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CSIRO and NICTA join forces to create digital research powerhouse

28 August 2015

Joint media release with Minister for Communications the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

One of the largest digital innovation teams in the world will be created when CSIRO’s Digital Productivity flagship and NICTA merge, Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane and Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull announced today.

Researchers from the two organisations will come together to form a new CSIRO entity called Data61, led by the successful and influential Australian technology entrepreneur Mr Adrian Turner.

“CSIRO and NICTA are two world-class research organisations with some of the world’s leading scientists,” Minister Macfarlane said.

“Both 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.

"I'd like to thank the NICTA members and the Board for embracing this opportunity to supercharge Australia's digital research."

“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,” Minister Turnbull said.

“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.”

Mr Turner said he was joining CSIRO at an exciting time. 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 Australian industry, and Data61 will be well-positioned to play a leading role in defining the new economic structures and opportunities that are emerging globally.”

For the past 18 years, Adrian Turner has been based in Silicon Valley, firstly working for global tech giant Phillips then building his own companies from the ground-up.

Mr Turner was formerly Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Borondi Group, a company that applies emerging technologies in traditionally conservative industries such as agriculture, mining and transportation.

Prior to that, he co-founded smart phone and Internet of Things security company Mocana Corporation, where he raised more than $40 million dollars from institutional and corporate investors. He also authored the book BlueSky Mining – Building Australia’s Next Billion Dollar Industries and was Chair of the Board of Directors for Advance, Australia’s expatriate network.                                                                                                

Media Contacts:
Minister Macfarlane’s Office 02 6277 7070
Minister Turnbull’s Office 02 6277 7480