The Victorian Government today unveiled its new $85 million plan to support continuing growth, development and global competitiveness in Victoria’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector, and promote ICT-enabled innovation across the economy.
The plan fulfils the Government’s election commitment to implement a new ICT plan in collaboration with industry, and establish firm targets for ICT skills development, investment and export and the development of ICT infrastructure in Victoria.
Speaking at the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Symposium in Melbourne today, Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips said the ICT plan aimed to build Victoria’s capability to support the application of ICT in other industries.
The Government recognises the key role ICT plays in contributing to a competitive, productive and growing Victorian economy, building on Victoria’s reputation as a leading centre for ICT.
“The ICT plan will support the sector in overcoming current and future challenges, while promoting ICT-enabled innovation more broadly across Victorian industry and generating opportunities from technology convergence,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
A key component of the ICT plan is the $11 million Digital Futures Fund which supports collaborative projects in the ICT sector and with other partners to develop emerging ICT capabilities in Victoria.
The Technology Trade and International Partnering Program will provide assistance for export-ready Victorian companies to attend recognised overseas ICT trade fairs and participate in trade missions.
The $18 million Broadband Enabled-Innovation Program will provide grants to innovative projects to develop new ways of working and improving service delivery in business, government and the community through the use of high-capacity broadband.
An investment of around $2 million in a suite of ICT skills initiatives, in partnership with industry and the education sector, will deliver targeted programs for the continued growth of ICT in Victoria.
“Our vision for the future is to bring together the transformative power of the major technology platforms – biotechnology, ICT and small technologies – to unleash greater innovation and wider economic benefits.
“It is this approach which will not only propel results for our ICT sector, but also help to drive enable growth, productivity and competitiveness in other industries through the adoption of technology,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
Victoria’s Technology Plan for the Future – Information and Communication Technology is the third of a suite of technology statements to support Victorian technology industries and technology-enabled innovation, with others including Biotechnology and Small Technologies.
This brings the Government’s commitment to developing Victoria’s technology sector to $150 million.