A new report was released today urging South Australian industries to invest in information and communication technology (ICT) to underpin the state's strong economic growth.
The report, Information and Communication Technology - Driving Growth for South Australia, has been developed by the Information Economy Advisory Board, in cooperation with industry, and by the Minister for Science and Information Economy, Paul Caica at the third Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) Symposium in the series, `ICT in South Australia - Where to From Here?'
Caica said the ICT report was the result of more than a year of surveys and focus groups conducted by the Information Economy Advisory Board with the ICT sector, other industry sectors and universities.
"We now have a plan of action which we will take forward over the next year in partnership with industry, industry associations, R&D institutions and across government," Caica said.
"The SA Government will immediately adopt the two key initiatives that have been overwhemingly identified by industry as the most important in catalysing the new directions."
These include pilot grants program to fund testing of new technologies developed by SA companies for use by government, as part of the CIO Innovators' Program.
The $100,000 grants program will be designed to encourage government agencies to work on innovative projects with local ICT companies. A call for applications will be made in March 2008, to be reviewed by a panel of government and industry representatives.
Another recommendation is a series of host forums structured to stimulate thinking around the innovative application of ICT in the research, private and public sectors.
ICT people in the industry, government, educational institutions and other industry sectors were given the opportunity to voice their opinions in an extensive consultation process that included face-to-face interviews, a public online survey and two forums.
Professor Chris Marlin, Chair of the IEAB, said that ICT will help address the challenges facing the state, particularly as ICT has the ability to drive growth and innovation across all industries, not just within the ICT sector.
"Our intent is not to come up with a silver bullet, but to use the ICT Blueprint as a platform for transformation, and for continuing consultation, " Professor Marlin said.
"We can only achieve this through collaboration between the ICT industry, other companies who can exploit ICT in their sector, research institutions and Government."
Recommendations under consideration include a business plan competition for final year students and more support for doctoral research as well as a plan to counteract a shift of manufacturing production to Asia by fostering new export markets in Hong Kong, China, Korea and other Asian centres, which represent large populations of consumers of ICT products and services.
An initiative is also being developed to increase the number of women and school leavers entering the ICT industry.
The ICT report can be accessed from the web. Please complete the feedback form available on
The Information Economy Advisory Board (IEAB) was established in 2003, with a broad responsibility to provide strategic advice to the Minister to maximise the benefits to the state of its participation in the information economy.