Federal Budget signals lifts in investment for Emerging Tech and Cyber Security and highlights the opportunity for the Government to boost support for Australia’s emerging tech startup and scaleup communities

Federal Budget signals lifts in investment for Emerging Tech and Cyber Security and highlights the opportunity for the Government to boost support for Australia’s emerging tech startup and scaleup communities

The Stone & Chalk Group welcomes the Federal Budget’s focus as we transform Australia into a sustainable technology-driven economy.

The Stone & Chalk Group is the largest innovation community in Australia. With AustCyber joining the Group in 2021, we are focused on creating the next generation of cyber-secure emerging tech companies to drive Australia’s economy into the next decade and beyond.

“Our focus in the Federal Budget is around the measures contributing to the growth and future of our Australian economy. These require a strong skills pipeline, which is the biggest risk for Australia as we transition our economy from fossil fuels to sustainable technologies,” said Michael Bromley, Stone & Chalk Group CEO.

“The new Startup Year Program is a promising investment of $15.4 million over four years to allow up to 2,000 University graduates and undergraduate students to learn the fundamentals of being part of the startup community. This is an excellent opportunity to expose graduates to the career opportunities of founding an emerging technology company. We look forward to working with the Government and universities to implement an effective program.”

One area Stone & Chalk Group would like to see a stronger focus on is adding the “A (Arts)” into STEM, creating STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Arts, design, and critical thinking are foundational skills that will have a measurable impact on Australia’s future workforce and entrepreneurs.

Michael Bromley said, “The establishment of the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund will support, diversify and play an essential role in transforming our economy through targeted co-investment support for Australian Industry. We look forward to working with the Federal Government to ensure that the Fund can help drive growth in Australia’s emerging tech industry.”

There are a range of important initiatives announced in the Federal Budget associated with energy and climate change, defence industry development, foreign affairs, digital infrastructure and connectivity, and investment in regional Australia. There is an opportunity to embed the startup and scaleup emerging tech community as important contributors to our developing industries, which can be enabled by these government announcements.

The Stone & Chalk Group supports the Government’s commitment announced in the October Federal Budget to improve Australia’s cyber resilience and security. The investment of $31.3 million to extend the Cyber Hubs Pilot is an essential step to securing our nation’s cyber defences. In addition, having AustCyber as part of the Stone & Chalk Group allows us to help all of Australia’s emerging tech companies embed cyber into their business from the ground up.

Jason Murrell, Group Executive of AustCyber, said, “AustCyber is focused on growing Australia’s vibrant and globally competitive cyber security sector. We welcome the Federal Government’s announcement of investing resources in reviewing the cyber security needs of all in the October Budget. Significant investment in time and money is an absolute must to ensure that we remain cyber-safe as a nation.

“We are pleased to see the Government’s $31.3 million injection made in this financial year to maintain the Australian Public Service’s Cyber Hubs Pilot. This is another crucial part of our national cyber infrastructure and will complement AustCyber’s National Cyber Node Network that is in its final stages of implementation.”

Michael Bromley added, “While the Government has shown restraint in this Federal Budget, there is an opportunity for the Government to lean into the emerging tech startup and scaleup community that are critical to the future of our economy to help it deliver on its commitments. In this regard, we would like to work closely with the Government and key stakeholders to ensure that these initiatives are well-designed and implemented effectively.

“In the future, Stone & Chalk Group will strongly advocate for a more ambitious innovation agenda, including direct public investment in innovation ecosystem builders to support the development of an inclusive innovation career path for all Australians. We would welcome government assistance directed towards experts that can enable this, avoiding the Government having to pick winners.

“Our tech startup and scaleup successes should be marketed to the world as much as we do in tourism. With cyber security providing a critical foundation for many businesses in our tech industry, there is an urgent need to increase support for the cyber uplift of businesses and the wider community, as recent data breaches continue to remind us.

“A national focus and long-term vision for a sustainable tech-driven economy is critical to our future global competitiveness. A strong national innovation ecosystem will lead to more job opportunities that contribute to our economy and well-being and enable Australian businesses to become more globally competitive in the long term.”