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Google Joins Amazon at Adelaide’s $2bn Tech Hub



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Google is the latest tech giant to sign up for space in Adelaide’s Lot Fourteen which is currently taking shape in the city’s CBD.

The announcement comes after Amazon’s decision in February to move into the precinct. The development is aimed at hi-tech industries including artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, data analytics, computer vision, augmented/virtual reality and the internet of things. The Lot Fourteen plans consist of six refurbished state-heritage buildings, a café, the Hanson building and five new buildings. It will include a flagship 16-storey entrepreneur-and-innovation centre expected to open in late 2023.

Quintessential Equity are working on the $400-million building designed by Baukultur, which was approved in February. The precinct, which will take a decade to create, will eventually have 650 start-up desks, 100,000sq m of office space, 35,000sq m of open space and 20,000sq m of cultural space, including the centrepiece Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre.

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Accenture is collaborating with the South Australian government to launch an aerospace and defence focused technology hub in Adelaide, in a move that is expected to create 2,000 jobs over the next half a decade.

The new tech hub will act as a base for significant investments into national security operations, aerospace and cyber defence. At the same time, the hub will be home to Advanced Technology Centres of Excellence, driving innovation in areas such as Oracle, SAP, Splunk and Salesforce, among others.

Accenture has become a trusted partner for Australia’s defence sector in recent years, and the latest move signals a push to cement this position. The new hub will build on some of the professional services firm’s existing capabilities, and further expand a prolific network of innovation centres.

“The Accenture Adelaide hub will collaborate with Accenture hubs in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra. These locations are connected to more than 100 Accenture innovation hubs and centres around the globe, bringing the best of Accenture’s capabilities, in advanced technologies, intelligent operations and cyber security to clients in Australia,” said Bob Easton, Chairman of Accenture Australia & New Zealand.

Boosting the local economy

According to South Australia Premier Steven Marshall, the launch is tremendous news for South Australia and Adelaide in particular. Accenture’s investments in the new hub might generate up to $1 billion for the state according to Marshall, in addition to attracting exciting talent.

“Accenture’s Adelaide hub will serve as a magnet for talented young people who will help drive our state’s economic growth and bolster our defence, space and cyber sectors,” said Marshall. The hiring process has already begun with advertisements for engineering and support positions at the hub, and reports suggest that up to 2,000 new positions could emerge as a result of the investment.

“Accenture is committed to serve as a key member of the local community, investing and working together with other businesses and educational institutions to assist the South Australian government in meeting its economic growth targets,” said Easton. The investment and hiring drive is being juxtaposed with Accenture’s recent move to cut up to 250 jobs in Australia as part of a global drive to scale back on costs.

The cuts are being made in the lowest performing areas of the business, and reports suggest that Accenture is focusing its efforts on high potential business segments. For South Australia, this means a significant economic boost. “This is a jobs bonanza for South Australia at a time when we need it most,” said Marshall.

The 13 buildings in Lot Fourteen, Adelaide's tech-hub include a mix of new developments and state heritage buildings.

▲Lot Fourteen is on the corner of Forme Road and North Terrace, between the University of Adelaide and botanic gardens at the north-east corner of the CBD.

Work on Lot Fourteen started in 2017 after the demolition of the Royal Adelaide Hospital. In 2018 a master plan was signed-off on and the precinct became the cornerstone of the Adelaide City Plan.The state and federal governments have so far invested $722 million while the private sector has allocated $1.2 billion for the project.

Premier Steven Marshall said having Google in the precinct would enhance SA’s growing hi-tech reputation and create jobs. “South Australia has world-leading capabilities in artificial intelligence, data analytics and cyber security that make us globally interesting and provides digital tech companies with an opportunity to come together to partner on projects that can literally change the world we live in,” Marshall said.

Google’s Cloud public sector team at Lot Fourteen will work in health and medical research as well as using the hub as a training and event venue for its customers and partners.
The team's director in Australian and New Zealand, Michael Grantham, said the state's health capabilities were closely aligned with Google Cloud’s strategic priorities.
Since its inception, the tech-hub population has grown to 1000 people in operations including the Australian Space Agency, Defence and Space Landing Pad, MIT bigdata Living Lab, Smart Sat CRC, The Circle First National Entrepreneur Hub, and the Australian Institute of Machine Learning as well as the Space Discovery Centre and Mission Control Centre.
 
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