IBM Australia launches ‘Economic Benefits of Intelligent Technologies’ report conducted by Access Economics - 27 May 2009

Key Findings from the report:

Some of the key findings to be drawn from the Access Economics report include:

  • Smart systems offer the most promising path for Australia to lift its long-term economic growth potential.
  • Adopting smart technologies in electricity, irrigation, health, transport and broadband communications will quickly increase GDP by 1.5% within ten years, increase the net present value (NPV) of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $35-80 billion over the first ten years, and add more than 70,000 to the economy in 2014 alone1.
  • Smart systems will contribute to efficiencies and increase production throughout the economy - not just in the five areas selected.
  • Technological advancement lifted economic performance in the mid-1980s and through the 1990s. Smart technologies offer another significant opportunity to lift Australia's long term growth rate and standards of living.
  • Access Economics found the benefits will be greatest if smart technologies are complemented by reforms involving suitable pricing and access regimes.


  • Smart grid technologies provide the potential to significantly improve efficiency in the electricity sector through better monitoring and control of the energy network as a supply chain through to end users.
  • Investing $3.2 billion in smart grid technology over seven years will:

o lower electricity use by 4%

o increase the NPV of GDP by $7-16 billion over ten years

o create 17,600 jobs


  • Adopting smart systems through the irrigation areas of the Murray-Darling Basin will:

o reduce water use by 15%

o increase the NPV of GDP by $420-670 million over ten years

o create 800 jobs (due to the low-labour intensity of agriculture)

  • If implemented across all Victorian irrigation districts, smarter water could save 400 million cubic metres of water (160,000 Olympic size swimming pools) per year.


  • The health sector is currently almost 10% of the national economy, a figure set to grow steadily as the population ages and health costs rise. Thus, any improvements in delivering health services will yield substantial gains to the national economy.
  • Investing $6.3 billion in an integrated national electronic health records system will:

o increase the NPV of GDP by $6-13 billion over ten years

o create 12,000 jobs


  • Intelligent Transport System (ITS) technologies have the potential to address a range of transport issues, in particular helping to: improve safety, efficiency and competitiveness; and reduce environmental impacts.
  • Adopting ITS technologies will:

o increase the NPV of GDP by $12-26 billion over ten years

o create 30,000 jobs

Broadband communications

  • The NBN will open up new ways of communicating and delivering services whether by business, individuals or government. It will also allow the data from smart systems to be used more effectively.
  • It is understood that the NBN will provide fibre-to-the-home on a scale never seen anywhere before in the world, so there is insufficient data to quantify the economic benefits of this rollout. Instead, Access Economics has estimated the benefits of a less ambitious agenda: investing $12.6 billion in national fibre-to-the-node broadband. This would:

o increase the NPV of GDP by $8-23 billion over ten years

o create 33,000 jobs by 2011


For full report Click Here

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