Change Starts in Sydney: Unveiling the Innovation Powerhouse of Tech Central

16th October 2023

Conferences are conduits of knowledge and innovation when met with a solid ecosystem of academia and business. Sydney, with its dynamic fusion of talent, cutting-edge tech facilities, and stunning natural surroundings, has emerged as the ideal destination for hosting global tech and innovation-focused events. At the heart of Sydney's tech landscape lies Tech Central, a dedicated tech precinct that is setting the stage for groundbreaking business events and conferences.

Words Vicky Koffa

A Beacon for Global Innovation

Tech Central isn’t just any tech hub; it’s a leader in international tech advancements and a prime choice for hosting business events in the tech and innovation sector. With a 15-year growth plan estimated at a staggering AU$68 billion, Tech Central is a testament to Sydney’s commitment to nurturing innovation to improve society. Its central location within one of the world’s most culturally diverse and liveable cities makes it an attractive draw for the world’s most progressive innovators.

The precinct’s visionary leader, Annie Parker, the inaugural Executive Director of Tech Central, envisioned it as “the world’s most inclusive, welcoming, sustainable, and creative innovation district on the planet”. This vision is quickly becoming a reality as influential companies, startups, scaleups, and unicorns gather at Tech Central to share ideas and drive transformative change.

Prominent tech giants, including Atlassian (with its sustainable 40-storey hybrid timber skyscraper) and AfterPay, have made the monumental decision to relocate their global headquarters to Tech Central, signaling the precinct’s magnetic appeal. Notable entities such as the Sydney Quantum Academy, the Space Industry Hub, Canva, Rokt, Zip, and SafetyCulture further contribute to the vibrant ecosystem.

A Hub for All: From Startups to Scaleups to the Big Players

Tech Central isn’t exclusively reserved for industry giants; it’s also a nurturing ground for startups and emerging tech scaleups. The Tech Central Scaleup Hub, spanning 8,000 square meters over six floors and operated by Stone & Chalk, provides affordable office space for startups and essential innovation businesses. This hub is where innovative ideas take root and promising businesses thrive.

Sydney’s strength lies in its vast talent pool. With 314,000 tech professionals and a pool of 160,000 STEM graduates, Sydney offers a remarkable talent pipeline. Additionally, the presence of two of the world’s top 200 universities (the University of Sydney and the University of Technology are within walking distance on the premises of Tech Central) underscores the city’s commitment to education and knowledge growth. More than 150 research facilities and a large number of co-working spaces add the finishing touch to form an all-inclusive tech habitat where progress is an everyday achievement. It’s no wonder that Sydney has been ranked the number one tech startup ecosystem in the Southern Hemisphere.

“The really wicked problems facing the world are not solved by technology alone. They’re solved by people doing business together, working together, researching together, procuring together, investing together. Ultimately, people are what drives innovation and drives transformative change, both in Sydney, in Australia, and globally,” says Sally-Ann Williams, CEO of Cicada Innovations, Australia’s leading deep tech incubator which has helped more than 350 companies commercialise scientific innovation.

Tech Central’s remarkable growth hasn’t gone unnoticed by the government. A substantial AU$3.2 billion in early-stage government investment has been channeled into the precinct, including funds for affordable spaces at the Sydney Startup Hub and the Tech Central Scaleup Hub. The New South Wales Government’s Tech Central Research and Innovation Infrastructure Fund, contributing AU$8 million, will further advance innovation and research in the area. This significant support reflects Sydney’s standing as a city worthy of substantial and ongoing investment.

Atlassian HQ ©SHoP Architectss

Innovation, Accessibility & Diversity that Attract Conferences

Sydney’s thriving tech ecosystem is attracting global attention. The prestigious Austin Texas conference, South By Southwest (SXSW), an iconic event on the tech and creative calendar, chose Sydney as its host, for the first time since 1987. This decision underscores Sydney’s growing reputation as a hub where brilliant minds can converge, collaborate, and collectively drive innovation forward.

Tech Central’s strategic location, spanning approximately six square kilometers with Central Station at its heart, facilitates easy movement for event attendees. Whether you prefer walking, riding, public transport, or driving, Tech Central’s well-planned roadways and scenic paths ensure seamless connectivity.

What’s more, in an industry where diversity has often been a challenge, Tech Central is making a stand for change. Diversity there goes beyond gender; it embraces First Nations peoples, migrants, those in regional areas, and individuals with disabilities. The precinct actively collaborates with organisations like the New South Wales Indigenous Chamber of Commerce and Indigitek to ensure diverse voices are heard. Empowering diversity is a central principle, with initiatives like affordable office spaces for those from low socio-economic backgrounds and a commitment to accessibility for all. This includes wheelchair accessibility, prayer rooms, feeding rooms, childcare, and more.

In essence, Tech Central is not just a tech precinct; it’s a symbol of innovation and collaboration. With its vibrant tech community, world-class facilities, and unwavering government support, Sydney is poised to lead the way in shaping the future of technology and innovation on a global scale. Change truly starts in Sydney, where ideas become reality, and innovation thrives.

For more information on Technology and Innovation in Sydney visit

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