AustCyber’s Canberra node promises cybersecurity boost for government innovators

Public-private partnerships tapping cybersecurity innovators to bolster industry capabilities

Credit: Illustration 151991043 © Prat Kitchatorn -

The Australian Capital Territory’s space, defence, and education sectors will be among the first to benefit as AustCyber’s newly launched Canberra Cyber Security Innovation Node (CSIN) extends a string of public-private cybersecurity partnerships.

Formed out of a joint effort between the ACT Government and industry-development group AustCyber, the new CSIN – which joins AustCyber’s National Network of Nodes – “is growing and creating jobs while strengthening Canberra’s knowledge economy,” Canberra CSIN manager Linda Cavanagh said in announcing the new facility.

The node has facilitated collaborations between Australian National University, the Canberra Institute of Technology and industry partners in an effort to follow three core principles – including fostering public-private-academia collaboration; identifying opportunities to increase the supply of cybersecurity talent; and developing a “strong and confident ecosystem” supporting the creation of market-ready local businesses.

Early initiatives include involvement in the National Missing Persons Hackathon next month, as well as ongoing collaborations with Canberra-area technology leaders including archTIS, Cogito Group, Penten, Quintessence Labs, and Cybermerc.

“The Node is growing and creating jobs while strengthening Canberra’s knowledge economy,” Cavanagh said, noting that the centre’s establishment was also “an acknowledgement by ACT Government that to support cyber security innovation and growth, it needs to do business differently.”

“The Canberra Node can test and challenge more readily, has more flexibility in developing capability, but more importantly, it can harness opportunities and partner with stakeholders to deliver results quickly.”

By straddling the confluence between public, private, and university resources, the AustCyber facility will become another catalyst for new industry development.

It comes on the heels of other recently-announced partnerships between cybersecurity industry players and academic institutions that are enthusiastically tapping into veins of cybersecurity expertise to boost their relevance and role.

Cisco’s recent collaboration with Victoria University (VU), for example, saw the opening of a Cybersecurity Training Centre (CTC) at St Albans in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

To be utilised in conjunction with VU’s expanding roster of cybersecurity courses, the facility includes a purpose-built training security operations centre (SOC) including ‘red’ and ‘blue’ teams for cyber-warfare staging and courses “co-designed by cybersecurity professionals,” the university noted at the centre’s launch.

“We are excited by the prospects of the Cybersecurity Training Centre to support the skills of the emerging workforce, help create jobs, and enhance Australia’s global economic competitiveness,” Cisco Australia-New Zealand vice president Ken Boal said in a statement.

“Partnering with academia to accelerate growth in the cybersecurity industry will create more opportunities for Australia to grow and prosper in the digital era.”

La Trobe University, for its part, has also been reaching out to the cybersecurity industry. It recently stitched up a partnership with Cisco around the Internet of Things; formed a strategic alliance with NAB to develop and commercialise technical cybersecurity solutions and jointly develop new curriculum opportunities; and launched an Optus La Trobe Cyber Security Research Hub designed to produce trained cybersecurity professionals.

Tags austcyber

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