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New ‘cyber voucher’ program boosts R&D capability for NSW small businesses

A new $500,000 ‘cyber voucher’ program, supported by the NSW Government through the NSW Cyber Security Network (NSWCSN), will help small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) access cutting-edge university research.

From today, SMEs in NSW can apply to join the program which will connect them with cyber security research teams from one of the Network’s seven universities – UNSW Sydney, Macquarie University, the University of Sydney, the University of Wollongong, the University of Newcastle, UTS and Western Sydney University.

“SMEs are an agile, increasingly important part of the NSW industry landscape. This new cyber security voucher initiative is offering financial support to eligible NSW businesses, matchmaking each business’s cyber security challenge to the NSW university best placed to help them solve it,” said NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte.

“Our goal is to address important cyber security challenges for small businesses, by facilitating connections with leading cyber security researchers,” said Todd Williams, Director of the NSW Cyber Security Network. “NSW is home to a rich seam of cyber security research talent, and we want to offer businesses the opportunity to work with that talent to develop and advance innovative products and services with commercial potential.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Industry and Trade John Barilaro said Australia’s cyber security industry is expected to triple over the next 10 years with revenues soaring from $2 billion to $6 billion by 2026, creating massive opportunities for NSW as Australia’s technology leader.

“The NSW Government has launched a Cyber Security Industry Development Strategy to grow our industry by supporting technology research and development and helping companies to develop, export, attract investment and build workforce skills,” Mr Barilaro said.

A total of $500,000 is available under the cyber voucher program. Each successful project will be eligible for $15,000, in a similar fashion to the NSW Department of Industry’s existing TechVoucher initiative. With cyber vouchers, however, businesses will not be compelled to provide matching funding to get their project off the ground if they can offer suitable in-kind contributions.

Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis. The NSWCSN cyber voucher initiative seeks applicants from a wide set of industry backgrounds and experiences. Further details about eligibility and how to apply can be found on the NSWCSN website.

NSW is home to the largest ICT sector in Australia, employing 107,600 ICT managers and ICT professionals. It is also the base for Australia’s ICT services exports, producing 58 percent of exports in 2015–16. Nationally, the sector employs around 19,000 people, and Australian businesses spend $4.3 billion on cyber security each year, with much of that activity occurring in NSW.

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