AustCyber will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of startup hub Stone & Chalk in a merger deal to ensure the future of the government-backed cyber-security group.
Launched in 2017, as part of the federal government’s “innovation nation” program, AustCyber was funded through government grants that end in 2022. Among its key achievements during that time were its Sector Competitiveness Plan and Industry Roadmap outlining the opportunities for Australia’s cyber-security sector.
The Canberra-based not-for-profit has a network of five cyber-security innovation nodes in NSW, the ACT, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia, and says that under the deal with Stone & Chalk it will retain “most” of its current staff and brand, as well as continuing to operate as one of the government’s Industry Growth Centres.
Stone & Chalk’s commercialisation support services be available to Australian cyber-security founders, while the startup hub’stech founders will have access to support and expertise from AustCyber.
AustCyber’s high profile board includes Heather Ridout, Nuix co-founder Eddie Sheehy, former Data61 CEO Adrian Turner and Doug Elix.
Stone & Chalk CEO Alex Scandurra said the deal combines “the greatest concentration of cyber-security industry expertise in the country with the most developed technology commercialisation infrastructure that Australia has ever built”.
“The integration of Stone & Chalk and AustCyber will enable our joint organisation to pursue a resilient and prosperous future not just for founders, enterprise and governments, but for all of Australia,” he said.
AustCyber CEO Michelle Price said digital trust is more important than ever.
“It is in our nation’s interests to be investing in scalable, flexible and sophisticated ways and means to nurture and propel forward emerging tech industries. AustCyber has demonstrated its ability to do this for cyber-security and it is critical we apply similar approaches to other areas of emerging tech,” she said.
“I have long respected the capabilities of Stone & Chalk and know that joining forces will provide our existing ecosystems with the tools they need to evolve, develop and thrive.”
Stone & Chalk, which launched in Sydney in 2015, also has hubs in Melbourne and Adelaide.