Oxford University to launch cybersecurity centre in Victoria

Oxford University's Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre will open a new office in Australia, which will see Melbourne become the first location for the global initiative outside of the United Kingdom.

Melbourne is set to receive the first international office of Oxford University's Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre (GCSCC), after an agreement was signed on Tuesday by Phillip Dalidakis, the Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade.

Dalidakis believes establishing an office in Victoria cements the state's reputation as a hub for cybersecurity, a global industry the minister said is worth AU$71 billion a year.

"Oxford University is a world leader in cybersecurity policy, research, and education," he said. "Their decision to locate their first Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre international office in Melbourne is a huge vote of confidence for Victoria's tech sector."

The GCSCC carries out audits of national cybersecurity risks and capabilities that help countries to plan investments and strategies to improve their digital security.

"We are delighted to be part of this exciting new partnership," GCSCC director Professor Sadie Creese said.

"Our aim is for our work to be used internationally as a common framework for effective cybersecurity, and working with key partners worldwide such as the government of Victoria is the only effective way to tackle this truly global issue."

The GCSCC office will be co-located with a new Oceania Cyber Security Centre (OCSC) that is being set up with support from the state government and will bring together eight Victorian universities, the Melbourne-based Defence Science Institute, and various private sector partners.

Tuesday's announcements follows on from last week when Dalidakis and the Minister for Employment Jacinta Allan revealed that the Victorian government plans to dip into its AU$508 million Premier's Jobs and Investment Fund to move the National Broadband Network's (NBN) National Cyber Security Operations Centre to Melbourne.

Dalidakis said the centre, which will be located in Docklands, will bring with it 700 new jobs over the next five years.

Also announced whilst Dalidakis was in the UK was a memorandum of understanding between the Victorian government and Data61 to move their lead national cybersecurity centre to Melbourne.

Dalidakis said the relocated centre will be a central part of Data61's national network and will feed into the nation's cybersecurity strategy.

The Australian government last week unveiled its AU$1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda, which covered 25 measures focusing on culture and capital, collaboration, talent and skills, and government as an example.

As part of the funding, the federal government pledged AU$30 million toward an industry-led Cyber Security Growth Centre which the government expects will bring together industry, researchers, and governments to create a nation cybersecurity innovation network; develop a national strategy for Australia's cybersecurity industry to become a global leader and attract investment from multinationals; and coordinate cybersecurity research and innovation to reduce overlap and maximise impact.

With an innovation agenda of his own, Dalidakis previously announced a AU$60 million startup fund in October, which he said is aimed at giving entrepreneurs in the state every opportunity for success.

At the time, the minister said the initiative is about supporting the whole ecosystem, be it accelerators, incubators, or collocation startups.