Implementation of Preparing for Australia’s Digital Future

The National Committee for Information and Communication Sciences (NCICS) is working on three focus areas, from the recommendations in Preparing for Australia’s Digital Future.

1. Making the case for digital innovation as a national science priority 

Research into the fundamental aspects of digital technologies is underrepresented in the Australian research landscape. In an increasingly digital global environment, Australia must recognise digital innovation as a central, yet independent, sector that warrants research investment to ensure Australia remains competitive as digital nation. 

In collaboration with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, the National Committee for Information and Communication Sciences is preparing a policy document to summarise the key ideas in support of recognising ‘digital innovation’ as a national science priority for research investment.  

2. Identify and break down systemic disincentives for transdisciplinary and translational work 

Establishment of a "consortium/group" of IT adoption/diffusion researchers/practitioners from across the ICS disciplines (and the country) as a focus on ICS research innovation, translation and training i.e. focused on existing ICS, new, reused, at different development phases (innovation to maturity) and implementation at different levels of scale and scope (very small to very large organizations, vertical industry sectors, simple to complex supply chains, government/NGO/commercial etc.). 

We see a natural alignment with current discussions in Focus Area 3 regarding the leverage of the expert database extension and promotion to support these activities.  

The sector has also undergone significant staffing and budgetary changes in 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19, including Senate approval of the Federal government’s “JobReady” legislation. This provides an opportunity and impetus to develop multi-university systemic approaches to transdisciplinary and translational research and teaching. 

3. Support the university-industry interface 

Australian universities and industry organisations can benefit from a greater level of collaborations and making research competencies across the Australian digital sector more readily accessible to accelerate innovation across all sector.  The National Committee for Information and Communication Sciences is pursuing practical ways in which such collaboration can be improved and has responded to specific initiatives of the government in relation to the improved university-industry collaboration. 

The National Committee for Information and Communication Sciences focusing its effort to the development and expansion of database of experts who can contribute to the broader challenges faced by Australia and to allow such research competencies across the Australian universities and other organisations be more readily accessible.  The committee has also identified the need for a systematic, longitudinal study of evolving and maturing state of university-industry collaboration across Australia and welcomes the recent proposal from the government to establish a survey aligned with this focus. In addition, the committee has been looking at mechanisms and processes to assist researchers to form better relationships with industry.  

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