SEA was established back in 1999 with a four-year grant from the Federal Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. The aim of the organisation since that time has been to improve the capabilities of software organisations in Australia.
SEA Chairman John Gwyther told ZDNet Australia  this afternoon that since the grant expired in 2003, SEA has tried a variety of models to try and keep the organisation afloat as a not-for-profit, privately funded business. However that process has reached its conclusion and as a result the organisation was "effectively" closing down.
While SEA's half-dozen employees will follow the organisation's training and consulting business to Object, SEA's remaining cash balance will take a different path and end up at the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA). The AIIA was just one of a number of organisations to submit proposals to the SEA board about how the money might best be spent.
Gwyther said the AIIA's proposal won out because it "was more consistent with SEA's objectives and contained a number of concrete and positive outcomes for the local software industry".
AIIA chief executive officer, Rob Durie, said in a statement that the association sees the funding as "an opportunity for AIIA to put in some practical measures to complement our policy work in support of SMEs and the software industry in general." The AIIA will launch a new two-year program with the money, which will address "issues surrounding capital raising, entrepreneur development, exporting and partnering for the software sector".
One concrete measure that the AIIA will take is to utilise SEA's skills in software quality accreditation to provide a new component in that area for the AIIA's 'Developing Business Skills for ICT Entrepreneurs' program. As recently as August 2004, SEA was actively promoting its SoftwareMark program as "the first internationally adopted business and software process certification product designed specifically for software companies".