Victoria promises new IT strategy focused on start-ups

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Victoria promises new IT strategy focused on start-ups
Adem Somyurek

Jobs creation, broadband high on state agenda.

The Victorian government has offered the first glimpse into its technology agenda since winning power in November, promising a new economic development vision for the state.

Speaking at the AC Events Connect 2015 Conference this morning, the state's innovation minister Adem Somyurek said his government would focus on “supporting the culture and conditions that allow innovative companies to flourish”.

“The Andrews government will develop a new ICT strategy to meet the challenges of Victoria's changing economy,” he promised the Melbourne crowd.

“The strategy will articulate the government's recognition of the significance of ICT to the future growth of the Victorian economy."

He said the upcoming policy agenda would “seek to address unmet demand for high speed broadband, ICT skills and ICT products and services … things that are currently constraining growth across our economy".

One pillar of the campaign will be the establishment of a $60 million fund to nurture business entrepreneurs and help start-ups get on their feet and maximise their chances of success.

Somyurek said if the start-up economy was to meet its potential, Victoria would have to substantially increase the number of innovative businesses operating onshore over the next 10 years.

“This will involve looking at a range of issues including skills and capability development, technology transfers, collaboration and networks...regulatory issues, access to markets, and of course access to finance," he said.

“We will be developing this initiative over the next few months."

The drive to develop Victoria’s digital economy will also be bolstered by the $200m future industries fund the Victorian Labor party took to the election.

The industry development plan is unlikely to have any impact on the government’s own internal IT operations, which faced a new round of criticism from the Auditor-General’s office just last week.

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