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Helping to power digital transformation

Australia is becoming a regional data centre hub. We are helping to power digital transformation in the Asia Pacific and the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

  • Sydney and Melbourne are both top-ten data centre markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Australia’s abundance of renewable energy resources means we are a great location for regional, green data centres. This includes supplying Asia via subsea cables.
  • Our economy hosts an outsized AI industry. We have over 550 AI companies.

Today, our vibrant AI ecosystem and proximity to Asia means we are becoming a service provider to Asia, led by the National Artificial Intelligence Centre.

Strategic location as a data centre hub

Australia is the ideal location to build green data centres to power Asia’s digital transformation. Australia has 17 subsea cables to Asia and the world. More are being built.

  • Services to Asia: Australia can back up data storage and processing facilities for customers in Asia.
  • Competitive power costs: Average industrial energy prices are low in Australia – compared to hubs in Asia, including Singapore.
  • Incentives for green data centres: The Australian Government helps fund new green data centres.

Western Australia and the Northern Territory are likely to emerge as suppliers of data centre services to Asia. This is due to proximity, existing undersea cables and a shared time zone.

Australia emergs as an AI powerhouse

Australia already has a fast-growing AI ecosystem. Success is built on home-grown talent. This includes AI centres in our universities and our own National Artificial Intelligence Centre (NAIC). The centre is run by Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Australia aims to become a host for AI data centres in the Asia-Pacific region. Our competitive advantage is built on:

  • world-class research into AI by the CSIRO
  • proximity to markets in Asia and established commercial relations.
  • industry collaboration, led by NAIC.

Investors can have confidence in our strategic commitment to AI. Demand for AI jobs is growing faster in Australia than in comparable economies.

How we can help

Incentives, grants and support

The Department of Industry, Science and Resources administers business innovation grants and initiatives. These initiatives support research, entrepreneurship and commercialisation.

The Industrial Energy Transformation Studies funds engineering and feasibility studies. This helps organisations identify ways to lower energy costs and reduce emissions at their facilities.

Individual states and territories also offer grants and incentives to support commercialisation. These include:

Snapshot - Data centres

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Cost effective

It is cheaper to build and operate data centres in Australia than in competing Asian locations.

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Sydney

3rd largest data centre market in the APAC region.

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Melbourne

8th largest data centre market in the APAC region.

Sources:

  1. Turner & Townsend, Data Centre Cost Index 2023, November 2023
  2. Cushman & Wakefield, 2023 Global Data Center Market Comparison, January 2023
  3. Cushman & Wakefield, 2023 Global Data Center Market Comparison, January 2023

Snapshot - Artificial Intelligence

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1st

Australia's ranking in our region for government readiness to take advantage of AI.

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11th

Australia's global ranking in 2022 for private investment in AI, up from 14th place in 2013–21.

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5,281

The number of applications for AI patents in Australia since 2000.

The Government has listed AI as one of 7 technologies that is critical to our national interest.

Australia will build on our advantages in skills and green energy to become a hub for datacentre and AI services to Asia.

The CSIRO is home to one of the largest applied AI capabilities in the world. It leads the National Artificial Intelligence Centre. The centre coordinates Australia's expertise and capabilities in AI. The CSIRO has more than one thousand researchers working on AI and data science projects.

Most major Australian universities have departments that specialise in AI.

The Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre provides researchers with access to high-performance computing, quantum and supercomputing facilities.

How Austrade can help

Investors typically establish a new company, register as a foreign company or acquire an existing company. Assess your options with our Investor Guide.

Austrade is Australia’s national investment promotion agency. We attract and facilitate game-changing foreign direct investment into Australia. Our team of business and investment specialists can connect investors to early-stage opportunities in Australia and provide direct and tailored professional assistance. Find out how we can help you invest in Australia.

Available tax incentives include a research and development tax offset, and incentives for early-stage investors in innovative companies.