"The technology sector must take a leading role in the development of strong pilot applications, as well as helping businesses to understand where growth can be realised today," Birks said. "Initiatives that help individual businesses to expand markets and increase productivity will be the foundation of that work."
He said the government should continue to set up pilot sites and trials such as the eHealth initiative, but should expand these into other areas such as education and local government. However, he added that: "The Government also has a major role to play in the policy environment by removing barriers to innovation and ensuring a vibrant ICT sector is able to assist industry to accelerate engagement."
Birks also renewed calls for the Government to make targeted, strategic investments in digital economy initiatives in the lead-up to the Federal Budget. "There is a huge scope to engage in pilot projects in early release sites, and ultimately a huge return on investment to be made in bringing the NBN to life," he said.
As early release NBN sites approach live dates in townships such as Armidale, Willunga, Townsville and Kiama, AIIA is seeking the involvement of agencies at all levels of government and business to participate in opportunities to pilot applications and technologies that can help transform service delivery.
"AIIA was highly supportive of announcements made last year around incentives to develop healthcare pilots in Armidale but more can be done," Birks said. "I believe we need to specifically move beyond healthcare into areas that include education and e-learning, retail, teleworking trials and a focus on regional and remote Australia."
AIIA says it is "actively promoting government, industry and business engagement, including through the recent NBN Co Industry Briefing Forums and the development of a Digital Economy Toolkit for Queensland Businesses on behalf of the Queensland Government."
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