Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull has announced that Australia’s information communications technology research centre, NICTA, will be expected to be fully self-funded in two years, saying the time is right for it to “stand on its own two feet.”
The government will maintain $84.9 million in the next two years as the organisation moves to self-sustaining funding model.
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NICTA was established to increase the scale and quality of Australian ICT research and development. It builds new technology-focused startups and supports industry research.
A media statement delivered on budget night says that NICTA delivers one quarter of Australia’s ICT PhD students each year.
“It was always expected that funding from the private sector would play an increasingly important role in supporting NICTA’s operations,” the statement says.
“NICTA’s rapid recent growth in commercial revenue, through its partnership with domestic and overseas firms, shows it can draw funding form a wider range of sources.
“In recognition of NICTA’s maturity and current stage of development, the government considers the time is approaching for NICTA to stand on its own feet from June 2016. “
NICTA is expected to pursue funding from private sector investment and research grants.