Home' Ballarat Enterprise : Enterprise Edition 15 Contents Technology enterprises great and small are
attracted by the multi-faceted benefits of operating
from a regional base.
The University of Ballarat's Technology Park is
ideally positioned to take advantage of this
increasing migration of entrepreneurial 'tree-
Park director Mal Vallance is masterminding an
expansion strategy around this convergence
of tech-based enterprises to Ballarat. "As the
largest technology park in regional Australia, we
are focused on maintaining growth in order to
advance the economic, social and educational
opportunities for our University and our region,"
The Park is currently home to nine buildings
housing more than 30 enterprises. The existing
workforce of 1,400 sited on the Park is expected
to rise to 2,000 within the next two years, with
plans on the board to create a further 1,500 jobs
over 10 years.
As an example of growth, Mal highlights iconic
Park tenant IBM. "The IBM Data Centre opened
its doors in 1995 with 80 people and has been
a cornerstone of the Park's success since".
Other IBM business functions include software
development, call center and managed business
In addition, IBM occupies the most recent Park
development, the IBM IT Services Centre in
University Drive. Opening with 35 people in
December 2009, it now houses 130 employees
and the company is assessing additional business
functions for relocation to the site.
Further demonstrating the significance of the Park,
Mal cites the broadening responsibilities of the
Emergency Services Telecommunication Authority
(ESTA), a respected park tenant. "ESTA have
recently added Victoria Police D24 Triple Zero call
taking and dispatch services to their current fire,
ambulance and State Emergency Service portfolio.
As a result, ESTA staff numbers are expected to
double in the next 12 months".
The burgeoning advancement of the Park has led
to plans for further expansion. "Ongoing market
demand from both small and large enterprises,
and an intention to diversify business activity in
the Park, means we cannot rest on our laurels,"
explains Mal. "We are engaging all our energies
in cultivating exciting transformations within the
The Park's Greenhill Enterprise Centre and Global
Innovation Centre are swelled to capacity with
'incubating' businesses and small to medium
enterprises (SMEs). To accommodate the
growing ranks of flourishing organisations, further
development is planned including the conversion
of under-utilised space and a proposed extension
of the GEC building.
Mal is passionate about supporting SMEs
into maturity. "It is part of our role to help
enterprises explore the far-reaching development
opportunities available to them and provide
them with the physical, technical and academic
resources they need to propel themselves to
The university is also investigating a proposal
to broaden the Park's boundaries by a further
18 hectares, enabling at least another seven
customised building sites to be developed. "The
highly attractive economic and lifestyle benefits of
moving their operations and staff to the Park are
tangible to many enterprises," suggests Mal.
While the spirit of innovation and entrepreneur-
ship is alive and well at the Park, Mal is seeking
to diversify its core business. "The reality is that
ICT (Information and Communication Technology)
is underpinning other industry sectors, enabling
the park to explore its options. We've earmarked
bio-tech and 'Clean-tech' alternative energy
companies as key players into the future and are
currently in negotiations to engage some exciting
"The Park is an excellent example of what can be
achieved through vision and hard work", enthuses
Mal. "The next phase of growth and development
will be a highly productive and exciting period"
Ballarat Park leads the way in technology
Minister for Skills and Workforce participation, Jacinta Allan with
from left, Chancellor Robert HT Smith, Peter Campbell, IBM and
Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Battersby at the opening of the
new IBM Services Centre.
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