Industry strengths and capabilities

Sydney and NSW, Australia's ICT and Digital Capital

NSW is Australia's premier market for digital creative and information communication technology (ICT) industries with the largest ICT sector and highest number of technology start-ups in Australia.

With vast innovative talent driving new technologies, advanced research and innovation institutions and a favourable regulatory and business environment the NSW ICT sector offers great opportunities for investing, moving or starting a new business.

Read more about our state's ICT and digital strengths in NSW — Fostering business opportunity.

NSW is Australia's ICT capital with significant competitive advantages:

  • We operate in a time zone that bridges markets closing in the US and opening in the UK and Europe.
  • We are ideally situated to service fast growing Asian markets.
  • We have leading telecommunications infrastructure, including nine landings of international high-capacity fibre optic cables that link the state to Asia, Europe and the United States.
  • We lead all other Australian states and territories with ICT research capabilities, with 11 universities producing almost 3,300 IT graduates in 2015.
  • We have a large pool of skilled labour with more people working in ICT-related fields than any other state.
  • We provide direct access to venture capital and Australia’s largest financial services industry.
  • We produced 58% of Australia's computer, information and telecommunications services exports in 2015–16 and our ICT services exports were valued at A$1.9 billion annually in the same period.
  • Our ICT-based research institutes offer access to top talent and unique collaboration opportunities, including Australia’s largest data innovation group, Data61.
  • Sydney is the national headquarters for more multinational companies than any other Australian city, including ICT firms such as Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Twitter and cloud computing provider Rackspace.

Robust infrastructure

NSW has leading telecommunications infrastructure, including nine landings of international high-capacity fibre optic cables that link the state to Asia, Europe and the United States. This capacity is set to grow with the rollout of Australia’s National Broadband network, an Australian Government initiative that will connect regional and urban areas to a 100 megabit-per-second fibre communications network. NSW is also home to global data centres. Global Switch, the leading wholesale data centre provider in Europe and the Asia–Pacific region, has a base in NSW, as do Alibaba Cloud, Rackspace, Amazon Web Services, Dimension Data and Vocus Communications.

A leader in global data centre technology

NSW is also a leader in global data centre technology, a major growth sector given the amount of digital content being created globally which needs to be stored. For example, Global Switch, the leading wholesale data centre provider in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region has a base in NSW. The company's existing Sydney data centre campus is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. And it's expanding — the proposed Phase II of its Sydney campus is expected to directly inject A$300 million into the NSW economy.

A highly skilled workforce

NSW boasts a large pool of skilled labour and has more people working in ICT-related fields than anywhere else in Australia, with 107,600 people working as ICT managers or ICT professionals in 2015–16. This includes around 42,200 software and applications programmers, and 12,600 database/systems administrators and ICT security specialists.

NSW is home to 11 universities that produced almost 3,300 IT graduates in 2015. Our state’s ICT-based institutes offer access to top talent and unique collaboration opportunities.

NSW’s ICT sector benefits from a highly skilled workforce of software engineers, computer scientists and programmers; exceptional universities that attract foreign students; and active industry associations including the Australian Computer Society, the Australian Information Industry Association and the Australian Industry Group.

Research and innovation excellence

NSW is a regional leader in ICT research and commercialisation. The state is home to several national centres of excellence in ICT-related research fields, as well as two Cooperative Research Centres and four research and development facilities under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

NSW tertiary institutions such as the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) regularly partner with companies and other tertiary institutions around the world in cutting-edge ICT research and innovation. For example, UNSW was recently involved in a world-leading quantum computing project.

NSW — a research and development hub

The state has a long history of innovation. NSW-based CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) researchers developed the technologies to make wireless local area networks (WLANs) fast and robust, enabling WiFi networks around the world today.

The NSW Data Analytics Centre has established a boutique scholars’ program for data science and analytics, the only one of its kind in Australia. The centre facilitates government collaboration with the private sector and research institutions to work on complex issues facing the people of NSW.

The NSW Government’s Knowledge Hubs Program has established industry-led collaborative partnerships centred around key NSW industry sectors: Energy and Resources, Financial Services, Digital Creative, Medical Technology, and Transport and Logistics. These partnerships bring together businesses, research organisations and industry associations to share information and direct research through collaborative projects.

Examples of innovative companies that have emerged from NSW include

  • Where 2 Technologies, which was instrumental in the early development of Google Maps
  • Two University of NSW graduates started Atlassian, a provider of team collaboration and productivity software that is now valued at US$5 billion
  • NSW is the headquarters of Data61, Australia’s leading digital research network, as well as Australian centres of excellence in robotics, photonics and quantum computing.