Microsoft will be investing $5bn in Australia over the next two years to enhance our cyber security, expand our capacity for AI and boost job opportunities in the digital economy.
The Microsoft investment will also include infrastructure for cloud computing and expanding the reach of AI.
Microsoft will also increase its local datacentre footprint from 20 to 29 across sites in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.
The announcement was made during Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s visit to the US where he met with Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith and Microsoft Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Steven Worrall.
“This is a major investment in the skills and workers of the future, which will help Australia to strengthen our position as a world-leading economy,” Mr Albanese said.
“A priority for my government is to ensure all Australians benefit from economic growth.
“This means that we need to provide the skills to enable Australians to succeed in the jobs of the future.”
“A strong economy requires protection from cyber threats. I welcome Microsoft’s collaboration with the Australian Signals Directorate to enhance cybersecurity for households and business.”
Microsoft will collaborate with the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) on a Cyber Shield to ensure improved protection for Australian citizens, businesses and government bodies.
The Microsoft ASD Cyber Shield (MACS) will add a major new layer of protection to detect, analyse and defend against sophisticated cyber threats.
This investment by Microsoft will help meet the demands for cloud computing services which is expected to double within the next three years.
It will also help Australians capitalise on the latest AI technology and how it can expand economic and productivity opportunities.
Generative AI could add as much as $115bn a year to the Australian economy by 2030.
Microsoft says it will support an additional 300,000 Australians to expands its global skills program to offer upskilling, so job hunters have the tools and abilities to succeed in the digital economy.
“This milestone investment from Microsoft into Australia is a game-changer. It will help Australian businesses lift their use of AI and cloud technologies, build the skills Australians will need in future, and secure our nation against cyber threats,” says Bran Black, Business Council chief executive:
“We know the use of cloud and AI will be critical to lifting productivity in Australia. This investment will help workers and businesses leverage these technologies to stay competitive and deliver the products Australians want.
“The partnership between Microsoft and Australian Signals Directorate is exactly what’s needed to tackle cyber risks, because we know the best cyber security outcomes are achieved when businesses and government work in partnership.
“Work integrated learning and industry aligned curriculum development produce future ready workforces, and this investment in digital tradies delivers in both respects and represents a great outcome for Australia and Australian businesses.”