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March 2024: Australia

Australian tech news in March 2024 touched on items including: Microsoft’s new artificial intelligence hub in Sydney; Western Australia’s ‘digital twin’ tech bid to improve planning; the entry of Amazon’s Just Walk Out payments tech to the Australian retail market; the government’s Solar SunShot initiative, allocating Au$1BN to bring solar manufacturing back; and more.

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ASPI Sydney Dialogue

ASPI: The Sydney Dialogue – critical, emerging & cyber technologies

  • Australia: Kathleen Valley Lithium Project secures $230M loan agreement following lithium price collapse-prompted pull-out of previous support, with sights on mid-year production / read it here
  • Australia: Bandicoot Imaging deep-tech startup secured $1M pre-seed funding with digital twins tech for physical fabrics / read it here
  • Online now: Australian Signals Directorate Blueprint for Secure Cloud, an online tool to support the design, configuration and deployment of collaborative and secure cloud and hybrid workspaces, focusing on Microsoft 365 / read it here
  • Australian global payments firm, Airwallex, partners McLaren Formula 1 racing team to offer acceleration grants to startups / read it here
  • Australian Sports Technologies Network partners etrainu community education solutions firm for SportsTech Startup Series, aiming to aid early-stage ideation, concepts, initial testing phase or first MVP / read it here
Australia's critical minerals

ASPI: Developing Australia’s critical minerals and rare earths

  • Australia: Microsoft partners Tank Stream Labs for AI Hub at Sydney Startup Hub to build support ecosystem for founders, developers and startups working on AI technologies / read it here
  • Australia Cyber Conference 2024 Canberra is set for March 25–27, presented by the Australian Information Security Association / read it here
  • Australia: Flight Information Management System moves forward with traffic control system linking drones, air taxis and other uncrewed aircraft with existing air traffic management system / read it here
  • Australia-ASEAN Summit to see Prime Minister Albanese unveil a $2BN fund to boost Australian trade and investment in South-East Asia, focusing particularly on clean energy and infrastructure / read it here
  • A brief overview of the opportunities for Australia, Singapore and Malaysia to collaborate on addressing the various cyber issues that each nation faces / read it here
  • Australia: Anni raises $1M seed funding with on-demand platform connecting users with wellness, health and wellbeing experts / read it here
New Zealand UpStart Nation 2023 Report

New Zealand: UpStart Nation 2023 Report (pdf link)

  • Western Australia moves forward with plan for digital twin of the state, announcing $140M package for 10-year project to improve outcomes across infrastructure, emergencies and more / read it here
  • South Australian Gov’t and Fearless Females Network join for 2-year pilot program providing grants to female-founded businesses / read it here
  • ‘Darwin Dialogue on Critical Minerals and Rare Earth Elements’ is set for April 17-19, an event from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute / read it here

“More than $9 million in funding has been awarded to 12 Australian space firms as part of the latest rounds of the federal government’s Moon to Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement Grants program…” / read it here

  • Australia: Nullify cybersecurity startup raised US$3.4M seed funding with AI-backed assistant bot that helps software devs and security teams detect and fix code vulnerabilities as it is being written / read it here
Australia Quantum Strategy

Australia: National Quantum Strategy

  • Australia: Former coal mine in Queensland set to become a Tesla Megapack grid-scale battery energy facility / read it here
  • Australia: Cicada Innovations opens applications for Cicada x Tech23 2024 cohort, seeking Australian deep-tech innovators and solutions / read it here
  • Australia: A brief intro to Great Southern Bank’s news all-in-one mobile app, Australia’s first end-to-end digital banking platform focusing on businesses with less than 10 employees / read it here

“…like the US, Australia is concerned about the data that TikTok collects, about the potential for that data to be shared with a foreign adversary, and about the potential for content to be weaponised by that adversary…” / read it here

  • Australia: LaunchVic 30X30 mentoring program unveils the 10 scaleups selected in pursuit of unicorn status / read it here
  • Investment NSW invites expressions of interest from NSW New Energy firms for participation in New Energy delegation to India, and to attend India Energy Storage Week in July / read it here
Blue Pacific Strategy 2050

Blue Pacific Continent: Blue Pacific 2050 Strategy, Phase 1

  • Australia and Canada to partner on critical minerals, aiming to coordinate on supply chain security, sustainability, investment and beyond / read it here
  • Australian competition regulator calls for consumer, business and industry feedback on developments in and competition between search services, alongside trends such as generative AI use and search quality / read it here
  • Australia: EnergyLab climate-tech startup accelerator unveils Decarb Debrief, a review of impact in 2023 – alumni collectively raised Au$289M in 2023, with Australia-based startups securing Au$124M / read it here
  • An intro to 5 Australian and New Zealand startups that collectively raised over $36M in the past week, working on solutions in fintech, foodtech, advertising and more / read it here
  • Stripe payments giant expands Amazon partnership, implementing Amazon Just Walk Out payments tech in Australia and Canada, requiring only a card check-in on store entry / read it here
Blockchain Australia - Digital Assets Policy

Blockchain Australia: Shaping digital asset regulation in Australia

  • A brief overview of results from a recent Australian study comparing Hydrogen batteries and lithium-ion batteries in both technical and financial performance / read it here
  • Australia: A brief look at the work of ELO2 Consortium, one of two consortia working with Australian Space Agency funding on the Moon to Mars Trailblazer Program Stage 1 / read it here
  • Australia: Stables, digital wallet and payments startup, launches international remittances powered by stablecoins, focusing on Australia-Philippines transactions / read it here
  • Australia: Canada’s WonderFi to acquire FX Institutions, yet-to-launch Australian crypto exchange, giving WonderFi its first crypto licence outside Canada, to provide OTC crypto trading services / read it here
  • Australia: Cicada Innovations deep-tech incubator launches Cicada HealthTech Hub in Sydney, targeting health-focused pre-revenue stage startups, spinouts, research projects and more / read it here
Critical technology global news March 2024

Critical technologies, globally: News in March 2024

  • Australia: iLAuNCH Trailblazer initiative commissions Nikon multi-metal 3D printer to make space missions more affordable and efficient with lighter, faster and more robust aerospace components / read it here
  • Australia: Cauldron Ferm fermentation-focused foods company secures Au$9.5M Series A to build large-scale facility to manufacture high-value ingredients / read it here
  • Australia: QuantumTX 2024 Queensland METS Technology Incubator Program applications are now open for solutions in the mining equipment, technology and services sector / read it here
  • Australia: An intro to the Seabin, a simple world-first product aiming to clean the oceans, one marina at a time / read it here
  • Australia: Diraq quantum tech firm hits milestone for spin-based quantum processors, functioning at temperatures 20 times warmer than before while holding stability and accuracy / read it here
ORF: Fixing Cyber Vulnerabilities - A Quad Agenda

ORF: Fixing Cyber Vulnerabilities – A Quad Agenda

  • Sunrise Australia tech, startup and creativity conference set for May 1-2 in Sydney / read it here
  • Australia: AGL Energy and SunDrive Solar cells firm partner for facility feasibility study into commercial-scale solar cell manufacturing / read it here
  • Australia: An overview of the recently-announced Solar SunShot, a Au$1 billion government initiative to bring solar manufacturing back to Australia / read it here
  • The Philippines and Australia ink agreements around boosting maritime commitments, and for cooperation on cyber and critical technologies / read it here
  • India’s NASSCOM and Australia’s Business NSW ink MOU to facilitate market access for tech companies in the two markets, leveraging the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement / read it here
Asia-Pacific Semiconductor Trends

Deloitte: Asia-Pacific Semiconductor Industry Trends

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