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Friday, 02 October 2009 11:46

Deakin's post-Satyam Geelong prospects bright

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Deakin University remained an attractive potential partner for technology services companies seeking a strong base of operations and should attract an alternate investor to replace the failed Mahindra Satyam venture.

Newly-promoted Parliamentary Secretary for innovation and industry Richard Marles said the pre-conditions that attracted Satyam to Deakin in the first place still existed – and that Geelong and Deakin remained both suitable and viable for such an operation.

Mahindra Satyam announced it would pull out of a $75 million software development project at Deakin that was set to create as many as 2,000 jobs for Geelong. The deal fell flat as the company restructures in the wake of financial accounting scandals that have rocked the IT outsourcer this year.

Deakin administrators have said they continue to work with the Geelong community to identify strong strategic partnerships that would drive employment and opportunities at its two Geelong campuses.

Mr Marles, whose electorate of Corio takes in much of Geelong and borders the Deakin campuses, said the IT sector was well suited to the Geelong commercial and educational environment.

"The conditions that allowed that deal to get up still exist," Mr Marles told iTWire. "You have a very good university, the campus itself is well situated and that type of industry (IT) is very well suited to Geelong."

"Locally there is understandably great disappointment about what has happened … that events beyond anyone’s control in Australia ended up scuttling this venture," he said. "But there is optimism I think that something similar may be able to be done in future."

"Is it possible for another IT company to enter a similar kind of arrangement with Deakin? Deakin are certainly keen to explore what possibilities there are to do that, and both Geelong and Deakin remain a great place to get up venture of that kind."

"Were that to happen, it would be a really important thing for the development of Geelong," Mr Marles said.

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