Japanese tech giant NEC has signed on as a founding partner of the New South Wales government’s multi-billion-dollar Innovation and Technology Precinct to be constructed around Sydney’s Central railway station.
The state government, NEC Australia and its parent company NEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding virtually via teleconference this week, forming a foundation partnership for the development of the precinct.
NEC Australia now joins Australian tech titan Atlassian as a foundation participant in the massive tech hub, which will eventually expand to include “lighthouses” around the state. NEC has a long history in Australia, but its centre of gravity in recent decades has been in Victoria.
Construction on the first stage of the precinct, located near Central station, is yet to begin and is expected to take at least two years. The timetable and costs for the project have not yet been unveiled by the government.
As part of the new deal, NEC will provide artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and biometrics solutions for the precinct, with a focus on five sectors: digital government, public safety, aviation, health and smart transportation. It will be working in partnership with the state government on creating the Digital Safer and Smarter City environment.
“The fact that the NSW government is intent on spreading this technology, not only across established and rapidly developing parts of Sydney, but across the state, shows that, like NEC, it is serious about digital technology innovation and the opportunities it brings all communities,” NEC Australia managing director Mitsuhiro Murooka said.
The state said it remained committed to working on the hub despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and that it will serve as a post-crisis engine for job creation.
NEC Australia will work with the NSW government on the design and development of the giant tech hub, jobs minister Stuart Ayres said.
“I am delighted to welcome NEC into our foundation partner network to design and develop together our innovation and technology framework for NSW. We have found a strong partner who shares our vision of a safer and smarter cities experience,” Mr Ayres said.
“The NSW government is committed to making our lives environment-resilient and digital friendly and this strategic partnership with NEC will help us become an attractive precinct for global and domestic business and investors, while at the same time providing innovative experiences for the people of NSW.”
Atlassian is also working with the NSW government on the 24-hectare tech precinct. The software giant will be an anchor tenant of the hub and will eventually move its global headquarters to the precinct.
The Sydney Central Innovation Hub will also house a National Space Industry Hub as another anchor tenant. The state government opened an expression of interest tender for incubators, accelerators and facilitators with deep space experience to run the hub earlier this year.