The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP - travel report - United Kingdom, September, October 2015

Minister The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP
Portfolio Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade
Countries visited United Kingdom
Date of travel 24 September 2015 – 1 October 2015
No. of official travel days
(including date of departure and date of return)
8 days
Number of accompanying ministerial staff 1
Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity No
Funding for the overseas trip was paid by
(list department/s or agency)
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
Air fares (including taxes and fees) $23,623.00*
Accommodation (including taxes and fees) $4,111.50*
Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances) $8,645.00*
Travel cost for minister and staff $36,379.50*

*The above costs are not final and complete

Purpose of travel

I travelled to the United Kingdom from the 24 to 1 October 2015 to promote Melbourne and Victoria as Asia Pacific's leading hub for start-ups, innovation and technology businesses, and to attract key enterprises and organisations to establish regional offices and new businesses in the State. The key purpose of my travel was to undertake a program of meetings with key research, innovation, entrepreneur and technology stakeholders in the United Kingdom.

The objectives were to:

  • promote increased awareness of Victoria's capabilities in entrepreneurial activities and innovative business;
  • confirm Victoria as Australia's leader in cyber security research and industry development;
  • facilitate increased exports and attract investment; and
  • support local job growth in Victoria.

Key elements of my program included:

  • establishing a platform for UK innovation and technology companies to enter the Australian market through Victoria, and to encourage existing investors to expand their Victorian businesses;
  • attending high level government and business meetings to discuss and promote opportunities for entrepreneurial activities, research and business collaboration; and
  • visiting key start-up, venture capital and multiplier associations to promote the Government's $60m Startup initiative.

Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria

Mission outcomes for Victorian companies

A total of 14 high-level meetings with senior business leaders were conducted. Quantitative outcomes from the mission are still being compiled, however, some preliminary outcomes are as follows:

  • The Oxford Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre and DEDJTR have begun a process to draft Terms of Reference to commence negotiations on Melbourne becoming the regional headquarters of the Centre in Asia-Pacific;
  • Hadston GDS visited Melbourne in November 2015 to further scope the opportunity for their technology to be applied in Australia as it relates to secure data capture and storage. I met with them as part of their visit program;
  • Digital Shadows will visit Melbourne and Victoria in early 2016 to meet with appropriate agencies and potential partners as it evaluates its next market to establish;
  • Tech Stars have engaged the services of a Melbourne-based consultant to evaluate a business case for entering the Australian market;
  • Cyber London (Cylon Labs Accelerator), Europe's first business accelerator programme focused on cyber security are exploring Victoria as the ideal place to launch a sister programme for their Cylon Labs initiative;
  • Leadership Laboratories are investigating Melbourne as a base for their Australian programmes that help entrepreneurs in large companies develop profitable innovations that create social impact; and
  • Bowater Hologaphics is continuing to work with the London VGBO on scoping potential locations for a market entry strategy in 2016.

Meetings to promote relationship building and business opportunities for Victoria relating to start-ups, entrepreneurism and technology

I visited the Google Campus London and participated in a 'tech-hack' as part of the Talking Peace Festival organised by International Alert. The hackathon was designed to develop technical ideas for building international peace, by bringing together tech entrepreneurs, policy experts and international advocates. The hack was one of several being held concurrently that day with the others in Barcelona, Beirut, Colombo, Derry, Medellin and Washington DC. I instigated a process to examine the possibility of Melbourne being included in next year's hack.

I visited HereEast based at the former media centre of the London 2012 Olympics. HereEast is a significant private sector-led technology, media, education and data development which is being built by a real-estate investment consortium called iCITY. HereEast features three main buildings – the Press Centre with flexible, high-spec workspaces, the Broadcast Centre with a state-of-the-art data centre, broadcast studios, offices and educational space, and the Theatre with auditorium and cultural spaces. I visited HereEast to inspect the UK's most significant technology related urban renewal project and examine policy options relating to the Government's Start-up initiative.

I visited Level 39, which is Europe's largest technology accelerator for finance, retail, cyber-security and future cities technology companies. Located at One Canada Square, Level 39 is a space for early-stage businesses that have potential for high-growth. Companies participating at Level 39 are classified as 'members' and the objectives of the accelerator are to create, test, market and deliver scalable world-class financial, retail and future cities technology products and services. The accelerator does not take equity in member companies, which differentiates it from other similar facilities, and its programs are designed to grow members into larger companies through a staged and supported process. I visited Level 39 on the basis of accessing an internationally renowned incubator and examining the lessons learnt for accessing the applicability in the Victorian context.

Other meetings

I met with the Senior Trade Commission and Commercial Counsel to the United Kingdom for Austrade, Mr David Crook, to promote awareness of Victoria's capabilities and to discuss further areas for collaboration.

I received a detailed briefing from the Agent-General to the United Kingdom for Victoria, and the VGBO London staff, and provided updates on government and portfolio initiatives.

Next steps / follow up

A number of trade and investment opportunities and potential joint research activities arose as a result of the mission and are being followed up by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.The department will continue to liaise with the individual companies and organisations met on this visit to quantify their expected outcomes in terms of potential investment opportunities.

Page last updated: 20 July 2016