CSIRO launches major research into Australia’s digital economy

CSIROAustralia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has today launched its Digital Productivity and Services Flagship, Australia’s largest ever publically-funded research initiative focused on the digital economy, in Sydney.
Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has today launched its Digital Productivity and Services Flagship, Australia’s largest ever publically-funded research initiative focused on the digital economy, in Sydney.

The Digital Productivity and Services Flagship, CSIRO’s tenth National Research Flagship, is a $40 million research initiative focusing on the services sector and optimising the full value of national broadband infrastructure. Launched today by Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy, CSIRO intends for this new national research push to create $4 billion a year in digital services by 2025.

Director of the Flagship Dr Ian Oppermann says the new Flagship is focused on helping Australia transition from being a predominantly resource-focused nation by developing and delivering more efficient and innovative digitally-enhanced services.

“Australia is faced with the challenge of maintaining a competitive economic edge in an increasingly complex and resource-limited world,” Dr Oppermann says. “Our labour productivity has declined from around 92 per cent relative to the US in 1998 to around 84 per cent in 2010, meaning Australia’s economic prospects beyond the current resources boom will deteriorate significantly if the decline in our productivity growth performance is not reversed.

“A successful digital economy is essential for Australia’s economic growth and to maintain our international standing.  The services sector represents about 80 per cent of Australia’s GDP, so if we are to help Australia grow, we must help businesses and government deliver services in new, faster and better ways.

Dr Oppermann says the Flagship has the potential to transform a range of areas – from the way health services are delivered to the way banks manage their funds.

“By investing in our services sector we aim to help Australia remain competitive in the global economy, now and into the future. We are looking forward to working with our government and industry partners to help Australia grow through the digital economy.”

The Flagship will initially focus on four key research areas:

  • Government Services – develop efficient and effective information use, government services and systems through improved decisions, coordination and customer centricity.
  • Commercial Services – with a strong focus on financial services, develop efficient and effective commercial services and systems through better use of capital and improved service delivery models and processes across supply chains.
  • Smart, Secure Infrastructure – extending and securing Australia’s physical and cyber infrastructure, including the extension of wireless broadband services.
  • Health Services – improving the safety, quality and efficiency of health services for all Australians by delivering technology in partnership with all State Health Departments.

 For more information on CSIRO's Digital Productivity and Services Flagship click here.

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