National AI centre could be coming to Melbourne

Friday, 26 April, 2019

National AI centre could be coming to Melbourne

The Victorian Government has revealed plans to contribute $1 million towards establishing an international-standard artificial intelligence centre in Melbourne, pending a formal agreement with the next federal government.

Federal Labor announced that it would invest $3 million in the establishment of the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence in Melbourne back in July, thus ensuring Australia is well placed to take a leading role in the global artificial intelligence market and to improve Australians’ employment opportunities in new and emerging technology sectors.

Now the Victorian Labor government has committed $1 million to locate the centre in Melbourne, providing it with ongoing support for investment facilitation and business engagement. The funding will help identify and establish a location for the national centre, bringing together a mix of world-leading businesses, start-ups and tertiary institutions.

“The Andrews Labor Government is ready to partner with the next federal government because Melbourne is the natural home to a national centre for artificial intelligence,” said Victorian Treasurer and Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas. He noted that inner Melbourne is already attracting a cluster of digital businesses, while Victorian universities are producing about 37% of Australia’s tech graduates — more than any other state.

“We are already attracting significant tech investment and we want to make Melbourne the drawcard for the best and brightest talent in the world,” Pallas said.

According to Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, a national AI centre would help draw together thinking and AI-related work across the country and put it to work for the economy and community. He said getting the application of AI and automation right within the Australian economy could potentially provide a $2.2 trillion economic boost.

“We welcome the Andrews Labor government’s enthusiastic support of the centre and look forward to working with it to maximise the benefit of this technology for all Australians,” Bowen said.

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