The report ranked Australia seventh in the world on a range of indicators, such as overall business environment, infrastructure, human capital, legal and R&D environments and support for industry development.
Victoria leads the Australian tech and telco industry, with more than 8,000 companies generating around A$30 billion in revenue, and accounting for 29% of national ICT revenue and employment.
The sector, going from strength to strength, has enjoyed annual employment growth of 12% since 2005.
Victoria is a key hub for many major global players, including: IBM’s Asia-Pacific Software Solutions centre, Ericsson’s R&D Centre, Computershare’s global headquarters, R&D and Operations Centre; Fujitsu software development operations; NEC’s global R&D Centre, and Tata’s Software Support Centre.
These firms, and many others, benefit from Victoria’s excellent availability of highly experienced workers and students with an IT background and a sound regulatory environment including excellent data and intellectual property rights protection.
Victoria’s Information and communication technology strengths include:
Telecommunications and broadband
Niche software development, solutions and services for industry
Games and animation
Web applications and interactive media
Skills and Training
A productive, adaptable and multilingual workforce sets Victoria apart from other regional locations. Melbourne also has high numbers of international students.
Each year, Victoria trains a steady supply of ICT professionals, on a scale consistent with US and European development centres.
More than a third of Masters and PhD graduates in IT in Australia come from Victoria’s world-class universities.
There are nearly 18,000 students in ICT university courses in Victoria – the highest number in Australia. An additional 9,300 students are enrolled in other post-secondary course.
The high quality, high productivity and low attrition rates synonymous with Victoria’s ICT workforce has led several international and local software companies to bring back to Victoria their previously outsourced high-tech, R&D teams.
Victoria has excellent high-speed broadband and wireless networks, secure data centres, intercontinental connectivity, university and corporate research labs, test beds, and education facilities and some of the most affordable real estate in the Asia-Pacific.
Melbourne recently cemented its role as the ICT capital of Australia, with the announcement that the National Operations and Test Facility for the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN) will be based at the Digital Harbour development in Melbourne’s Docklands.
This facility will be the centrepiece of the National Broadband and the key interface with retail service providers, who will be using the network to provide high-speed services to business and residential customers across Australia.
Melbourne has one of the largest Information Technology R&D clusters in the southern hemisphere, producing world-leading, commercially focused research:
IBM's R&D Lab - IBM has opened its first ever R&D Laboratory in Melbourne. The new facility will combine research and development in a single organisation and will focus on accelerating progress towards a smarter planet.
Australian Synchrotron - the largest stand-alone piece of scientific infrastructure in the southern hemisphere.
Melbourne’s telecommunications industry is a primary strength.
Telstra, Optus, Primus Telecom and other carriers provide voice telephony and data services, representing a large proportion of the city’s ICT employment and revenue.
The Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society at the University of Melbourne brings together some of the best broadband researchers from around the world. Corporate partners include Cisco, Ericsson, Telstra and Bell Laboratories.
Programming, software and application development: solutions and services
Victoria has a strong track record of technology leaders and other major corporations choosing Victoria as a hub for programming, software and application development, technology integration and support services.
Melbourne’s software companies are well integrated into the global software community and provide tailored solutions to a diverse range of industries including financial services, healthcare, transport distribution and logistics, eSecurity and eLearning.
In 2009, US-based global database storage management and cloud computing experts NetApp opened a Melbourne office offering tailored solutions to reduce data storage by 60%.
In 2008, the Internet Commerce Security Lab opened at the University of Ballarat, in conjunction with IBM Australia, Westpac Banking Corporation and the Victorian Government.
Interactive games and animation
Victoria’s interactive computer and video games industry is a mature sector, of nearly 30 years’ standing, and home to more than half of all Australian activity.
The industry is at the forefront of next-generation technology, developing electronic games for console platforms (such as Sony PlayStation3, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii) as well as games for arcade, browser-based, computer, mobile, hand-held platforms and digital distribution.
Melburnian animators who have won international acclaim include Oscar winner Adam Elliott, and Cannes prize winner Van Sowerwine.
World-class studios include:
Firemonkeys (a merger of Firemint and Iron Monkey Studios)
Firemint – creators of the world’s most downloaded iPhone game (Flight Control) and winner of two Apple Design awards for Flight Control HD and Real Racing.
Iron Monkey Studios – makers of
Tantalus Interactive – makers of Top Gear Rally
THQ Australia - SpongeBob Square Pants
FMOD – Guitar Hero, World of Warcraft
Melbourne is also the national headquarters of the Game Developers’ Association of Australia, housed in the Australian Games Innovation Centre.
Deakin Motion Lab is the largest motion-capture facility in the southern hemisphere, based at Deakin University.
Web applications and interactive media
Melbourne’s strength in web applications is enhanced through expertise in two of the major development platforms – the Java-based J2EE and Microsoft’s .NET – as well as more general capabilities in open source software.
Melbourne has a substantial base of development capability in these platforms, including three industry clusters with a combined membership of around 500 companies.
This sub-sector includes the provision of combined technology and service solutions that allow the outsourcing of entire business functions.