Federal research organisation CSIRO has pulled together a range of projects into a concerted, $40 million initiative aimed at boosting Australia’s services sector.
The so-called Digital Productivity and Services Flagship was launched today by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and W3C director Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
Flagship director Dr Ian Oppermann said it would initially target smart infrastructure, health, public and private sector services, with a view to adding $4 billion a year to Australia’s economy by 2025.
He told iTnews that funding would go towards putting CSIRO resources – including mathematics, statistics, signal processing and wireless experts – on specific projects, and collaborating with other research organisations and the industry.
Existing Flagship projects involve athelete tracking company Catapult Sports, internet service provider iiNet and IBM.
Minister Conroy highlighted a 2012 Deloitte report that expected two thirds of Australian industry sectors to be significantly changed by digital technologies in the next five years.
"If we are to compete internationally to maintain a high-wage, high-skilled economy, we need to be at the forefront of digital innovation," he said.
“This Flagship will contribute to the economy through real and measurable improvements to the services sector. Australia depends on such improvements and efficiencies to continue to prosper.”