and also to develop cybersecurity talent.

Speaking with ZDNet last month, Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor said the Australian government considers itself to be "world-leading" when it comes to cybersecurity.

"We want to keep Australia safe and competitive in an increasingly digital world and today's launch is evidence that we are taking action to do so," a statement from Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash added on Thursday.

The activities of the cybersecurity CRC will contribute to the objectives laid out in Australia's AU$240 million Cyber Security Strategy, which is aimed at defending the nation's cyber networks from organised criminals and state-sponsored attackers.

In addition, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber), which is part of the Government's Industry Growth Centres Initiative, will work closely with the cybersecurity CRC to facilitate collaborative research that meets the needs of Australian industry.

The Australian government launched AustCyber in December 2016, under the name of the Cyber Security Growth Centre. AustCyber operates as a not-for-profit company and is now led by Michelle Price, after former head of security for Australian startup Atlassian Craig Davies announced his departure on Wednesday.

AustCyber is responsible for driving the development of a "vibrant and globally competitive" cybersecurity industry in Australia, as well as ensuring Australian businesses can take advantage of the growing market opportunity in cybersecurity.

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