ICT Centre of Excellence
The Hon. AMANDA FAZIO: My question without notice is directed to the Treasurer, and Minister for State Development. Could the Minister please inform the House about the benefits to New South Wales of the national ICT Centre of Excellence?
The Hon. MICHAEL EGAN: Almost a year ago National ICT Australia was chosen to establish Australia's $130 million ICT Centre of Excellence. One of the most important research initiatives Australia has undertaken, the centre will be on a par with leading international research centres such as MIT and Stanford in the United State of America—centres which gave birth to some of the world's most innovative and productive high technology firms. The centre was officially launched on 27 February this year at its headquarters at the Australian Technology Park. Indeed, I understand that my ministerial colleague the Minister for Community Services, representing the Minister responsible for information technology, spoke at that launch. The centre will have additional locations at the University of New South Wales and the Australian National University in Canberra.
It is estimated that the centre will generate more than 500 PhD graduates Australia-wide over the next decade. The centre will also have significant commercialisation linkages with Australian small and medium-size enterprises and larger ICT companies through collaborative research, incubator development, staff changes and information sharing. The centre is expected to attract both domestic and international investment, injecting an estimated $700 million into the New South Wales economy over the next 15 years. The ICT Centre of Excellence is already attracting overseas interest. At the end of April, for example, IBM Australia announced the establishment of a Centre for Advanced Studies to consolidate the more than $40 million that that company invests in national research each year.
The first new project under this initiative will be collaboration on open-source software with the ICT Centre of Excellence. IBM's Centre for Advanced Studies, the first outside North America, will provide Australian-based researchers with access to the company's worldwide research resources and help support Australia to remain at the forefront of ICT innovation. The New South Wales Government is pleased to be one of the core partners in the Centre of Excellence, with a commitment of $20 million to the centre over the next five years. I am confident that, through its integrated approach to innovation, education and ICT industry development, the centre will boost the capability of our ICT industry and deliver substantial productivity gains across all sectors of the New South Wales economy.