NSW announces digital economy taskforce and $3 million Interactive Media Fund at Pearcey Awards

12 October 2011

The NSW Government has announced an Industry Taskforce to develop a Digital Economy Industry Action Plan for the State and $3 million over two years to support creative digital content projects.

Speaking at the 2011 NSW Pearcey Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said NSW is committed to working with industry to grow the State's digital economy.

"I am delighted to announce an industry-led Digital Economy Industry Action Plan Taskforce to work with the NSW Government to develop a 10 year Digital Economy Industry Action Plan for our State," Mr Stoner said.

"The Digital Economy Industry Action Plan will provide a strategic long-term vision for our digital economy, including regional perspectives, to identify and harness future growth opportunities while addressing identified challenges."

The Digital Economy Industry Action Plan will focus on subsectors expected to support long term productivity and innovation growth and export opportunities including: digital content and applications; information services and analytics; and smart networks and intelligent technologies.

Wider industry and public input will be sought in developing the Digital Economy Industry Action Plan through metropolitan and regional forums, online consultations, and a formal request for submissions.

You can register your interest by following the Industry Action Plan link at www.business.nsw.gov.au/iap.

Also announced by the Deputy Premier was $3 million over two years for an Interactive Media Fund to support NSW creative digital content, including electronic games and transmedia projects.

"In May, I announced funding for 20 creative digital content projects under the Digital Media Initiative which received strong endorsement from peak bodies including the Games Developers Association of Australia, the Independent Games Developers Association, and the Screen Producers Association of Australia," Mr Stoner said.

"We are refining the Digital Media Initiative to reflect its alignment with industry priorities and have invested $3 million in the new Interactive Media Fund.
"The Interactive Media Fund represents a renewed focus on interactive content, a key element in digital innovation with the ability to benefit other sectors such as health, finance and education.

"We're also increasing the amount of enterprise funding available under the Interactive Media Fund from $100,000 to $250,000 to better help expanding companies bring in specialist skills to work across complex projects."

More information on the Interactive Media Fund can be found on the www.business.nsw.gov.au website.

Members of NSW Digital Economy Industry Action Plan Taskforce

  • Glenn Wightwick (Chair), Director of IBM Research and Development Australia
  • Tom Kennedy, Executive Director, Group Digital Services at Omnilab
  • Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer.com
  • Deena Shiff, Group Managing Director of Telstra Applications & Ventures Group
  • Peter Birk, Executive General Manager of Ausgrid
  • Jennifer Wilson, Director of The Project Factory
  • Dr Michelle Deaker, Managing Director and Managing Partner of OneVentures Pty Ltd
  • Dr Alex Zelinsky, Group Executive of Information Services at the CSIRO
  • Robyn Elliott, Chief Information Officer for Foxtel.

Mr Stoner congratulated the joint winners of the 2011 NSW Pearcey Award, entrepreneurs and photonics experts Simon Poole and Steve Frisken of Waterloo-based Finisar Australia.

"Finisar Australia is a world leading manufacturer of wavelength selective switches for optical communications networks that employs over 350 staff, with annual export revenues of over $150 million," Mr Stoner said.

"The nine other finalists inducted into the Pearcey Hall of Fame for their contributions to our ICT industry are also to be congratulated.

"These individuals are contributing to a dynamic and strong digital economy which will be essential for driving our State's economic growth into the future."