Ballarat's reputation as a cyber security hub has helped secure a new tenant at Federation University Tech Park and create 62 new jobs in the city.
Queensland company CT4 will invest $1.8 million in Ballarat as it relocate to the tech park in Mt Helen, taking its last vacant building to create a Global Cyber Centre.
Construction began this week on the cyber lab, with final building works expected to be completed by late 2019.
The new centre will provide facilities and services including a high-level security cleared IT operations team, cloud-based and cyber security product development and testing space, educational and training areas, and will act as a draw for national investment in the local economy.
The first employees have already started with CT4 in Ballarat, and further recruitment is underway.
"CT4 is moving not only a significant number of jobs to regional Australia, but critically further skills to the next generation to help fill a growing global cyber skill shortage," said CT4 customer success manager Tegan DeClark.
According to a Price Waterhouse Cooper report, cyber attacks now coast Australia more than $1bn a year and the cyber security sector is a vital and rapidly growing part of the Australian economy.
"Ballarat is at the cutting edge of this field," Ms DeClark said. Ballarat Tech Park is also home to IBM and the university's Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation (CeRDI).
"More than 2100 people are employed across our Technology Parks and we're working to attract new tenants like CT4 so we can continue to create high-skilled new jobs and grow the local economy," said Fed Uni technology parks executive director Jeff Pulford.
The university will work with CT4 to establish professional placements for students as the university does with IBM, and recent graduates from FedUni TAFE have been among CT4's first round of recruitment.
"These sorts of partnerships provide opportunities for high-skilled local jobs, research opportunities and invaluable experience for our students to work in global companies while they study," said Fed Uni vice chancellor Professor Helen Bartlett.
CT4 chairman Craig Adams said the company was looking forward to working with skilled IT professionals and new graduates.
"The new centre will organise, facilitate and support the development of cyber security on a global scale whilst at the same time present us with opportunities to develop high quality academic, vocational educational and training programs to address the growing digital skills shortage being experienced nationally," Mr Adams said.
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