Australia’s digitech ecosystem is booming, growing 79% over five years – four times faster than the rest of the economy.
Worth A$167 billion in the 2021 financial year, equivalent to 8.5 per cent of GDP, the Australian Government is backing the tech sector to reach its potential to contribute A$250 billion to GDP by the end of the decade.
You’ll find boundless opportunities for investment and growth. If there was ever a time to become part of Australia’s flourishing digitech scene, it’s now.
- A thriving tech sector - with more than 100 companies valued at over $100m created over the past decade
- Extraordinary talent – our tech sector employs one in 16 working Australians. Australia has more software engineers than secondary school teachers, plumbers, hairdressers or police. And we’re investing in skills to support our goal of 1.2 million tech-related jobs by 2030
- World-leading universities and research institutions pushing the frontiers in emerging technologies from AI and autonomous systems to remote sensors and cyber security
- A Government committed to investing in infrastructure, including the National Broadband Network, 5G operational bases, cybersecurity, AI and quantum capabilities
- Your ideal launch market – we’re a nation of early digital adopters and avid users of technology at home and at work.
Why Australia for Digital Technology Report 2023?
Find out why Australia is a great place to develop digital technologies. This report outlines Australia’s competitive advantages and expertise across the technology spectrum. This includes SaaS, fintech, cyber security, quantum, and digital games.
The right environment for innovation
Australia’s digitech ecosystem is strong.
We have a talented, multi-cultural workforce and a first-class, innovation-driven education system.
We have extraordinary thinkers at our many world-leading universities and research institutions, and a highly collaborative R&D environment. Our national science agency CSIRO has partnered with industry for more than 100 years, developing innovative solutions from smartphone apps and robotics to satellites and sensors.
We have more than 100 innovation precincts and industry clusters across the country – from the WA Data Science Innovation Hub to the new NSW Tech Central Precinct, which is slated to become Australia’s largest technology and innovation hub, providing 250,000 square metres of space for technology companies and affordable rates for startups and scaleups. Our flourishing startup ecosystem has over 90 accelerators and incubators to help innovators connect and seek funding.
We’re a magnet for international companies. US tech giants like Adobe, Amazon, Google and Microsoft all have deep roots in Australia, emerging ‘unicorns’ such as Dataiku, Snowflake and Eventbrite are rapidly growing their Australian teams, and multinationals including Hitachi and Boeing use our cutting-edge facilities. All are capitalising on our research talent and business-friendly regulatory environment.
Australia is home to multiple global digital success stories, including rare unicorns – startups worth more than US$1 billion. In less than 10 years, Australian design software Canva reached a value of A$55 billion, while buy now, pay later company Afterpay was recently acquired for a history-making A$39 billion. Other Australian tech sensations include Aconex, Airwallex and the $US100 billion Atlassian.
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, Technological readiness ranking July 2021.
Google is so confident in Australia’s digital future it is investing A$1 billion over five years in Australian infrastructure, research and partnerships through the Digital Future Initiative.
Australia is one of just a handful of countries Google has chosen for such a significant investment. Recognising the extraordinary talent and creativity of Australians, Google is committed to ensuring every Australian has access to technology to realise their potential and laying foundations for a strong digital economy that can compete globally and support good jobs locally.
Incentives, grants and support
Venture capital funding in Australia has risen to record levels. In 2021, almost 700 deals were announced, with a record A$10.1 billion invested – triple the capital raised in 2020.
You can access a range of Australian Government incentives and opportunities in digital technology.
- We’re establishing a Critical Technologies Fund to deliver A$1 billion in investment support through loans, equity and guarantees for businesses in critical technologies such as AI, robotics and quantum computing
- The Research and Development Tax Incentive encourages businesses to invest more in R&D through tax offsets.
- The Department of Defence offers funding through the Next Generation Technologies Fund.
- A range of programs and initiatives are available specifically to support industry innovation.
Video: Australia’s dynamic digital tech industry
Australia's digital technology sector is booming. There are exciting, high-profile opportunities on offer in areas such as cyber security, AI and quantum computing. This video highlights how our smart, skilled digitech professionals are transforming their visions into reality.
But to do that we've relied on amazing, talented people from around the world. Many of those people who joined Atlassian from overseas have gone on to work for other great Aussie companies. Some of them have even founded their own companies, here in Australia!
The Australian Government helps us and other companies to bring in awesome people through initiatives like the Global Talent Visa Program. This is critical for Aussie companies to compete on the international stage and to build a critical mass of skilled people in our country.
Australia is my home and an incredible place to live. During the global COVID-19 pandemic, we've had a quality of life that has been the envy of the rest of the world. I want more of the world's best and brightest to experience just how awesome it is.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
As we lead the way in the fourth industrial revolution, Australian artificial technology (AI) is shaping the frontiers of technology.
Our AI Action Plan and Australia’s Artificial Intelligence Roadmap are driving our ambition to modernise industries like manufacturing and farming, improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and enhance our defence capabilities. Under the AI Action Plan, we’ve invested A$124 million to build AI capability and support business.
We’re investing in targeted AI initiatives to super-charge AI commercialisation and business adoption of AI technologies in Australia.
Blockchain and digital ledger technologies
In 2020, the number of companies operating in blockchain and cryptocurrency exploded by 153%. Australian industry players are expected to contribute an estimated global annual business value of more than US$175 billion by 2025.
Our National Blockchain Roadmap sets out Australia’s exciting ambitions and guides an investment of A$6.8 million towards blockchain technology. Four working groups are exploring blockchain frontiers in:
- supply chains
- cyber security
With globally renowned researchers and state of the art facilities, Australia’s quantum research capabilities and industry are at the cutting edge. We’re recognised as a world leader in silicon-based quantum computing research. We also play a leading role in commercialising quantum technologies, which CSIRO predicts could create an A$86 billion global industry by 2040.
The government has announced a A$111 million investment in Australia’s quantum future, having identified quantum technologies as a major area of focus. A new Quantum Commercialisation Hub will see further support for innovative research, while Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, will lead a National Committee on Quantum.
Robotics injects an estimated A$18 billion into the Australian economy each year. Australia has an enthusiastic and diverse robotics community.
The scale and sophistication of cyber attacks is increasing. And they’re becoming harder to detect. Australian expertise, backed by the A$1.7 billion Cyber Security Strategy, is creating a more secure online world and driving the commercial creation of new and innovative cyber security solutions that have strong global appeal.
When it comes to 5G, Australia is a world leader. We have rolled out 4,000 5G base stations across the country. We are ranked third in 5G-connected devices per capita. And by 2025, 95% of Australians will have 5G coverage. A recent PwC report produced for Austrade found that 5G in Australia has the potential to unlock billions of dollars in value-added industry uplift by 2030.
This creates multibillion-dollar opportunities in industries such as agriculture, health, ICT, manufacturing, mining, transport and utilities.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IOT) – smart devices connected to the internet that collect and share data – has the potential to boost Australia’s GDP by A$230 billion over the next decade.
We know that talent is one of the most critical aspects of building a global company. You’re nothing without a great team around you. We’re fortunate to have been able to attract some of the best and brightest minds from leading companies all over the world. Bringing in this talent and perspective has played a huge role in sharing knowledge across the whole tech sector – it’s how we’ll continue to grow and solve even harder challenges.
Australia has quietly made a name for itself as a country of innovators. It was Aussie ingenuity that cooked up inventions including WiFi, the hearing aid and the pacemaker. To remain competitive and keep producing world-changing innovations, we need to continue attracting talent from every corner of the globe.
I have a sense that we’re just getting started. Australia is undoubtedly a great place to live, and it’s also a great place to start and scale a company.