Australia to launch research program for digital economy

2013-01-28 08:06:54 GMT2013-01-28 16:06:54(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Australia will tomorrow launch its largest publically-funded research initiative focused on the digital economy and push to create 4 billion (almost 4.17 billion USD) a year in digital services sector by 2025, a statement from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation ( CSIRO) said on Monday.

Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, will officially launch the Flagship at an event in Sydney tomorrow. This will also feature a key-note presentation by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, in his first public appearance in Australia in 15 years.

According to CSIRO, this so-called Digital Productivity and Services Flagship is a 40 million (almost 41.68 million USD) new research initiative focusing on the services sector and optimising the full value of national broadband infrastructure.

CSIRO's National Research Flagship Program was established in 2003. Flagships are large-scale multi-disciplinary research initiatives that harness world-class expertise to tackle domestic priorities.

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, the Director of the Flagship Dr Ian Oppermann said.

According to the plan, 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.

"Australia is faced with the challenge of maintaining a competitive economic edge in an increasingly complex and resource- limited world," Oppermann said. "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." He said.



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