Australia’s leading publicly-funded information technology and computing research and development commercialisation outfit NICTA (National ICT Australia) has been told to go and find money from private industry in just two years if it want to keep going.
Budget statements reveal that the high-profile organisation will get $84.9 million for the next 24 months with the Department of Communications and the Australian Research Council stumping around $21 million a year each.
The decision to cut the organisation is expected to come as a shock to the local ICT sector that had anticipated that the government would continue to financially back the body based.
“It was always expected that funding from the private sector would play an increasingly important role in supporting NICTA’s operations,” a Budget release from Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.
“NICTA’s rapid recent growth in commercial revenue, through its partmnerships with domestic and overseas firms, shows it can draw funding from a wider range of sources.”
Mr Turnbull’s statement said that the government “considers the time is approaching for NICTA to stand on its own two feet.”
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