Data61 has officially opened its new Cyber Security and Innovation Hub in Melbourne’s Docklands after being convinced last year to bring it to Victoria.

The new hub is expected to create in the region of 140 jobs over the next three years, including for PhD researchers.

“Aside from bringing together our own Victorian based workforce, this new facility will also provide a dedicated space for Data61 to deepen its key relationships within the cyber security ecosystem, and we’re excited to welcome Australia Post, Optus and PwC as our first wave of industry partners,” Data61 CEO Adrian Turner said.

State Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis joined Turner in officiating the launch of the Data61 facility, which will be co-located with other cyber security hubs.

These additional hubs include an Oxford University global cyber security capacity centre (GCSCC) and an Oceania cyber security centre (OCSC), which brings together eight Victorian universities and major private sector partners.

Victoria has made no secret of its intention to become known as a base for cyber security skills and capability, both in Australia and also up through the region.

The state is home to other large security hubs such as NBN’s cyber security operations centre - “the first line of defence against cyber threat to the NBN” – as well as centres for three of Australia’s Big 4 banks and Telstra.

“With cybercrime rising at an astonishing rate in Australia, cyber security has never been more crucial to our economy as it is right now,” Dalidakis said.

“Over the past 12 months, the Labor Government has been working hard to keep Victoria at the forefront of Australia’s cyber security expertise and capabilities.

“This new [Data61] hub will focus on collaboration and commercialisation to protect our digital economy.”

Dalidakis said that the cyber security industry is presently worth some $71 billion a year worldwide – highlighting the financial benefits if Victoria can establish its domain credentials and suitability to attract similar centres and facilities.

ACS Victoria issued a paper earlier this year calling for greater investment in all areas of the cyber security ecosystem in order for the state to consolidate its position, and potentially make its mark on the world stage.

“Victoria is already a hub of significant cyber security expertise. Additional government and industry investment will position Melbourne as a centre of excellence in the global cyber security market, creating jobs, new businesses and value in the Victorian economy as well providing expertise to help protect Australian interests,” the paper said.

“More support is needed, however, to fully develop the entire ecosystem of cyber security capability, including for start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), needed for Melbourne to become a significant source of new cyber security solutions and products and to benefit from the exponentially growing demand.”