A technology cluster aimed at supporting and strengthening government ICT industries in Australia will inject $150,000 into the industry in 2010, with a commitment for a further $100,000 per annum through to 2011-12.
The e-government cluster is a partnership between National ICT Australia (NICTA), the ACT government, several major international companies, ACT companies and other research organisations including the ANU.
It aims to develop technology that will enable governments to deliver better services, reduce costs and open up new opportunities for businesses.
Launched as part of the ACT Government’s Business in Focus Month, the cluster is recognition that technology will play an ever-increasing role in government systems and business processes, said deputy chief minister Katy Gallagher, who announced the program.
“Governments around the world recognise that they must embrace technology in their in order to meet the increasing expectations of the community, as well as to reduce costs,” Ms Gallagher said.
NICTA’s acting CEO, Dr Phil Robertson, said that there was growing awareness that advanced ICT is transforming the way in which government and business services are delivered.
“Internationally, in leading economies it is commonly recognised that around 40 per cent of productivity growth can be attributed to the use of advanced ICT. The technology cluster initiative will help increase efficiency and position Australia more competitively.”
NICTA received many expression of interest in the cluster from large organisations, according to senior researcher Dr Jonathan Gray.
“We are confident that, with this support, we can now make a significant contribution to e-Government practice in Australia,” he said.
NICTA has has been worked with several government agencies in Canberra around IT systems performance and processes, including the Department of Innovation, the Department of Health and Ageing, the Australian Research Council and IP Australia.
Gallagher said the cluster has the potential to make Canberra the e-government centre of the country and the region.