Melbourne was ranked as Australia’s top ‘tech city’ and 14th in the world offering the infrastructure, business environment, talent pool and lifestyle.
Savills’ Tech Cities 2017 report revealed that Melbourne’s offerings make it a strong base for tech companies in Australia, and while US cities like Austin San Francisco and New York were at the top of the Tech Cities rankings, Melbourne’s liveability placed it, among other cities like Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Toronto, above more established global tech rivals.
Savills National Head of Research in Australia Tony Crabb said the elevation of `liveable’ cities in the rankings centred on their strong performance in terms of ‘buzz and wellness’, factors that were likely to prove increasingly important to the tech industry in decisions on where to locate and on attracting future talent.
Melbourne was ranked eighth on that index.
“That single factor may well prove, more than any other, the most critical factor in further establishing and maintaining Melbourne‘s pre-eminence in what is increasingly one of the most important employment and growth industries in the country,’’ Mr Crabb said.
The report defined ‘buzz’ (nightlife, entertainment, culture) and ‘wellness’ (pollution levels, quality of parks, healthcare, commuting times) and the cost of living in each location to create a specific ‘city buzz and wellness index’.
It noted that given the increased focus on physical and mental wellbeing among the latest generation of workers, it could come to dominate their decision-making.
Savills Director of Worldwide Occupier Services Nicky Wightman said providing an environment which enables tech companies and start-ups to plug straight into the infrastructure and funding they need to be a success is an important part of any tech city.
“However this alone won’t necessarily make them attractive destinations. Young tech talent increasingly want to live in dynamic, healthy neighbourhoods within walking or cycling distance of the office.
“Cities that deliver those environments are therefore likely to consolidate their positions as destinations for tech talent and occupiers who want to attract the best staff,’’ Ms Wightman said.
The report’s release follows the Victorian Government’s recent announcement that Texas-based software firm, AgileCraft, would open its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Melbourne.
AgileCraft Chief Executive Officer Steve Elliott said Melbourne’s emerging tech sector and close proximity to Asia made it a perfect location to set up its regional headquarters and expand throughout the Asia Pacific region.
“We consider ourselves to be an innovative company at AgileCraft and the Victorian Government made it clear to us that it is trying to attract innovative businesses to the state, so we look forward to being a part of the Victorian technology ecosystem,” Mr Elliot said.