news Global technology giant Hewlett Packard yesterday announced it would significantly expand its presence in Adelaide, creating about 430 high-end technology jobs over the next four years with the assistance of the University of South Australia and the South Australian State Government.
Premier Jay Weatherill today announced the establishment of an Innovation and Collaboration
Centre within the University of South Australia’s new building in the Health and Biomedical
Precinct on North Terrace. The State Government will provide a $5.5 million grant to the University to help establish the centre, which will give students and small businesses access to HP’s global capabilities.
The new jobs – in fields such as software development – will be spread across the Innovation and Collaboration Centre on North Tce and HP’s premises across Adelaide.
“This is just one example of how we are transforming and modernising our economy,” Weatherill said in a statement released yesterday. “We are creating new industries and new jobs in exciting, high-tech fields. HP has chosen to expand in Adelaide because our competitive business cost environment gives our city an advantage over other parts of the country. This is what happens when you invest and build.”
The State Government, through Invest in SA, along with the University of South Australia and
HP have been investigating ways to foster economic development in the state.
Under the partnership, the State Government also will commit $150,000 a year for a student
entrepreneur initiative that will support innovative students to pursue commercialisation of new
ideas in the ICT sector in partnership with HP and other companies. The State Government will support training to help workers move to the ICT sector– including workers displaced from declining industries who are looking to re-skill.
In conjunction with HP, the University of South Australia will also deliver an ICT honours program
including work placements with HP to further support workforce development and expansion.
HP South Pacific Managing Director Nick Wilson said HP was excited to be partnering with the
University of South Australia and the State Government to help develop, further and promote
ICT education, training and careers in the state.
“Our collaboration with UniSA in developing a four-year honours degree will give South
Australian students access to world-leading ICT education,” Wilson said. “SMEs, industry and students will also be able to take advantage of the extraordinary new Innovation and Collaboration Centre. In addition, HP will increase its workforce in the state by some 430 people over the next four years. We are committed to South Australia and to this exciting new ICT partnership.”
HP will move to the new University of South Australia building in 2018 and in the meantime will
be in the Catherine Helen Spence building at the City West campus.
University of South Australia Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd said the new partnership
was a model for industry and university collaboration.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Hewlett Packard in an initiative that so perfectly fits not only our aspirations and culture as a university, but theirs as a multinational corporation with global
scale and reach – to build a vibrant environment of enterprise and engagement which presents
tangible opportunities for South Australians to lead innovation and economic growth.”
“The creation of the new HP Innovation and Collaboration Centre is a first for any Australian
university and is great news for students, for industry in South Australia, and for the State’s
profile as a smart, globally connected city,” Prof Lloyd said.
There’s a few things to question here … for example, I think many in the IT industry get a but suspicious whenever they see specific vendors trying to build partnerships with educational institutions. It smacks a little of trying to pre-train potential workers with that vendors’ technologies before they even enter the workforce.
And, of course, there is also the fact that it’s not like HP doesn’t already have an existing massive commitment to South Australia through its EDS acquisition; for many years EDS held the whole of government IT outsourcing deal with the SA State Government, and although that deal was broken up, HP still retains a lot of SA Government work.
However, in general this looks like a good deal. On a day when Toyota has just announced it is getting out of car manufacturing in Australia, this has everything. A commitment to high-tech jobs by a massive global technology company. A collaboration with a local university. And also government support for the whole package. Looks like a winner.