One of the largest digital innovation teams in the world will be created when CSIRO’s digital productivity flagship and NICTA collaborate, according to minister for industry and science, Ian Macfarlane, and minister for communications, Malcolm Turnbull.
Researchers from the two organisations will come together to form a new CSIRO entity called Data61, led by Australian technology entrepreneur, Adrian Turner.
According to Turnbull, having a single national organisation will enable Data61 to produce focussed research that will deliver strong economic returns and ensure that Australia remains at the forefront of digital innovation.
“The new combined entity will continue to train Australia’s future digital technology leaders through the enhanced PhD programme, with more than 300 technology PhDs enrolled at partner universities,” he claimed.
Macfarlane said both CSIRO and NICTA have an impressive track record in digital innovation and have demonstrated their ability to take home-grown technologies to market.
“Together they will be a force to be reckoned with, creating an internationally-recognised digital research powerhouse that will benefit Australian industry as it reaches into new global markets and seizes new opportunities for jobs and growth,” Macfarlane added.
Turner said he was joining CSIRO at an exciting time. He claimed his vision for Data61 is to harness the start-up culture of NICTA and multidisciplinary strength of CSIRO to deliver maximum benefit to Australia.
“So much of our understanding and interaction with the world is underpinned by digital technology and data.
"It is a fast moving and big growth area for Australia and the industry, and Data61 will be well-positioned to play a leading role in defining the new economic structures and opportunities that are emerging globally,” he said.
For the past 18 years, Turner has been based in Silicon Valley, firstly working for global tech giant Phillips then building his own companies from the ground-up. Before joining Data61, Turner was managing director and co-founder of the Borondi Group.
Prior to that, he co-founded smartphone and Internet of Things security company, Mocana Corporation.