Tassie gets IT mania

Tasmanian Premier, Jim Bacon, and the Federal Minister for Communications and the Arts, Richard Alston, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the administration of the $40 million Intelligent Island program.

They have also announced the formation of the Intelligent Island Board which will develop, oversee and manage the program. The board will be chaired by Neville Roach, CEO of Fujitsu Australia.

"The Tasmanian Government has spent the past 18 months putting in place the building blocks for a sustainable and vibrant IT&T industry," said Bacon.

"We have established a genuine partnership with the private sector through the IT&T Industry Council, and we have provided tax incentives for new IT businesses and grants to encourage innovation." The state has also developed a $500,000 IT Industry Development Program and over 40 firms are already using the program to develop technical and business management skills.

In a show of confidence in developments happening in Tasmania's IT industry, Brisbane-based QANTM Australia CMC and Tasmanian-based Virtual Magic have launched a joint venture, QANTM Tasmania, in Hobart and Launceston.

QANTM Tasmania aims to build a media content development industry in Tasmania by delivering nationally accredited courses in multimedia and web development, and undertaking the development of multimedia products and services for Tasmania.

Both QANTM Australia and Virtual Magic are providers of multimedia training, production and consulting services. QANTM Australia is owned by five Queensland universities and the Queensland and Northern Territory Governments.

Coinciding with the formation of QANTM Tasmania, Virtual Magic is also establishing a multimedia digital production and training facility in Hobart and Launceston to produce interactive media content.

Expected to be the largest in Australia, the facility will help the company achieve its aim of producing the world's best quality digital content at a sustainable competitive advantage, said Peter Hope, chairman of Virtual Magic. The production facility will be equipped with the latest computers and production systems and will employ approximately 2000 animators over the next five years.

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