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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Innovation Minister welcomes world leading data innovation powerhouse

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Thursday, July 13, 2017

    Innovation Minister welcomes world leading data innovation powerhouse

    A leading data science, innovation and engineering research organisation today (Thursday) launched an Australian-first facility at the Palaszczuk Government-supported innovation hub, The Precinct.

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch officially opened Data61’s newest office, which includes the nation’s first functional programming open lab (FPOL).

    Ms Enoch said the lab will enable Brisbane to become a world-leading centre of excellence for the development of secure, robust code – and will generate new jobs.

    “This is a landmark moment in the development of Queensland's software industry,” Ms Enoch said.

    “Functional programming skills are being increasingly sought after around the world by organisations wanting to protect their operations from hackers and cyber criminals.

    “The establishment of the FPOL at The Precinct will also deliver new jobs.

    “I’m excited to welcome the first five new Data61 software engineers employed in the FPOL, and look forward to meeting the five additional software engineers who will be recruited towards the end of this year,” Ms Enoch said.

    Member for Brisbane Central Grace Grace said it was a coup for Queensland that CSIRO Data61 has moved into The Precinct as part of the $17.1 million jointly funded Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA).

    “The partnership will allow government, industry and businesses to access CSIRO Data61’s expertise in turning complex data into knowledge and using these insights to help create new approaches to service delivery and solve real problems,” Ms Grace said.

    “Data61 will help seed new industries that are going to be data driven over the next 15-20 years, and will also help existing industries to scale and grow.”

    The Data61 team are world leaders in data science research and engineering, and CEO Adrian Turner describes functional programming as “an important direction in coding for certain large scale classes of applications where performing concurrent operations is important”.

    “It can be applied to many things, ranging from financial markets to coding for fully autonomous aerial vehicles,” Mr Turner said.

    “Many Australian IT firms know that functional programming will benefit their business, but they are not sure how to acquire the necessary skills. We want to help change that.

    “Investing in this collaboration with the Queensland Government is right in line with Data61’s mission to lead in creating Australia’s data driven future by seeding new industries and helping to scale existing ones.

    “Functional programming skills are only going to become more important over time, as these new industries are underpinned by large volumes of data and the bar is higher in terms of the robustness and modularity of the underlying software, and the efficiency of developers.”

    The SPA involves a raft of initiatives in addition to the FPOL, including:

    • Recruitment of two Advance Queensland funded mid-career Research Fellowships to support activities with the government
    • Hosting big data challenges, which will bring together Queensland Government agencies and stakeholders to solve problems using huge volumes of publicly available data
    • Concentrating Data61's Insights team at The Precinct, where they will help the Queensland Government identify megatrends and use data to inform policy development

    Data61 is an anchor tenant in The Precinct, which is part of the Palaszczuk Government's $420 million whole-of-government Advance Queensland initiative designed to supercharge the economy through innovation and create jobs.


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