Sydney (14 November 2022) – Australia is one step closer towards developing its first sovereign capability in the area of critical technology, with the official opening of the nation’s first-ever component-level IT infrastructure manufacturing facility.
Backed by a Defence Department innovation grant, SoftIron today (14 November) opened its Advanced Manufacturing Facility at Botany in Sydney.
The facility is Australia’s first advanced manufacturing hub that produces ICT componentry for SoftIron’s ground-breaking HyperCloud Intelligent Cloud Fabric, the world’s first complete technology for building clouds.
SoftIron is an award-winning IT infrastructure provider that specialises in managing IT security risks by manufacturing and assembling all of its own equipment and offering its customers a unique security verification process.
The opening of SoftIron’s Advanced Manufacturing Facility positions Australia to take advantage of the AUKUS agreement, which will see an unprecedented level of information sharing between the US, the UK and Australia, and their industry partners.
By manufacturing locally, SoftIron all but eliminates the risk of malicious state actors introducing firmware implants or so-called “backdoors’’ into critical information systems.
The Australian Department of Defence has backed the Botany facility through a Sovereign Industrial Capability Grant awarded to SoftIron in 2021.
On 14 November, the Honourable Matt Thistlethwaite, the Assistant Minister for Defence and local member for Kingsford Smith, opened the facility at an event attended by federal and state government representatives, the SoftIron leadership team, and defence, business, and IT industry VIPs.
SoftIron is a venture-backed company founded in 2012. Headquartered in the UK, with offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific, SoftIron established a wholly owned subsidiary in Australia in 2020.
SoftIron Chief Operating Officer, Jason Van der Schyff said recent events had made it clear that onshoring or “friend-shoring’’ ICT supply chains was the only sure way for Australian IT providers to manage their commercial and strategic risk.
“Recent geopolitical events and the deteriorating strategic environment have exposed major weaknesses in global supply chains, particularly in the area of critical technology,” Mr Van der Schyff said.
“Aside from exposing Australian companies to an unacceptable business risk, our reliance on foreign-manufactured componentry has increased the risk of malicious state actors introducing covert hardware or firmware during the manufacturing process.
“Unlike manufacturers who rely on opaque supply chains for their componentry, SoftIron offers total transparency of the design and manufacturing of hardware and software supply chains in its HyperCloud IT infrastructure,” added Mr Van der Schyff.
Through a verification process called Secure Provenance, select SoftIron customers can audit products from end-to-end to ensure they are delivered precisely as designed and specified.
The approach makes HyperCloud an ideal fit for enterprises, government and defence organisations that are especially concerned about protecting sensitive data.
“We are seeing other Western nations like the United States move toward supply chain security in the area of critical technology with initiatives like the Chips Act,” Mr Van der Schyff said. “SoftIron is ahead of the curve here in Australia by identifying the looming challenge and putting in place capabilities to meet it.’’
In addition to its ongoing collaboration with the Australian Government, SoftIron’s current Australian customers and channel partners include (but are not limited to): Baidam Solutions, Deep Recognition, JEM Computer Systems, NCI Australia, Real World Technologies and Servers Australia.