The Tasmanian ICT Centre will be extended for a further five years from 2011-12 through a $50 million package to help Tasmania build the skills and tools needed to benefit from the digital age. The Labor Government is investing $40 million in vital research into enabling technologies that will help Tasmania explore possible benefits of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The Federal Government will directly commit $20 million of new money over five years – to be matched by the CSIRO – to continue the Centre’s groundbreaking work. The Tasmanian Government will contribute a further $5 million, including $1.2 million from the Intelligent Island program, which is to be directed to this project under agreement with the Commonwealth. The final $5 million will be raised from industry.
The funding will be used to promote the development of new services that demonstrate the impact and value arising from the wide-scale connectivity provided by the NBN. The Centre will host a node of the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation (ACBI) to leverage the opportunities and benefits that arise from this national platform.
In the Government’s opinion Tasmania is a ‘living laboratory’ of ideal size and scale to demonstrate technologies and to develop solutions with national and international potential.
The Tasmanian ICT Centre was created in 2006 as a research alliance between CSIRO, the Commonwealth Government and the Tasmanian Government with the goal of developing an internationally competitive ICT sector in Tasmania. There is no comparable scheme available on the Australian mainland. Perhaps the mainland does not require skills building and the tools required to enter the digital age.