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Monday, 26 June 2017 15:17

Data61 one year on

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CSIRO’s Data61 data innovation group is about to celebrate its first year of operations.

Formed by the merger of NICTA and the CSIRO’s Digital Productivity flagship, Data61's first "birthday" is this weekend (1 July).

“Our talented team has executed all of our third party delivery obligations globally and, at the same time, seeded a culture of excellence in everything we do – from science through to technology and operations,” said Data61 chief executive Adrian Turner.

“I’m proud to say, by collaborating with our partners and stakeholders, we have already delivered in advancing the course of Australian innovation from within.

“Next year will be even bigger as Data61 continues to lead on many important technology and data-driven opportunities for Australia.

“We will continue to drive our science and technology towards tangible outcomes for Australian business and government, and will leverage our science and technology in the market to help accelerate existing industries and seed new technology-based industries that generate jobs.”

Highlights of Data61's first 12 months of operations include:

  • 51 patents granted and 72 applications filed;
  • $75m capital raised by portfolio companies;
  • 350 scientific papers published;
  • Opening of the Victorian CyberSecurity and Innovation Centre in Melbourne;
  • Expansion of the Girls Programming Network to provide mentoring for female school students;
  • 273 project milestones completed (a further 76 due by 30 June);
  • $135m new multi-year contracts and $50m contracts in negotiations;
  • Four new university agreements (27 in total);
  • New multi-year partnerships with Victoria, ACT, Queensland and NSW Governments;
  • Ribit student placement platform now involves more than 10,000 students and 1000 startups and innovative companies;
  • $9.3 million cybersecurity partnership agreement with DST Group;
  • Blockchain technology review delivered to Treasury; and
  • $23.6 million awarded to Bionic Vision Technology to continue trials of the first Australian bionic eye implant.

Data61 operates from 14 locations around the country, and has more than 900 employees including 329 PhD students.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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