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Wednesday, 25 August 2010 17:45

Tasmanian Government Innovation Strategy builds on NBN


The NBN's uncertain future notwithstanding, Tasmania's premier, David Bartlett has launched an innovation strategy spanning five sectors of the state's economy but with a strong focus on the NBN and the state's digital economy.

He said the chosen sectors - agriculture, renewable energy, the digital economy, lifestyle and tourism - had been identified by the Australian Innovation Research Centre in its report, An Innovation Strategy for Tasmania A New Vision for Economic Development: Conceptual Overview and Options Outline, presented by Professor Jonathan West in late 2009, and that many of the initiatives had been designed to strengthen and support small businesses.

"Small businesses will be critical to the strategy's success, because they make up 95 percent of private sector employment in Tasmania's food processing and agriculture sectors, and 90 percent in tourism," Bartlett said.

The premier said initiatives to support the innovation strategy,  including those in the 2010-11 State Budget, included, for the digital economy:
- $5.85m over two years for the sector to increase awareness of the opportunities provided by the digital economy;
- $0.6m on a number of strategies to grow awareness levels, including establishing a hands-on digital coaching pilot and a digital tool kit for small businesses;
- $0.25m on research into the impact of the NBN deployment on business engagement in the digital economy and the effectiveness of government programmes;
- $0.4m to migrate key business websites to the Government 2.0 model for online information sharing and service delivery;
- $3.6m for a Digital Futures Capital Fund to fund the development and delivery of digital content, applications and services that add value to businesses and the community engaging in the Tasmanian digital economy;
- a Digital Futures Advisory Council "to bring together world-class expertise to ensure Tasmania capitalises on its digital opportunities;"
- collaborating with industry and TasICT to develop a Digital Economy Industry Strategy (DEIS).


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The $3.6m Digital Futures fund will be used to support the three NBN Stage 1 connected towns to offer in-home eHealth services for chronic diseases, including in-home consultations. The strategy suggests that it could also be used for innovative ideas such as eLearning, smart energy management, culture and entertainment and immersive experiences for the community.

The new Government 2.0 model for online information sharing and service delivery is being adopted by governments across Australia and the Tasmanian Government's $0.4m will be used to migrate key websites, starting with the government's business services sites, to this model.

The migration will incorporate the Council of Australian Governments' Business Online Services initiative, which will interconnect the three levels of government business services from a single web portal.

The Digital Advisory Council will "bring together the experience of world-class practitioners, end-users, and analysts to provide a whole-of-economy perspective on the most beneficial opportunities for the government to pursue in developing the Tasmanian digital economy."


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