Mike Cannon-Brooks to help link Australia’s burgeoning tech sector with India

Billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes will lead a high-level dialogue between leading figures in Australia and India in New Delhi later this year in an effort to grow links between the countries’ technology sectors.

His software company Atlassian is being unveiled on Tuesday as the new partner with the prestigious Australia-India Institute, led by former Labor senator Lisa Singh.

Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.Credit:Wolter Peeters

Cannon-Brookes and Singh will co-chair the invite-only event in September, which will gather 50 of the two countries’ leading minds in the fields of government, business and academia.

This year’s dialogue will focus on national security but also tech, including digital health services, medical technology, clean energy technology and developing tech talent.

Cannon-Brookes, Australia’s third-richest person and known for his interventions on climate change policy in Australia, said the partnership was a no-brainer for his global software company, which he founded in Australia.

“India is not only Atlassian’s fastest-growing [research and development] site, but our fastest growing talent location since opening our office in 2018,” he said.

“This is an important partnership for us as we continue to invest and grow our ambition in such a key tech market.

Singh said Cannon-Brookes’ partnership was unprecedented for the Australia-India Institute.

This would have to be a first for an Australian tech company to proactively demonstrate its support for closer ties with India,” she said.

“The Australia-India tech story has not yet been fully told,” Singh said. “Yet the innovation and growth for both countries are immense.

“This 2022 Australia India Leadership Dialogue can act as a game-changer for the future Australia-India technology footprint.”

NASSCOM valued India’s tech industry at more than $227 billion dollars (AU$315 billion) for this year with around 5 million people working in the country’s sector.

The Australian Tech Council, of which Atlassian is a founding member, said in a recent report the Australian tech sector contributed $167 billion to Australia’s GDP in 2021, and employs 861,000 people.

However, just $76 billion was calculated as coming directly from tech companies, compared to the $92 billion the council said came from the tech sector indirectly.

India’s High Commissioner to Australia Manpreet Vohra and Australia’s High Commissioner to India and former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell will both attend Tuesday’s announcement in Canberra with Cannon-Brookes and Singh, along with the new assistant foreign affairs minister Tim Watts.

Australia India Leadership Dialogue was previously sponsored by Anthony Pratt’s Visy Industries. The partnership with Atlassian will also include next year’s dialogue, which will be hosted in Australia.

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