The federal opposition has pledged $3 million to create Australia’s first ‘Blockchain Academy’ if elected later this month.
The academy, to be based in Perth, would be used to link corporations with startups, academia and students to explore “industry specific applications of blockchain”.
It would also potentially host “computer science researchers, economists and corporates”, while providing a venue for education programs and showcasing projects.
Labor said there is a need to invest in blockchain development skills to meet the “high demand” from industry, citing a recent ACS report that suggested that there was 14 job opportunities available for every one blockchain developer.
“Labor wants to drive skills and training through the Blockchain Academy, teaming up with education and training providers from the vocational and tertiary sectors,” a joint Labor statement said.
While academy will be located in Perth, there is also the possibility other academy’s could be established in other states and territories.
“Perth is ideally located to build strong links the global economy’s most dynamic region, working with regional neighbours wanting to corroborate on blockchain projects,” Labor said.
“It is anticipated that once the Academy model has been proven successful in Perth, consideration will be given to expanding the footprint to other key cities.”
The government has also committed to exploring the potential of blockchain through the development of a national blockchain roadmap, which it announced prior to the election campaign.
The strategy is expected to focus on policy areas like regulation, skills, investment and international competitiveness.
Labor’s investment in blockchain Perth comes just a week after it secured an additional $1 million for its proposed artificial intelligence hub from the Victorian state government.