Industry responds to Government’s call to demonstrate digital confidence - 26 Aug 2009

Following the release of the Government's ‘Australia's digital economy: Future Directions' paper, The Australian Industry Group and IBM Australia released a blueprint outlining what Australia needs to do to enter the next growth phase and build a more sustainable economy.

‘Towards a Smarter Economy: A roadmap for making it happen', summarises the discussions between forty of Australia's senior public and private sector leaders, who met on 30 April in Sydney at the Australian Leadership Forum (ALF). The Blueprint also proposes a roadmap for developing Australia's intelligent infrastructure over the next ten years.

Hosted by IBM and the Ai Group, The ALF provided a platform for delegates from organisations including Climate Action Australia, Energy Australia, Telstra, Medibank Private Limited and the Department of Broadband Communications and Digital Economy, to explore solutions to the pressing systemic issues hampering Australia's productivity and the creation of a digital economy. Discussions focussed on the telecommunications, transport, energy and water sectors, and the substantial economic benefits of building intelligence into these systems.

Heather Ridout, Chief Executive, Ai Group, said: "We welcome the Government's commitment to the rollout of the National Broadband Network. The release of this Blueprint illustrates the real benefits that can be gained at the intersection of all industries - not just within one industry - from a focus on the digital economy.

We look forward to continuing to work together to advance this agenda further." Glen Boreham, Managing Director, IBM Australia and New Zealand commented on the level of consensus reached at the ALF: "Despite the diversity of their agendas, the scientists, engineers, business leaders, environmentalists and policy makers at the Forum reached a clear consensus: Australia needs to merge its physical infrastructure, of roads, airports and buildings, with the digital infrastructure of broadband, the internet and data centres.

"This will create digitally aware roads, water networks, energy grids, health systems, cities and buildings - giving Australia an intelligent infrastructure that can collectively support pressing national objectives, such as improving our global competitiveness or reducing carbon emissions targets," said Mr Boreham.

A full copy of the Blueprint: ‘Towards a Smarter economy: The roadmap for making it happen can be downloaded from

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