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State of the Australian tech ecosystem

Australia’s tech ecosystem is booming and is undergoing an exciting period of expansion and innovation.

There are many factors that drive innovation in Australia, including the state’s focus on renewable energy, its high education and research facilities, and its booming start-up sector.

While the Australian tech ecosystem has been the home of large international success stories, the local start-ups ecosystem is also an important driver of innovation. This growth is due to the fact that a large number of start-ups operate in Australia. But in contrast to the US, Australia’s tech scene has a more limited size, and it is difficult to find international start-ups.

The country is known for its high-tech talent. The Australian tech ecosystem is an excellent place to start a business in the world, and its local companies are often the ones who make it happen.

2021 has been a record-breaking year for Australian technology businesses. Nearly US$5bn has already been invested into Australian and Kiwi startups, including massive growth rounds in the likes of CanvaAirwallex, and ROKT, which are now valued at US$40bn, US$5.5bn, and US$1.9bn, respectively.

Australian tech businesses have become attractive acquisitions for established overseas players, with A Cloud Guru’s US$2bn sale to Pluralsight preceding Square’s massive acquisition of Afterpay for US$29bn.

These events are amazing for our ecosystem. After many years of slowly building and turning the steering wheel, it is starting to turn at an ever-increasing pace.

DIGITAL INNOVATION ON THE RISE IN AUSTRALIA

The digital technology sector contributes about AU $122 billion (6.6 percent of GDP) to the Australian economy every year. This figure growth of 40 percent is expected between 2018 and 2023

Increasingly, both Australian and international entrepreneurs take advantage of stability Australian market as advanced technology test bench and market launch before they take new ideas or products all over the world.

The expansion of the technology sector is supported by growing venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) ecosystem, showcasing a lot opportunities for international start-ups and VC companies

Australian innovators and entrepreneurs attract the world attention, especially in sectors where strong synergies exist
with traditional Australian industries.

These include :

  • Agtech
  • Medtech
  • Fintech
  • Cybersecurity
  • Emergency services
  • Transport
  • Mining and resource technologies
  • Digital technologies

The opportunities of digital technologies are not limited to technology-based companies and start-ups – they can create added value in all areas of the economy.

For businesses, these technologies have the potential to create new products, enter new markets, work more efficiently and improve bottom line results, better address consumer preferences through the use of data, and create safer work environments.

Australia has a thriving innovation ecosystem that welcomes international investors, partners and collaborators

Several of the world’s leading technologies companies have operations in Australia, designed for the country’s resilient economy, highly educated and digitally literate workforce, and proximity to emerging markets across Asia.

The Australian government also played key role in the development of technology industry. The industry development centres they build the ability and networking they have have been established in strategic priority areas from Australian government funds.

Emerging technologies

A range of emerging technologies are expected to change and improve many key tasks and interactions in the coming years, including how we work, travel and communicate with each other. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and quantum computing present significant opportunities for people, businesses and the economy at large.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad term used to describe a collection of technologies that can solve problems and perform tasks to achieve defined objectives without explicit human guidance.

Central to AI are automation and machine learning that underpin applications such as natural language processing (Apple Siri or Amazon Alexa), computer vision (Tesla Autopilot), and optimisation and decision support (Google Maps).

AI has the potential to automate repetitive or dangerous tasks, increase productivity and allow the development of innovative consumer products. It is forecast to add trillions of dollars to the global economy in the coming decades.

The Government is using artificial intelligence to increase administrative efficiency, improve policy development, deliver new and improved services, and analyse complex datasets.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the growing use of sensors that record things like sound, touch, movement, temperature, and even chemical composition that are used to automatically collect data about people, the environment and objects and transmit this information over the Internet. .

The growing application of this technology has been made possible by the availability of better and cheaper sensors, the wide availability of Internet connectivity and the increase in computing power.

Blockchain

Blockchain is a digital platform that records, verifies and stores transactions made available on a network of computers according to a set set of rules. This eliminates the need for verification by a central body such as a bank.

Cryptography is used to secure transactions and costs are shared among network participants. The fact that the transaction history is visible and verifiable by all network participants allows for a much higher level of transparency and control than is otherwise possible.

While blockchain is still an evolving technology, it can be used in many industries and in almost any transaction that involves value.

Quantum computing

Quantum computing is an emerging technology that is said to exponentially increase the computing power available to help us solve problems that we cannot solve with existing computers. Quantum computers will be able to easily crack codes, and they have the potential to disrupt existing security methods that use encrypted data, such as in banking and other industries.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that Australia will spend $111 million on quantum technology development as Canberra identifies nine areas of technology it considers important to national interests.

Australia is recognised as a world leader in silicon-based quantum computing research, which is one of the most promising avenues for developing a commercially viable quantum computer.

As part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Government invested $25 million in the Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd venture, in partnership with leading academic institutions and businesses

Fintech investments in Australia.

In the second quarter of 2021, Australia’s fintech investment totalled approximately $563 million. Investments in Australian fintech fell significantly in 2020, but saw significant growth in the last quarter.

Dan Teper, Head of Fintech, KPMG Australia said, Australia is starting to reap the benefits of early investment in establishing a fintech ecosystem. Interest in banking-as-a-service solutions continued to grow, with the first half of the 2021 seeing Westpac moving forward with its development of a BaaS model

Other major banks have also focused on investing in ecosystems and vertical players in order to simplify and improve the experience for consumers, SMEs and merchants. For example, Commonwealth Bank invested $20 million in Amber Energy as part of a partnership to provide access to the wholesale energy process for its customers.

Digital Government

Australians can access Government services that are simple, clear and fast.

Outcomes:

  • It is easy and safe to interact with Government online
  • Government’s ICT infrastructure promotes the transformation and delivery of modern, future-proof digital services.

Technology allows government to get involved more easily with the community through various digital channels.
This guarantees the opinion of the people who use the government. services can be more effectively understood and
addressed in the development of new policies.

Australia does well on the world stage – for example, the latest development of United Nations e-government
Index ranks Australia second in the world, by third time running. Millions of Australians are already safe access a variety of government services online everyday through platforms like myGov. Those services include myTax (ATO), Medicare discounts, and a number of Centrelink claims and benefits

Digital Transformation

The government’s digital transformation strategy complements Australia’s technological future. It identifies what government needs to offer to be the world’s leading digital government. It shows how we will offer better services with greater flexibility, more agile policy, less bureaucracy, all enhanced by digital technology.

The Australian tech ecosystem has been boosted by several large success stories.

While the Australian tech ecosystem has long been underdeveloped and lacked a vibrant start-up ecosystem, the country’s recent boom has been marked by the emergence of a few large companies. But the success of these companies has not been a surprise.

The Australian tech ecosystem has grown quickly in the last few years, with many major global companies setting up shop. Despite this, there is still a lot of room for growth.



Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry. He's also an advocate for global cyber security matters.

Matthew Giannelis
Matthew Giannelis
Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry. He's also an advocate for global cyber security matters.

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