Tuesday, 22 May 2012 20:35

NSW funding encourages new mobile solutions development

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The New South Wales Government has released a second round of funding under its Collaborative Solutions program, this time putting up $1 million to encourage development of new mobile solutions for the public sector.

Under the state government’s Mobile Government initiative, the NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner, announced at CeBIT today that the funding would be allocated to seven consortiums develop the new mobile solutions.

Mr Stoner said the government would provide the funding to the consortiums that had been chosen from 20 companies which made submissions to its Mobile Government program to develop new mobile solutions.

According to the Minister, new mobile technology solutions to safeguard against museum theft and help rural veterinarians on their patrols are among innovative projects being supported by the government to improve the effectiveness of government services and support growth in the State's digital economy.

The solutions will be trialled with NSW Trade & Investment, which spans government activities from economic development and primary industries to tourism and arts. "This program is bringing together technology consortiums to develop innovative mobile solutions that can drive innovation, productivity and transformation in our public sector.

"It also aims to develop new-to-market technologies that have significant potential to generate commercial success, jobs and exports for our digital economy. NSW Trade & Investment received a total of 20 consortium submissions for its Mobile Government program, which will support up to 30 per cent of project costs to a maximum of $200,000.

 Mr Stoner said that, collectively, the seven successful consortiums expected to invest a total of $4 million in their projects and, over the next three years, create over 200 jobs and $80 million dollars in revenue, including $50 million in exports.

“These seven projects are all led by small-to-medium sized ICT companies but many are supported by multinationals with one supported by the University of Technology, Sydney. These projects will provide a range of technology improvements – digital services to enhance the 21st century visitor experience at cultural institutions; smart camera mobile technology to tackle exhibit theft; mobile location technology to assist biosecurity officers in the field; mobile technology to help streamline trade missions; and a highly scalable infrastructure platform to support development of mobile applications for government.”

The successful consortiums and projects announced by the government are:

•    Project name: Locamate

Consortium partners: Smarttrack RFID Pty Ltd supported by Ramp Holdings Pty Ltd of the University of Technology, Sydney and the Powerhouse Museum.
 
Description: A way-finding system allowing Powerhouse Museum visitors to interactively navigate the museum and access location-specific information on mobile devices. The system, which builds on a previous project at the museum, will also allow staff to intelligently track and analyse visitor numbers and movements to help tailor more successful exhibitions.
 
•    Project name: NSW Government Elastic Infrastructure Platform

Consortium partners: OrionVM Pty Ltd supported by Asterism Digital Pty Ltd and NSW Trade & Investment’s Finance Strategy & Operations branch.

Description: A cloud-based, pay-as-you-go infrastructure platform allowing developers and systems administrators to cost effectively develop and deploy mobile applications for government agencies.
 
•    Project name: Mobile Control Room for Security and Surveillance

Consortium partners: iOmniscient Pty Ltd supported by AnalyticsReady Pty Ltd and the Australian Museum.

Description: A project at the Australian Museum using smart camera technology to automatically send mobile alerts to staff if an exhibit is removed, helping tackle the problem of theft in cultural institutions. Mobile devices will act as security control rooms allowing security videos to be viewed automatically from multiple locations.
 
•    Project name: BigTinCan Dashboard – “Mission Pack” extensions

Consortium partners: BigTinCan supported by NEC and NSW Trade & Investment’s Industry, Innovation & Investment branch.

Description: A customised mobile solution allowing business executives and government personnel on overseas missions to easily and securely share and update large volumes of documents in various formats. The solution also aims to reduce costly data roaming costs by optimising mobile usage during missions.
 
•    Project name: Rural Location Based Services

Consortium partners: Artis Group Pty Ltd supported by BigTinCan Pty Ltd and ICO, a division of Avnet Technology Solutions (Australia), and the Department of Primary Industries’ Biosecurity branch

Description: Development of a system to enable Department of Primary Industries veterinarian officers to easily record location-specific biosecurity data on their mobile devices using GPS when patrolling, to boost productivity and safety. For example, an officer doing a helicopter check of livestock stranded by floodwater will be able to record the type and numbers of livestock and feed it directly back to a central database where it will be immediately available to incident managers.
 
•    Project name: Mobile Multimedia Guide at NSW State Library

Consortium partners: Art Processors Pty Ltd supported by Hewlett-Packard Australia and State Library of NSW

Description: This project will develop a mobile solution that provides an interactive history tour of the Mitchell library allowing visitors, including school groups, to tap into digital archives and location-specific information. The free mobile application will also provide stories about the library’s history as part of personalised virtual tours that can be recorded in an interactive 3D map.
 
•    Project name: Tapit Contentum

Consortium partners: Tapit Media Pty Ltd supported by Microsoft Australia, Samsung Australia and the Australian Museum

Description: This project at the Australian Museum will simplify the creation of mobile content allowing exhibition items to be easily tagged with downloadable digital information including images, video, audio and brochures using near field communications (NFC) and quick response (QR) codes. Users will also be able to purchase items such as catalogues or souvenirs by tapping their mobiles.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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