RMIT University announced the launch of its Cyber Ready Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC), powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The new CIC will focus on cloud-based cyber security solutions, enabling students to tackle cyber issues in the real world through innovative cloud computing approaches and emerging technology.

Working within the University’s home of entrepreneurship, RMIT Activator, and backed by AWS cloud technology expertise and the Amazon innovation methodology, the dedicated CIC team will connect students, researchers, government, and subject matter experts to solve cyber security challenges.

The team will also collaborate with experts across various fields including RMIT’s Blockchain Innovation Hub, Health Transformation Lab, and RMIT Online.

Challenges will provide students with opportunities to build prototypes that address cyber threats, with a focus on enhancing awareness, literacy, and enablement across three information security pillars – confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

Government, industry, and the community will define challenges ranging from cyber policies and training programs, to security protection and control systems. The prototypes built will be made publicly available for the global community to access.

RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Martin Bean, said RMIT had a long history of operating at the intersection of technology and the human experience.

“Working closely with governments, industry, and partners around the world, RMIT is focused on closing skills gaps and making a positive contribution to our communities in a time of constant change,” Mr Bean said.

“We are delighted the Cloud Innovation Centre will develop in-demand skills to tackle real problems, and most importantly, deliver proactive solutions to protect Australians and the global community.”

According to the Australian Government’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy discussion paper, cybercrime affected one in three Australian adults in 2018, with cyber security incidents costing Australian businesses up to AUD$29 billion every year.

The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan also highlighted Australia’s skills shortage, with an additional 17,600 skilled cyber security professionals required by 2026.

The report said the cyber security skills gap in Australia is currently costing the nation more than AUD$400 million in annual revenue.

AWS Country Director for Public Sector in Australia and New Zealand Iain Rouse said today’s announcement enhances the company’s long-term collaboration with RMIT, helping to boost Australia’s capability in cyber security by addressing the skills shortage.

“Our experience in accelerating digital innovation through the global AWS Cloud Innovation Centre program will help the community deliver innovative projects to tackle cyber security challenges in Australia and around the world,” Mr Bean said.

The Cyber Ready CIC is scheduled to launch by mid-2020.

It will join a global network of Cloud Innovation Centres dedicated to accelerating public sector innovation, powered by AWS, which include California Polytechnic State University Digital Transformation Hub, Arizona State University Smart City CIC, Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) Digital Transformation Lab, CODE University of Applied Sciences Better Future Lab, Sciences Po School of Public Affairs Public Innovation Lab, Busan Metropolitan City CIC, Swinburne University of Technology Data for Social Good CIC, as well as University of British Columbia Community Health and Well-Being CIC.

CICs are designed to address public sector challenges through digital innovation.