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Ballarat ICT 2030: A Strategy and Plan for the Future


Project Team Prepared by: Centre for Informatics and Applied Optimization (CIAO) Centre for Regional Innovation and Competitiveness (CRIC) Centre for eCommerce and Communications (CeCC)

Project Team: Associate Professor John Yearwood (CIAO Project Leader) Professor Julian Lowe (CRIC) Helen Thompson (CeCC Project Manager) David Lynch (CRIC) Kate Martin (CIAO)

With support from: Dr Patrice Braun (CRIC) Wayne Hurst (CIAO) Andrew Macleod (CeCC) Eugene Kneebone (CIAO)

Date of Report: September 2007

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Executive Summary Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are transforming economies and society, and this transformation is happening at an increasing rate. The Ballarat ICT 2030 strategy seeks to build on past successes and position Ballarat as a leading international Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centre. The ICT 2030 strategy represents a joint undertaking by Ballarat ICT Ltd. (previously cBallarat), the City of Ballarat and the University of Ballarat to develop the next generation strategy for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Ballarat region.

The Ballarat ICT 2030 strategy recognises ICT’s potential as a driver of economic and social development in the region.

Ballarat will capture such benefits through fostering an

environment that encourages new investment, business start-ups, sophisticated research and the rapid transfer of new ICT knowledge and innovations.

The ICT 2030 strategy also

recognises the need to encourage greater adoption and advantageous use across all business sectors and the wider community.

The ICT 2030 strategy builds on its predecessor, Ballarat IT 2010, which supported the region’s ICT developments since its inception in 1994. During this time, Ballarat has grown its ICT capability through a number of initiatives, highlighted by the development and growth of the University of Ballarat Technology Park and local enterprises that constitute the region’s nascent ICT cluster. Ballarat now has the highest proportion of ICT employees in regional Victoria and the third largest in regional Australia.

The ICT 2030 strategy is based on emerging trends and opportunities and the developing resources and competencies of the Ballarat ICT Cluster. The speed of technological and economic change is happening so fast that whole industries are shifting the basis of their competitiveness and organisation, and new social phenomena are emerging.

The rapidly changing technologies of wireless, quantum computing and knowledge based software are creating new opportunities and new models of value that the Ballarat ICT cluster will need to confront in an agile and flexible manner.

The ICT 2030 strategy highlights the

need for Ballarat to migrate to a more competitive, innovative and sustainable structure. The strategy recognises that the most important resources for the future competitiveness of Ballarat are the knowledge assets generated from the activity of a growing ICT cluster and the foresighted support of the community, government, institutions and businesses.

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BALLARAT ICT 2030 VISION: Ballarat will become acknowledged internationally for the strength and innovativeness of its ICT industry, the strategic use of ICT by lead users in the region, and the rapid diffusion and effective use of new technologies by its community. The ICT 2030 vision has been translated into the following eight strategies, with each supported by a number of strategic actions.

Strategies

Strategic Actions 1.

Laying the foundations and improving the infrastructure

2.

3. Improving the skills

4. 5. 6.

Leveraging the strengths

Raising the profile and demonstrating the value

7.

8. 9.

Establish Ballarat ICT with its primary purpose being to ensure that all agencies, organisations and groups that exist to foster regional development and represent the interests of the Ballarat ICT community are actively committed to and involved in realising the direction and projects of Ballarat ICT 2030 and for the conveying of these to the community. Pursue partnerships with governments, telecommunications providers and others to ensure Ballarat achieves its strategic requirements for the delivery and maintenance of world's-best infrastructure. Develop, attract and retain the ICT talent that the Ballarat region needs to prosper. Deliver IT and business graduates who are work-ready with adaptable knowledge, skills and competencies. Through research and other partnerships foster regionally useful and relevant research and knowledge transfer. Build local, regional and international linkages to support achievement of the Ballarat ICT 2030 goals. Work with State and Federal governments and the University to accelerate establishment of ICT spinout enterprises from the University and other organisations. Strengthen Ballarat's reputation by actively promoting and branding Ballarat as dynamic and vibrant ICT centre. Develop and implement measures to ensure the vision of Ballarat ICT 2030 is owned by the whole community.

Working together

10. Establish niche areas of focus and build 'laboratory' and 'test bed' activities. 11. Identify opportunities for producing competitive advantages through widespread adoption of ICT across Ballarat’s major industry sectors.

Building critical mass and attracting investment

12. Continue to support the development and growth of the Ballarat ICT Cluster but develop policies to expand both its depth and breadth. Continue to encourage interaction between participants. 13. Attract new ICT businesses to the Ballarat region.

Creating and accessing new knowledge

14. Facilitate new industry based research partnerships and programs. 15. Identify and exploit ICT niche areas where Ballarat can achieve competitive advantage.

Giving something back

16. Foster innovation through projects which focus on the application of ICT to achieve social, environmental and sustainability goals. 17. Ensure all Ballarat citizens are given the chance to participate in the connected ICT age.

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The strategy takes a staged approach to the development of ICT in Ballarat. The first stage of the strategy includes two parts – enabling and strategic measures. Initially, the strategy concentrates on the strategic enablers which constitute the factors which are necessary, but not sufficient, to development of a dynamic ICT cluster. The second part is the development of the cluster through a number of strategies and actions that will provide Ballarat, not just with the foundations of a dynamic cluster, but with real difference and distinctiveness in the nature of what happens to ICT in Ballarat. The impact of Stage 2 will be to create a dynamic ICT Cluster in Ballarat by 2012. This is a Cluster, which will be export oriented, innovative and will serve as a benchmark for other regional clusters nationally and internationally.

The final stage is more speculative, but it involves building on the advantage of the dynamic ICT Cluster in 2012 and taking Ballarat forward to 2030 when the Cluster and the region are recognised for their strong international ICT presence, the rapid diffusion of new technologies and for state-of-the-art application of ICT in tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, health, education, and other leading industries.

ICT 2030 paints a picture of rapid and sometimes uncertain change.

Ballarat has been

fortunate to have had entrepreneurial and forward looking local leadership that has guided policy and action. This needs to be continued and reinforced. The road ahead is an exciting one, but Ballarat cannot take its early advantage for granted. Increasingly other regions and towns are seeing the opportunities for development from ICT. Whilst Ballarat will gain from this, it is also sometimes in competition with these locations. Through a mix of mobilising disparate resources, promoting collaboration, identifying trends and initiating action, Ballarat ICT can make a real difference. But we will have to run fast just to keep up, and faster and smarter to stay ahead.

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Acknowledgments The University of Ballarat ICT 2030 Project Team thank the many individuals and organisations that have contributed to the development of Ballarat ICT 2030: A Strategy and Plan for the Future. We recognise and acknowledge the support provided from the following groups: ƒ Ballarat ICT Ltd (previously cBallarat) and the Ballarat ICT 2030 Working Group ƒ University of Ballarat Technology Park Advisory Group ƒ City of Ballarat - Major Business Units ƒ Victorian Government - Multimedia Victoria (MMV) and Regional Development Victoria (RDV) ƒ Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Series participants and attendees ƒ University of Ballarat ICT Experts from the School of ITMS and School of Business ƒ All other members of the Ballarat community who participated in the strategy’s development (refer to Appendix 1 for further details)

We also thank the following groups for hosting Briefings on the Ballarat ICT 2030 project: ƒ Committee for Ballarat ƒ Blueprint Ballarat Community Committee ƒ Central Highlands Mayor’s and CEO’s forum ƒ University of Ballarat Technology Park Executive Network

We also thank participants in the following parallel events: ƒ Women in Information Technology Luncheon hosted by Multimedia Victoria, VicIT and University of Ballarat ƒ ICT Listening Forum for Small to Medium Enterprises hosted by cBallarat ƒ Youth Panel and Forum on ICT hosted by Lead On and City of Ballarat Youth Services

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Table of contents: 1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Background and context ______________________________________ 4 1.1

What is ICT? _________________________________________________ 5

1.2

IT2010 ______________________________________________________ 5

1.3

Ballarat’s ICT - ready for take off? _________________________________ 7

Purpose and scope of the Ballarat ICT 2030 strategy ______________ 10 2.1

Local governance of strategy ____________________________________ 11

2.2

The policy context ____________________________________________ 12

2.3

Report structure ______________________________________________ 13

Research methodology and assembling the data _________________ 14 3.1

Consultation _________________________________________________ 15

3.2

Data collection and analysis_____________________________________ 16

3.3

Expert opinion _______________________________________________ 17

3.4

Creative thinking______________________________________________ 17

Global ICT developments and trends ___________________________ 18 4.1

Growth and development of ICT: A global comparison ________________ 19

4.2

The next twenty five years in ICT _________________________________ 22

4.3

Global ICT trends and Implications _______________________________ 23

4.4

ICT: History and Future ________________________________________ 23

4.5

Expected developments within a 20 year time horizon ________________ 25

4.6

Economic, social and business trends _____________________________ 30

4.7

Rise of developing and transitional economies ______________________ 32

4.8

Implications of trends for Australia and Ballarat ______________________ 32

4.9

Uncertainties that might affect these trends _________________________ 35

Where is Ballarat as a vibrant and dynamic ICT centre? ___________ 36 5.1

Industry profile _______________________________________________ 36

5.2 University of Ballarat Technology Park _______________________________ 41 5.3

Ballarat ICT Cluster ___________________________________________ 42

5.4

Recognition of potential ________________________________________ 43

5.5

Critical mass_________________________________________________ 45

5.6

Level of employment __________________________________________ 46

5.7

Locational benefits ____________________________________________ 49

5.8

Industry champions ___________________________________________ 51

5.9

Entrepreneurship _____________________________________________ 52

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6.

7.

8.

5.10

Financing ___________________________________________________ 53

5.11

Information networks __________________________________________ 54

5.12

Education, research, development and commercialisation _____________ 55

5.13

Physical infrastructure _________________________________________ 56

5.14

Main outcomes of the consultation process on where Ballarat is now _____ 57

5.15

What Ballarat ICT looks like now _________________________________ 61

Ballarat’s ICT Vision _________________________________________ 65 6.1

Migrating to a new future _______________________________________ 65

6.2

Sustaining and growing a competitive ICT industry in Ballarat___________ 66

6.3

The vision and strategic intent ___________________________________ 66

The Strategy _______________________________________________ 68 7.1

Laying the foundations and improving the infrastructure _______________ 71

7.2

Improving the skills____________________________________________ 76

7.3

Leveraging the strengths _______________________________________ 79

7.4

Raising the profile and demonstrating the value _____________________ 81

7.5

Working together _____________________________________________ 84

7.6

Building critical mass and attracting investment______________________ 87

7.7

Creating and accessing new knowledge ___________________________ 88

7.8

Giving something back _________________________________________ 90

7.9

Ensuring community-wide ownership of Ballarat ICT 2030 strategy ______ 92

7.10

Phase two __________________________________________________ 94

Managing the change ________________________________________ 97

List of references __________________________________________________ 99 Appendix 1 – Consultation process __________________________________ 101 Appendix 2 – Ballarat ICT firms _____________________________________ 106 Appendix 3 – Ballarat ICT sector survey ______________________________ 107 End notes _______________________________________________________ 120

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List of tables: Table 1 - Business use of the Internet and web sites - Australia and selected countries (2004-05) ....... 19 Table 2 – Australian business use of selected ICT technologies (2004/05) ............................................ 20 Table 3 - Summary of significant technology trends ............................................................................... 32 Table 4 - Summary of significant economic, business and social trends ................................................ 34 Table 5 - ICT achievements in Ballarat ................................................................................................... 40 Table 6 - University of Ballarat Technology Park employees as at December 2006............................... 42 Table 7 - ICT location quotients – specific occupations (selected Victorian regions) .............................. 47 Table 8 - Provincial Victorian locations with highest and least appeal (Melbourne residents)................. 49 Table 9 - The changing focus of strategy ................................................................................................ 97

List of figures: Figure 1 - Report structure ...................................................................................................................... 13 Figure 2 - Research development ........................................................................................................... 15 Figure 3 - Contribution of GDP (ICT and selected industries) ................................................................. 18 Figure 4 – Share of global GDP (%): emerging and developed economies ............................................ 32 Figure 5 - Size of local ICT businesses................................................................................................... 36 Figure 6 - Years operating in the Ballarat region..................................................................................... 37 Figure 7 - ICT sector representation ....................................................................................................... 37 Figure 8 – Industries targeted by local ICT companies ........................................................................... 38 Figure 9 - Sales revenue of respondents (2005/06)................................................................................ 39 Figure 10 – Market focus of local ICT companies ................................................................................... 39 Figure 11 – Distribution of ICT employment in the Ballarat Region......................................................... 46 Figure 12 - ICT location quotients (selected regions).............................................................................. 46 Figure 13 - ICT employment per 1,000 labour force ............................................................................... 48 Figure 14 - Achieving the vision: Ballarat's projected ICT employment levels ........................................ 67 Figure 15 - Ballarat ICT 2030: strategic framework................................................................................. 69

List of profiles: Profile 1 - Ballarat Technology Park........................................................................................................ 41 Profile 2 - Ballarat ICT Cluster ................................................................................................................ 43 Profile 3 - Aviarc...................................................................................................................................... 51 Profile 4 – Information City Australia ....................................................................................................... 53 Profile 5 – Earn as you Learn.................................................................................................................. 56 Profile 6 – Staley and Associates............................................................................................................ 62 Profile 7 – JustSys .................................................................................................................................. 62 Profile 8 – IBM ........................................................................................................................................ 63 Profile 9 – Netconnect............................................................................................................................. 64 Profile 10 – B&D Technologies ............................................................................................................... 64 Profile 11 – Issy-les-Moulineaux ............................................................................................................. 82

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1.

Background and context

Information communications technology (ICT) has changed how we view and use information and services, and its effects will accelerate as it becomes embedded in work, leisure and the provision of goods and services.

It will have an increasingly

pervasive influence on our economic and social development.

In Australia, 5 percent of GDP is

accounted for by the ICT industry, and ICT generated productivity gains are around 1.3 percent

More than two billion people now use cell phones. We send nine trillion emails a year. We do a billion Google searches a day, more than half in languages other than English and by 2030 personal computers will have the processing power of the human brain.

per annum, although they are much higher in some industries than in others. ICT is a truly strategic industry; its management at an enterprise, local and national level is of crucial importance for economic and community well-being. This report examines important trends, uncertainties and linkages to the future development and growth of Ballarat, and proposes a strategic plan for the City that will consolidate its position as a regional centre for ICT and provide a platform for its future global competitiveness.

This strategy builds on Ballarat

IT2010 – a strategy that supported the early growth of ICT in the City.

ICT is recognised as a driver of economic growth.

It can improve the efficiency and

sometimes the competitiveness of its users, and as an industry in its own right has considerable economic potential. Ballarat’s industry base is changing rapidly; the role of manufacturing is declining and at the same time, the City has higher than average unemployment, particularly among its youth. As a growth industry, ICT has the potential to reduce these disadvantages and create dynamic and sustainable growth in the City through developing a ‘cluster’ of ICT organisations. The Ballarat ICT Cluster, including suppliers, users, research, training and ancillary industries, is at a critical stage of development. With the growth of collaboration, the attraction of new capital and talent and pressure from competition and demanding consumers, the ICT Cluster can underpin much of the future growth of the region. This strategy provides signposts to how that can be achieved through the growth of the ICT industry itself, and through the rapid adoption of best ICT practice by our individuals and the community.

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1.1

WHAT IS ICT?

For the purposes of this strategy, we adopt the ABS (2005) definition of ICT as: ‘The technologies and services that enable information to be accessed, stored, processed, transformed, manipulated and disseminated, including the transmission or communication of voice, image and data over a variety of transmission media. ICT incorporates: Software, Hardware, Data, Communications and E-Business by: •

Users and producers;

Maintenance and technical support;

Research, design and development; and

Training, sales and vendor support …

in large, medium, small, public and private organisations.’

These definitions are fluid in the context of a 25 year strategy for ICT. Already the definition is limited because of convergence of traditional technologies and digital technologies, for example, in film, media and photography and in the application of virtual reality in surgical procedures. Also adding to the ambiguity of ICT is the pervasiveness and ubiquity of ICT devices whereby computer controlled processors are key components of many other products. Finally, the integration of ‘business processes’ into traditional ICT firms like IBM which now generates only 50 percent of its worldwide revenues from hardware and software, leads to a decline in traditional ICT employment.

1.2

IT2010

Despite being developed at a time when the use and proliferation of ICT was far less than it is today, many of the broad objectives of the Ballarat IT2010 strategy are still pertinent to the 2030 strategy. The mission of Ballarat IT2010 was - ‘By the year 2010, Ballarat will be recognised as a primary Australian focus area that has contributed to Victoria becoming the heart of the information industry in the Asia-

The Ballarat development board have directed their attention towards the development of an IT industry development strategy… [they] have elected to utilise this window of opportunity to their best advantage (excerpt Ballarat IT2010).

Pacific region’.

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A major factor influencing the 2010 strategy document was the Victorian Government’s establishment of a major IT Centre in Ballarat to supply computer processing and other services for the Public Transport Commission and VicRoads. It was thought that the Centre had the potential to underpin the development of a sustainable, world-class information technology industry focused on Victoria. IT2010 was based around the perceived need for rapid action to be taken in order to consolidate and enhance such a ‘first step’. The broader IT2010 strategy was primarily about facilitating, catalysing, networking and brokering new opportunities; the strategy recognised the need to broaden the ICT industry in the region and minimise leakages. The IT2010 strategy suggested encouraging linkages between the IT industry and local industry so that local enterprises could benefit from the use of a wide range of embedded IT services. Two goals for the region were: •

‘To establish a firm base of public and private IT industry in the Ballarat region that is focused, export oriented, and complementary to the overall growth of the region and state.’

‘To provide facilities to the rest of Victoria that will enhance the growth of an internationally competitive Victorian IT industry, and highly cost-effective international best practice in the use of IT by industry and Government.’

Ballarat IT2010 highlighted the following themes that needed to be fostered and developed in order to realise the goals for the region: •

Entrepreneurial culture

Quality skills in a changing industry climate

An environment that supports innovation

Sustainable employment

Export markets

Research and development, and

Infrastructure

To capitalise on competitive advantages that existed at the time, strategic resources were to be concentrated on the following four IT market segments: •

Interactive Multimedia

Geographic Information Services

Health Sector IT

Government and Private Sector IT Outsourcing

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The ICT industry in 1994 was in transition. ICT manufacturing was increasingly migrating offshore, major ICT companies like IBM and DEC were being restructured, the potential of the Internet was in its infancy, and Google was still four years away.

There was a lack of

evidence on the impact of ICT on productivity. But the future was an ICT future, and IT2010 acknowledged the importance of this notion. Spurred on by a number of key individuals, strong public advocacy for Ballarat, the growth of Ballarat’s higher education sector and some strategic government investments, ICT in Ballarat prospered. Ballarat became the regional Victorian centre for ICT with over 40 percent greater penetration of the ICT industry than other major Victorian regional centres (i.e. Bendigo and Geelong).

1.3

BALLARAT’S ICT - READY FOR TAKE OFF?

In 2007, Ballarat has over 80 ICT suppliers including IBM, an iconic and progressive multinational that over the past decade has increased its investment in the region.

There are approximately 15 ICT

companies that have spun-out from the University. Ballarat’s strong manufacturing, education and health sector provides some significant users of ICT services.

Some

of

these

organisations

significant ICT employers in their own right.

Strategic location, high technology infrastructure, excellent health and education facilities and a mature and diverse economic base, make Ballarat the place to invest in provincial Victoria (Business Ballarat, 2007)

are Significant investment by government has

provided major ICT communications infrastructure potential with high capacity optical fibre connections for the region.

The Earn as you Learn scheme involving the University of

Ballarat and IBM is an example of an innovative training program.

But the significant progress that has been made is still fragile.

Other regional towns like Wollongong

and Newcastle have overtaken Ballarat’s ICT progress as an ICT centre. The Indian sub-continent has become a booming ICT cluster that increasingly dominates the industry worldwide. In Europe, ICT has taken off in some regions – Ireland for example, but others progress has been slower, e.g. Wales and

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that! The Red Queen (Lewis Carroll - Alice in Wonderland)

Hungary. The competition for the ICT dollar has intensified, and while Ballarat has made great progress, it is some way off from take-off. In this industry, the strategies of one region are quickly copied. Innovators have to run faster just to stand still. There is no scope for complacency; Ballarat must consolidate and then grow its position through aggressive but targeted investment in capital, technology and people.

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A major regional strength identified in the City of Ballarat’s Economic Development strategy is the evidence of local innovation, with particular reference to the ICT sector and the University of Ballarat Technology Park. This emerging sector has

gained

considerable

momentum

and

widespread recognition over recent years through the attraction of major industry players to Ballarat and through the commercialisation of local

$2 million boost for Ballarat Technology. The new centre will help consolidate Ballarat’s proud title as a world class high tech business investment location… In truth, the establishment of the Business Enterprise Centre will have been an all-round community effort, (Office of the Minister for Industry Science and Technology, May 1996).

innovation (City of Ballarat, 2006).

The University of Ballarat Technology Park was identified as a significant asset throughout the ICT 2030 consultation process, confirming its position as a strategic resource for innovation related activities.

It was launched in February 1995 as a first step towards

implementing a strategic initiative for the region to promote and develop regional technology companies. The Park is located on a 29-hectare site within the University’s Mount Helen Campus. Signature buildings have been established as follows: •

IBM (1995)

Greenhill Enterprise Centre (1998)

State Revenue Office (2002)

Global Innovation Centre (2003)

IBM – Regional Software Solutions Centre (2003)

Rural Ambulance Victoria (2004)

ID Research (2005)

Emergency Services Telecommunication Authority (2006)

Dr Stan Jeffery, Director, University of Ballarat Technology Park identifies ‘We are attracting companies to join this technology hub as the result of our cost-effective building developments, access to highly skilled and experienced research scientists, technical staff and graduates together with the global network linkages’.

The close proximity to the

Melbourne CBD and the airport, combined with a rural lifestyle also makes Ballarat a desirable location to live and work.

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Over the last decade, Ballarat’s position and potential as an ICT centre has been recognised at all three levels of Government. The recent launch of the Ballarat ICT Cluster project is an example of a concerted effort between the State Government, Ballarat ICT Ltd and the City of Ballarat to develop the local ICT sector.

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Ballarat has an innovative ICT industry, supported by state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure (Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Marsha Thomson, 29 November 2005)

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2.

Purpose and scope of the Ballarat ICT 2030 strategy

Ballarat is committed to extending the City’s focus for ICT from 2010 to 2030.

While

significant advances in technology have occurred since 1994, what has not changed is Ballarat’s commitment to being a leading regional centre for ICT.

The aim of a strategy is to identify how an organisation or community can organise and allocate resources to generate successful and sustainable performance through offering value to clients and stakeholders in ways that are superior to its competitors. A good strategy needs to be forward looking, flexible and dynamic with clearly identified pathways for implementation.

In the context of the ICT 2030 strategy, it is about identifying and creating sources of differentiation and distinctiveness that provide value to potential investors, citizens, entrepreneurs and researchers. In a competitive environment where many regions compete for the ICT dollar, Ballarat needs to find ways that give it a distinct competitive advantage, attract scarce talent, provide a compelling reason for new companies to invest and existing ones to grow, so that Ballarat becomes a preferred location for producers and users of ICT in business and the community.

If ICT is a primary driver of economic growth, employment creation and social development, then it is imperative that it is at the centre of the City’s innovation and industrial policies. To ensure continuity, the ICT strategy should link into the overall strategic plan for the local economy and community, but it also needs to be flexible and ambitious enough to take advantage of new opportunities and if necessary help instigate systemic change – change that may affect the City’s overall strategic direction and focus.

Building on its achievements and reputation, Ballarat ICT 2030 proposes a strategy that aims to: •

Establish Ballarat as a globally competitive ICT centre.

Provide an ICT and associated infrastructure that facilitates the development, adoption and use of ICT to achieve productivity gains, innovation and differentiation of products and services.

Increase the competitiveness of the local economy by developing appropriate linkages between the ICT cluster and other industries.

Facilitate the growth of existing ICT businesses and support the start-up of new ICT businesses.

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Actively attract new ICT and ancillary businesses that will help develop and grow the ICT industry and cluster.

Attract and retain ICT talent in Ballarat and facilitate funding and collaboration to enhance research capability.

Acknowledge the diversity in the community and provide opportunities for citizens from all backgrounds to participate and develop in the digital community.

2.1

LOCAL GOVERNANCE OF STRATEGY

How does a City, community or municipality achieve these aims? In a market economy, local authorities make only a minority of regional economic investment decisions, the rest are made by the private sector or by State or Federal Governments. Nevertheless supportive planning, land zoning, marketing, advisory policies, and a well thought out and aspirational strategy can be a trigger to dynamic development from relative small but well leveraged investments. The OECD (2006) reports that areas where governments are most involved, are in ICT skills and employment development, broadband provision and competition in ICT markets. Policy areas where government is showing increasing interest include technology diffusion to business, trust on line, specific government development projects and intellectual property rights. At a national level, the regulatory environment is also an important consideration.

The City of Ballarat needs to act as a catalyst and challenger for the local ICT sector. It needs to encourage – or even push – companies to raise their aspirations and move to higher levels of competitive performance. Government cannot create competitive industries – only companies can do that.

The specific levers Local Government can use in collaboration with other public bodies include: •

Championing, encouraging and facilitating the establishment of hard infrastructure including available bandwidth and wireless, and soft infrastructure including information and interpretative centres, investment and business planning support;

Encouraging the personal development of its citizens in the ethical, creative and entrepreneurial aspects of ICT;

Fostering the adoption of new technologies by industry and the broader community;

Engaging and supporting public-private partnerships;

Leveraging financial and planning support to help existing companies grow and develop;

Working with training and educational institutions to develop training for ICT workers and users;

Using business incubators to facilitate start-ups; - 11 -

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Promoting the region to the rest of the world and developing a strong and ICT supportive identity;

Being active in instigating and supporting collaborative partnerships and networking;

Establishing land and precincts that are conducive to the growth of ICT clusters;

Being an exemplary and leading user of ICT; and

Listening to the community to identify its future role.

2.2

THE POLICY CONTEXT The policy approach for the ICT industry needs to evolve... Traditional industry policy approaches targeted at specific sectors or groups of firms are insufficient to address the longer-term issues facing the industry. The focus needs to be on ensuring that the broad policy environment encourages innovation and risk taking, stimulates the growth and globalisation of new firms, and fosters the widespread use of ICT to achieve productivity benefits and other broad national objectives. Enabling Our Future (2004) p. 19

A number of Local, State and Federal documents, inform the policy context for Ballarat ICT 2030. Local policy is contained in Blueprint Ballarat (2004), City of Ballarat Economic Development Strategy (2006) and IT strategic documents - Ballarat IT2010 (1994) and Ballarat the Connected Community: Building on the IT2010 Strategy (2002). State policy is contained in Growing Tomorrow’s Industries Today (2001), Connecting Victoria: A Progress Report 1999-2002 (2002) and Victorian Government ICT Industry Plan 2005-2010 (2005). Federal policy is contained in Enabling Our Future (2003) and Australia’s Strategic Framework for the Information Economy 2004 – 2006 (2004).

State and Federal policy emphasise the following themes, which are consistent with local policy: •

The importance of world-class ICT infrastructure and capabilities.

The notion of ICT not as an entity in and of itself, but moving more toward being a more integral and integrated system underpinning or providing the foundation for literally everything else.

The need for leadership by all levels of government in order to build the profile of ICT and its role in achieving objectives.

The importance of research and development.

The importance of attracting and retaining experts and other skilled employees.

The need for Infrastructure development, which incorporates broadband connectivity and security. - 12 -

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•

The development of a culture of risk-taking and innovation including opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

2.3

REPORT STRUCTURE

The Ballarat ICT 2030 Strategy consists of seven sections. The structure of the report is demonstrated below.

Figure 1 - Report structure

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3.

Research methodology and assembling the data

The research underpinning the strategy development involves developing an understanding of a number of critical aspects that are implicit in the task of planning for the future. These are: •

Understanding the desires and intentions of the community and stakeholders.

Understanding the social, business and ICT context sufficiently to determine what goals are reasonable, given the desires and intentions.

Determining what needs to be done to achieve these goals.

The approach taken in this instance was to undertake: •

Consultation - both wide ranging and intensive consultation with the community and stakeholders.

Obtain expert opinion – on ICT and on ICT business.

Gather data on ICT and ICT business performance at the global level, the national and regional level and analyse this data to provide a sound context and insight for moving forward.

Explore possible scenarios and creatively look for opportunities that connect well with the plausible ICT and business development trajectories and the aspirations of stakeholders.

The four components of this approach are described in Figure 2. Consultation, Data Analysis, Expert Opinion and Creative Thinking, and are brought to bear on the central requirement of generating a strategy to achieve goals and targets alongside the major trends.

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Figure 2 - Research development

Creative thinking

Expert opinion

Trends & strategic directions

Consultation

Data analysis

3.1

CONSULTATION

The University of Ballarat’s multidisciplinary Project Team led an extensive consultation process to engage key stakeholders, State and Local Government, local businesses, established networks, ICT firms, local experts and members of the broader community in examining important trends, uncertainties and linkages to the future development and growth of Ballarat.

Specific activities included regular communication through the local media,

desktop research, web-based surveys, face-to-face interviews, panel events, workshops and briefings.

Over a period of approximately four months, members of the Project Team provided a diverse range of opportunities for organisations and individuals to reflect on how ICT 2030 could best provide a framework from which to develop ICT capacity, investment and employment opportunities critical to Ballarat’s future. More than 220 individuals were directly engaged in considering the future through ICT 2030 activities, with the Ballarat ICT website (www.ballaratict.com.au) utilised as a key mechanism for information collection, collation and dissemination.

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3.2

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

Throughout the development of the Ballarat ICT 2030 strategy, data from a number of primary and secondary sources were collected and analysed.

Primary Data The project’s primary data derived from an online survey, which was distributed to ICT companies in the Ballarat region (refer Appendix 3 for a copy of this instrument). The major purpose of this survey was to identify priority areas for the future development of Ballarat’s ICT industry and to assess the region’s current ICT resources and capabilities. The survey instrument consisted of three sections: 1. Ballarat ICT Perceptions and Aspirations; 2. Organisational Characteristics; and 3. Business Growth.

The sample frame for the survey consisted of approximately 100 ICT companies based in the Ballarat region. Each company was initially invited by letter and e-mail to participate in the study during November 2006. Three reminder emails were sent to each member over an eight-week period. The final response rate to the survey was 23 percent. The Project Team also identified 22 entities within the sample frame that were either no longer in operation or servicing the Ballarat area. The major findings from the study are presented in Chapter 5 of this Strategy.

Secondary Data Secondary data relating to ICT trends and developments on a local, state, national and global level were obtained through analysis of existing strategies, publications and industry research. The data was primarily sourced from public policy, industry associations, industry statistics, scholarly publications and research undertaken during the initial phase of the Ballarat ICT Cluster project.

This process ensured that the Ballarat ICT strategy was

developed in context with the strategies of other regions and global ICT trends and developments. This process also enabled the Project Team to identify potential drivers for a successful Ballarat ICT 2030 strategy.

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16


3.3

EXPERT OPINION

The research team used industry experts and reports to identify future movements in ICT and the economy.

This represents an important balance to the consultation process where

typically businesses and organisations can take a fairly short-term view of potential changes in ICT. Our experts represented a diverse group of ICT sectors and users. Some of this opinion was also captured in specialist websites focused on ICT innovation, e.g. Gartner and McKinsey & Company. The experts provided opinion and judgement on future trends and their views were balanced by those of other stakeholders in the process. This diversity of opinion was important in the development of a broad view of the future.

3.4

CREATIVE THINKING

In a problem as open as ‘Determining an ICT strategy for a whole City and region’ it is understandable that there will be few certainties in terms of causes and effects. It would therefore be unwise to be completely predictive about actions and outcomes. Having to interpret the outcomes of the consultation process to understand the aspirations and desires of the community is just one part of this problem. The integration of these particular directions into the local context, the national and global contexts that comes from the literature involves an iterative process of discussion and ideas formulation.

In the end, the process of

formulating a strategy has to be informed by a creative process of generating ideas around the best options for the countless ways of proceeding. The creative process used in this strategy begins in the consultations themselves, settles with the researchers and in the end will be further developed by the implementers of the strategy.

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17


4.

Global ICT developments and trends

Whilst individual segments of the Australian ICT industry have achieved global success, and ICT adoption by business in Australia is at a relatively high international level, ICT growth has fallen to approximately the same as that for GDP. The Australian Computer Society, in a submission to the Commonwealth Government into Australian Technological Innovations notes that ‘Compared to other OECD countries, Australia has been spectacularly unsuccessful in producing, commercialising and marketing… innovations. …this is reflected in (at 2005) an (ICT) trade deficit of $19 billion’ (Australian Computer Society, 2005). Much of this reflects increasing reliance on hardware imports but also signals an absence of large Australian ICT firms. With much of the intellectual property residing overseas, Australia has become significantly technologically dependent on foreign technologies. Even when Australia achieves a major breakthrough, there is the risk that the dominant global players will poach the innovations and/or innovators. Ori Allon, for example, the developer of an advanced text search algorithm called Orion, developed specialised IT skills, capabilities and knowledge at Monash University and the University of NSW, before being persuaded to join Google in California.

According to the ABS in 2002-03, ICT accounted for $36.2 billion or 4.9 percent of GDP in Australia and 13.8 percent of total investment by Government and industry. It made a greater contribution to the economy than the agriculture, forestry and fishing, defence and education industries. Research undertaken by the Australian Government in 2005 found that 85 percent of productivity growth in the manufacturing sector, and up to 78 percent in the services sector, was technology related. This highlights the importance of the ICT industry to the overall productivity of the national economy and its role as a fundamental driver of employment. Figure 3 - Contribution of GDP (ICT and selected industries) 8.0%

7.4%

Contribution to GDP (%)

7.0%

6.4%

6.0% 5.0%

4.4%

4.0% 3.0% 2.0%

4.8%

4.9%

5.0%

3.3% 2.0%

1.0% 0.0% Personal & other services

Government administration & defence

ICT

Construction

Source: 2002-03 ICT Satellite Account, Australian Bureau of Statistics

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18


4.1

GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ICT: A GLOBAL COMPARISON

Over a period of around 35 years, ICT has become an integral part of the fabric of everyday life. The National Office for the Information Economy (2002) notes that almost all businesses use computers and access the Internet. Increasingly, most have some sort of web presence, either directly or through a community portal. According to the OECD (2005), Australia has one of the highest rates of ICT diffusion among developed countries (refer Table 1).

In the fields of finance, communications and electronics its impact has been

substantial, whereas in the primary industries its diffusion and therefore impact is limited (DCITA 2003). Table 1 - Business use of the Internet and web sites - Australia and selected countries (2004-05) Proportion of businesses using the Internet Japan 95.5%

Proportion of businesses using broadband Korea 92.2%

Proportion of businesses with a web site Sweden 82.1%

Denmark

97.4%

Canada

81.7%

Denmark

80.9%

Iceland

97.1%

Denmark

79.8%

Japan

78.4%

Finland

97.1%

Sweden

74.7%

Finland

75.4%

Belgium

96.0%

Spain

71.6%

Germany

72.4%

Sweden

95.9%

Finland

70.9%

Austria

70.8%

Germany

94.1%

Australia

70.4%

Iceland

68.5% 67.6%

Korea

94.0%

Belgium

69.9%

Belgium

Canada

93.9%

Norway

90.3%

United Kingdom

66.3%

Austria

93.7%

Austria

54.8%

Netherlands

65.5%

Switzerland

92.0%

Netherlands

53.7%

Switzerland

64.0%

Australia

91.9%

Germany

53.6%

Canada

63.9%

Ireland

91.8%

Italy

51.3%

Norway

61.5%

Czech Republic

90.1%

France

49.1%

Czech Republic

60.9%

Mexico

90.0%

Portugal

48.6%

Ireland

59.5%

Netherlands

88.5%

Mexico

45.6%

Luxembourg

58.4% 53.3%

Italy

87.4%

United Kingdom

44.1%

Korea

Greece

87.4%

Luxembourg

39.1%

Australia

52.5%

Spain

87.4%

Czech Republic

38.0%

Mexico

52.5%

United Kingdom

86.6%

Switzerland

37.0%

Greece

49.0%

Norway

85.5%

Ireland

31.5%

Slovak Republic

46.7%

Poland

85.0%

Poland

27.8%

Italy

44.1%

Luxembourg

85.0%

Slovak Republic

24.8%

Poland

43.8%

New Zealand

84.3%

Greece

20.6%

New Zealand

41.7%

France

82.9%

Iceland

19.9%

Spain

39.7%

Hungary

77.5%

New Zealand

Hungary

34.7%

na

Portugal

77.3%

Hungary

na

Portugal

29.4%

Slovak Republic

21.3%

Japan

na

France

26.3%

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006) Note: Australian data in this table are from the 2004–05 BUIT survey, however, the scope has been adjusted to provide estimates for businesses with 10 or more persons employed only.

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19


As indicated by Table 2, in terms of industry-specific ICT usage of Australian businesses, computer and Internet usage is highest within the electricity, gas and water supply and cultural and recreational services industries. The majority of businesses within other industry sectors do not have a web presence or place orders via the Internet, while only a relatively small proportion of businesses receive orders via the Internet. At the State level, Victorian businesses trail most of the other states in terms of computer and Internet adoption and placing or receiving orders via the Internet. However, a relatively high proportion of Victorian businesses do have a web presence (30 percent). Finally, a comparison of capital areas and other areas (i.e. regional) indicates that metropolitan businesses are more likely to be adopting these ICT technologies. Table 2 – Australian business use of selected ICT technologies (2004/05)

Internet use

Web presence

Placed orders via the Internet

Received orders via the Internet

97%

90%

43%

51%

14%

Cultural & recreational services

97%

90%

50%

46%

20%

Wholesale trade

95%

87%

44%

45%

24%

Finance & insurance

95%

85%

28%

38%

9%

Property & business services

95%

89%

33%

45%

14%

Health & community services

94%

80%

19%

36%

4%

Mining

92%

88%

38%

36%

6%

Manufacturing

88%

75%

38%

35%

18%

Construction

84%

66%

11%

20%

7%

Retail trad

84%

73%

24%

27%

10%

Communication services

84%

62%

19%

28%

10%

Transport & storage

82%

67%

16%

21%

12%

Personal & other services Accommodation, cafes &and restaurants

82%

66%

25%

24%

11%

77%

62%

31%

23%

16%

Northern Territory

95%

83%

28%

39%

16%

South Australia

92%

82%

31%

37%

16%

Tasmania

92%

86%

28%

40%

18%

ACT

92%

84%

28%

44%

20%

Queensland

90%

80%

29%

35%

13%

Western Australia

90%

76%

26%

29%

12%

Victoria

89%

75%

30%

32%

12%

New South Wales

87%

75%

23%

31%

10%

Capital areas

89%

78%

29%

34%

13%

Other areas

87%

74%

22%

30%

10%

Computer use Electricity, gas & water supply

Industry:

State:

Region:

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006)

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20


An important aspect of ICT is that its influence seems to be related to the distinct stages through which ICT technologies have passed; the mainframe, PC, and Network computing eras have all been associated with periods of growth followed by a levelling off as industry ‘digests’ (Farhoomand 2005) the technologies. Hence, whilst new ICT investment in Internet related areas is still growing, ICT growth is nowhere near the double-digit levels of the 1990s. This industry is essentially cyclical and we should expect this trend to continue.

The impact of ICT on productivity and growth is complex.

Smith (2001) identifies two

arguments concerning the influence of ICT on economic growth. The first ‘structural change’ argument, suggests that the emergence of new technology sectors drives economic development through higher growth rates of employment and productivity. The goods and services of these ICT sectors change a region’s economic conditions by enabling increased productivity or introducing new production methods.

The alternative ‘productivity growth’

perspective argues that ICT is a capital good, and that investment in ICT should raise labour and total factor productivity.

The productivity impacts of ICT in Australia are complex.

DCITA (2003) estimates

productivity growth from ICT as 1.3 percent per annum, whereas NOIE (2002) estimates it at only an average of 0.9 percent per annum, a figure mirrored by that of Tasman Global Model (DCITA, 2003). However, this is part of the so called ‘productivity paradox’ - that ICT is everywhere but its impact is difficult to measure. The problem arises because ICT is difficult to disentangle from its user, the change in services provided and capital:labour ratios. In addition, management moderates its impact.

Through the consultative process of this

strategy, there was recognition of the potential for higher productivity gains (i.e. greater than 5 percent per annum) when complemented by a positive environment. This factor may be a reflection of the immature status of ICT and can be expected to change over time as technology standardises and matures. In support of the ‘hidden’ productivity potential of ICT, NOIE (2002) notes that productivity growth in Australia was precipitated by micro-economic reform but was sustained by ICT investments.

From 2000 to 2005, there was an oversupply of ICT professionals; however, this surplus is now moving into deficit. The 2006 ACS Employment Survey, provides evidence of the growth in the ICT profession. The Survey reported unemployment has declined rapidly over the past four years (falling from 7.2 percent in the previous survey to 5.1 percent in 2006) and is currently close to the national average unemployment level for all industries.

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21


The more positive employment outlook is also reflected in the continuing increase in the number of respondents who are in full time salaried employment.

Furthermore,

underemployment remains limited, with sixty seven percent of respondents reporting that they have not experienced any underemployment over the past five years.

ICT is a strategic industry both in Australia and worldwide. However, growth is patchy and ICT 2030 needs to recognise the importance of emerging technologies that will be important drivers of this industry.

4.2

THE NEXT TWENTY FIVE YEARS IN ICT

There has been significant economic and technological change over the past three decades. This is still a new industry and established players like IBM have undergone major changes. Household names, like Google, Amazon, eBay, MySpace and YouTube, are less than ten years old. The performance of most information processing activities has changed beyond recognition over the past decade.

Improved performance is manifested in: •

Processing power that has grown according to Moore’s Law, doubling every eighteen months and storage capacity has shown a similar trend.

The number of inferences that processors can execute is predicted to equal that of the human brain (16K/s) by 2030.

Lighter and more mobile hardware.

Telecommunications investment and digitalisation.

Converging technologies leading to new products and services.

Changing industry scope and structure.

Better and more skilled users, who become the next generation of producers.

Application across almost all industries and markets.

Underpinning these trends are changes and improvements in functionality that have fuelled major quality and productivity gains and have transformed industries, communities and whole areas of social interaction. So what are the trends that will characterise the ICT industry up to 2030? Moreover, what are the implications of these trends for an ICT 2030 Strategy?

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22


4.3

GLOBAL ICT TRENDS AND IMPLICATIONS

An analysis of the extant literature, coupled with expert consultation has identified a number of trends likely to influence the future direction of ICT in Ballarat. Projected ICT trends are described on the following pages.

These are followed by consideration of trends in the

economic, social and business environment, identified by McKinsey and Company as the key trends affecting the future of the industry and the economy in the first part of the 21st century. This underlines an important point; ICT innovations only affect society to the extent that they are successfully diffused through the system.

Many ICT innovations never make it

commercially even though technically they represented significant advances.

The resulting trends upon which we build our strategy for ICT 2030, are summarised in Table 3 (page 322) and Table 4 (page 344). They are mixes of technology, economic, social and business trends that will drive ICT up to 2030. In the past, ICT innovation has sometimes led and driven market changes. However, as consumers become better informed we expect to see the industry become more consumer rather than technology driven. For instance, at IBM over the period 1999-2022, there was a major switch of customer focus. In 1999, 45 per cent of customers (of IBM products) were joint IT/Business purchases. By 2002, 87% were in this category and only 9 per cent were purchases made purely by IT departments.

This

emphasises the increasing importance of IT application as opposed to the technology per se. Since 2002, IBM has moved even further down a business performance transformation services route with almost all of its products and services having a strong joint business and IT focus (IBM, 2005).

4.4

ICT: HISTORY AND FUTURE

Whilst the social and business system will be a key factor in the development of ICT, new technologies will have major impacts. The generational shift to users and buyers who have grown up with ICT enabled communications and entertainment will facilitate the adoption of such technologies. Whilst it is difficult to predict the precise nature of the changes, most managers and decision makers now accept that technological change has been rapid over the last two decades. It is also apparent that there are varying degrees of planning in the context of change or planning to maximise the potential benefits of technological change. It may be constructive to reflect on where we have come in the last two decades in a technological sense and where we might be in 2030 and beyond.

The first programmable computers were developed in about the 1930s, although a high level programming language as we know it was not developed until the 1950s (FORTRAN). ARPANet, the original Internet was started in 1969. - 23 -

The first personal computers were 23


developed in 1976/77 (Apple, TRS-89 and Commodore). The IBM PC arrived in 1981 and Microsoft Windows in 1985.

In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee and others at the European

Laboratory for Particle Physics, (CERN) proposed a new protocol for information distribution. This protocol, which became the World Wide Web (www) in 1991, was based on hypertext - a system of embedding links in text to link to other text. In 1991, user-friendly interfaces to the Internet were developed (gopher, Veronica, Jughead) and then in 1993 the first graphical browser for the World Wide Web was developed (Mosaic). Since then the Internet and the Web have developed at an astonishing rate with a plethora of applications and services being added. At this point, we are on the verge of seeing our current computing and communication devices converge with a whole range of appliances as the age of pervasive and ubiquitous computing dawns.

The year 2006 was celebrated as the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the field known as Artificial Intelligence (AI).

When Alan Turing first

openly proposed ideas of AI in the 1950s, they were almost considered absurd. Today we live in a world where machines are able to beat humans at chess.

…by 2050 not only will machines be able to defeat humans at chess but teams of humanoid robots will be able to defeat the best human teams in games such as soccer and football.

Whenever we take off or land at Sydney airport, the landing control is carried out by artificial agents capable of doing a better job than that of humans.

Not only are machines reaching high levels of capability in terms of what they can do in a task sense, but we, as ordinary people, are living in a society that is ever more reliant on them for safe, efficient and effective management of our complex systems. Even without very great scientific and technological breakthroughs, it is anticipated that the processing power of computers will reach that of the human brain (16k inferences/s) by 2030 (the horizon of this strategy). Will that mean, for instance that we would be able to have humanoid robots equal to our human capabilities by that time? This is unlikely, simply because it is unlikely that we will be able to co-ordinate, structure and integrate this processing power at such a level. However, in parallel, the rate at which knowledge is being gained about the functioning of the human brain, for example, through functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) studies, which use radio waves and a strong magnetic field to provide clear and detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues, may assist some of these breakthroughs to be made.

Only recently, Honda has been able to build a humanoid robot that is able to walk, run and jump like a human being. Whilst this is quite an achievement in robotics, other approaches through the notion of embodied systems are already promising to make this possible in a

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24


much simpler way, and requiring far less processing power in a central `brain’. It is therefore conceivable that by 2050 not only will machines be able to defeat humans at chess but that teams of humanoid robots will be able to defeat the best human teams in games such as soccer and football.

Over the last two decades, the connectivity of computing devices has grown to a level that allows global information networks.

These have underpinned the development of social

networks, and with emerging sensor technologies will allow more sophistication in terms of being able to gather information on the environment, in particular water, on people’s state of health, and on human activity. The Internet itself has evolved as a layered system, and work on the reasoning layer has already started with the initial efforts on the Semantic Web. The security layer is also receiving considerable attention, as its importance to the continued credibility of Internet commerce is critical.

4.5

EXPECTED DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN A 20 YEAR TIME HORIZON

Real change is expected in the next 10 to 20 years with a number of significant ICT developments forecasted.

Stan Williams of HP, in Fortune (2006), notes ‘The age of

computing has not even begun’. Williams makes this statement because he sees traditional computing with microscopic circuitry etched in silicon running into a wall of overheating by 2015. The technology that will put computing on track to transform our lives is found in the world of sub-atomic particles of quantum computing.

With its power and size, these

computers will transform our daily activities.

Quantum computing A quantum computer can be implemented using particles with two spin states: ‘up’ and ‘down’ to represent the binary digits that form the basis of digital computing. The factorisation of large integers (whole numbers), which is believed to be computationally infeasible with an ordinary computer, into the product of two prime numbers of roughly equal size would be achieved relatively easily with a quantum computer. This integer factorisation ability would allow a quantum computer to ‘break’ many of the cryptographic systems that are in use today, because the task could be carried out with greater efficiency. This would mean that most of the popular public key ciphers could be more readily broken, including forms of RSA, ElGamal and Diffie-Hellman.

These encryption systems are used to protect secure Web pages,

encrypted email and much of the data that is transferred in what we currently refer to as secure Internet transactions. Breaking these would have significant implications for Internet privacy and security. However, there are some digital signature schemes that are believed to be secure against quantum computers.

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25


The increased processing power achievable by quantum computers would be a great boon to the sciences and medicine and the IT and computing technologies that surround these areas but pose some problems to e-commerce security.

The Semantic Web The Semantic Web will be the bridge that creates intelligent and ‘knowing’ devices and services. We, as people, have now grown accustomed to finding out what we need to know from the World Wide Web. For instance, we are able to find out what movie is on tonight at a cinema in Ballarat and check our diaries online to arrange a film night. The Semantic Web is about enabling the information on the Web to be machine understandable so that we can simply have our machine automatically find what is on in Ballarat and report on the best fit to each individual’s diary. In a very concrete way, the Semantic Web will facilitate the type of daily organisation that we have dreamt of and seem to move closer to requiring. Many socalled smart ‘user driven’ applications of ICT work at the fringes of what the Semantic Web could deliver on a global and universal basis. The development of the Semantic Web will automate many tasks that `knowledge workers’ currently do.

It will create a network of

machine understandable knowledge that will permit the use of network intelligence in our lives.

IT enabled social networks and Web 2.0 Consumer-led IT will increase significantly, partly facilitated by Web 2.0i and already apparent in the rapidly growing number of social network sites. Social networks are virtual communities organised around a range of special interest groups. Wikipedia, the open access usergenerated encyclopaedia lists over 300 social networking sites. Many of these are dedicated to niche audiences, and this is seen as a major growth area. The more popular sites tend to be those organised around music, film, games and video genres. A typical social network may include video and photo sharing, chat and e-mail.

From a position of relative obscurity, social networks appeared on the scene in only recent times and have been regularly in the news headlines ever since. As the popularity of social networks has increased, media conglomerates have begun to acquire the most established sites. Social networking site MySpace launched

an

Australian

site

in

August 2006, having been acquired by News

Social networks are now an established part of the Australian media landscape. They are also the way in which youth increasingly connect and get their news. Opportunities will emerge for service industries, and opinion leaders to shape the future directions of social networks.

Ltd for US$580 million. YouTube, founded in

- 26 -

26


a home garage in 2005, was sold to Google 18 months later for US$1.6 billion. This phenomenon of consumer-generated media has major commercial and economic implications.

According to Nielsen/net ratings, social networks are the fastest growing Internet sites. MySpace, the leading international site had more than 390 million registered users (November 2006) and had achieved a growth rate of 367 percent in the previous 12 months. MSN Spaces recorded a growth rate of 286 percent during the same period. Of particular interest to business, the public sector, and individuals, is the prediction by Nielsen that social networking is not a fad that will disappear. Nielsen predicts that it will rapidly become more integrated into mainstream sites.

Demographically social networking audiences tend to be younger, typically 14 to 30 years. They are heavy users of communications technologies such as mobile phones, iPods and gaming devices. The relatively low cost of participation is allowing businesses to trial a range of new media options.

Social networks are being used for advertising, for opinion

sponsorship, public relations, customer relationship management and market research.

Social networks are now an established part of the Australian media landscape. They are also the way in which youth increasingly connect and get their news.

Opportunities will

emerge for service industries, and opinion leaders to shape the future directions of social networks.

As the value of sending undifferentiated messages is further eroded, social

networks will be a major interactive channel; based in, on, and for the benefit of communities of the connected. Web2.0 and the development of symmetric broadband with comparable upload and download speeds, will transform these social networks. In the future they will become powerful tools for industry collaboration, social mentoring and a revolution in consumer generated content.

Media In conjunction with increasing online social networking, there has been a vast movement by the media into less traditional and conventional sources. The accessibility of newspapers, traditional news programs and entertainment media online signals the beginning of a trend in online information access that is only going to increase. Accessing information and gaining knowledge via the Internet is producing a change in societal mores; mass media is becoming social media. The recurring theme of individual choice about content selection is important, and means that media is moving from a ‘broadcast’ of information, to a ‘narrowcast’. Narrowcasting is the provision of niche environments for specific interest groups, and as consumers become aware of their increasing ability to govern their own content, every person

- 27 -

27


becomes a ‘specific interest group’. This change from traditional media means that specialist interest groups are able to create and operate communication channels, which are completely independent of TV, radio and newspapers. An emerging factor in this societal shift to online media is the increasing availability of all things online via an extremely mobile interface, the mobile phone.

These developments will undoubtedly have significant impact on many areas. For example, one of the main problems facing the health sector is the ‘informational’ problem. This has two major facets: how to collect, communicate and present health information to the clinicians and general practitioners and secondly how to use this information for knowledge management and decision support to provide improved and more reliable treatment and service. The ability to integrate information systems with appropriate communications services has much to offer and the developments occurring in the semantic web parallel what needs to happen in medicine with the development of appropriate usable ontologies that allow the knowledge to be adequately represented in machines.

In the tourism sector the use of intelligent agents based on appropriate ontologies for tourism is already being developed. This will allow the customisation of services in a semi-automated and potentially fully-automated manner.

Agri-business will be able to take advantage, not only of sensor technology but sensor networks integrated with automatic decision making based on a whole range of knowledge that could be available through the semantic web.

Mobile communications Mobile communications that incorporate video using low cost peer-to-peer Internet telephony network providers (e.g. Skype) and wireless are currently changing the nexus of location and work.

In the 1980s, nobody foresaw that mobile phones would become anything more than executive playthings; and the runaway success of text messaging took the entire industry by surprise. Phones will pack a lot more computing power in future, and will be able to do more and more of the things that PCs are used for today. Sony Ericsson, a leading handset-maker, points out that the processing power of mobile phones lags behind that of laptop computers by around five years. But that will change. The Economist reports that:

Researchers at Nokia, speculate that within a decade, the cost of storage will have fallen so far that it might be possible to store every piece of music ever

- 28 -

28


recorded in a single chip that could be included in each phone. It would be necessary to update the chip every so often to allow for new releases, of course. Nevertheless, this could open up new business models that do not depend on downloading music over the airwaves.

Another trend is towards phones that double as both fixed and mobile devices, using cellular networks when outdoors and switching to fixed networks, accessed via a short-range radio link to a small base-station, when indoors. In effect, your mobile phone will double as an indoor cordless handset, both at home and in the office. Meanwhile, distance and voicebased pricing are diminishing, replaced by a fixed monthly access fee for unlimited phone calls and data transfers. This could have positive implications for the Ballarat region.

Tiny projectors inside handsets could allow walls, tabletops or screens made of flexible materials to be used as displays while on the move, suggests Jeff Wacker, a futurist at EDS, a United States based global technology services company. As for input devices, technology exists to beam a ‘virtual keyboard’ onto a flat surface; a separate sensor then tracks finger movements to determine which ‘keys’ have been pressed. However, entering data into a phone might ultimately be done not with fingers but with speech—or even directly by the brain. Phone numbers may become as invisible to users as the underlying Internet-protocol addresses of websites are to people surfing the web (Adapted from the Economist November 2006).

Growth of data The amount of data that we, as a society collect and store doubles every eighteen months. This means that in the next eighteen months we will collect an amount of data equal to the amount that we have collected over all past history. The collection and storage of this data continually challenges the capacity that we have to store this data as well as the capacity that we have to process it. The challenge and the opportunities that come from having such data resources command the attention of organisations and society as a whole to find ways to efficiently process, analyse and extract knowledge from it.

However all this innovation will only be effective if Australia significantly improves access to genuinely high-speed broadband. Recent announcements from CSIRO suggest Australia might be an innovator in design but not implementation. The proposed broadband provision of 7 Mbits per second (not symmetric) is still less than ten percent of the bandwidth of Korea. A CSIRO breakthrough operates at 1 Gigabit per second or a thousand times the speed of broadband delivered to most Australian homes.

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4.6

ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND BUSINESS TRENDS

An ICT strategy needs to acknowledge the general economic, social and business trends in which the industry will develop. ICT is a global industry and this needs to be recognised when assessing the relevant external trends that will drive or constrain it. We adopt the McKinsey & Company’s assessment of worldwide trends over the period 2006 – 2015 to inform the Ballarat ICT 2030 strategy.

Economic trends Centres of economic activity will shift profoundly, not just globally, but also regionally. Due to economic

liberalisation,

technological

advances,

capital

market

developments

and

demographic shifts, there will be a major realignment of world economic activity. Within the next 20 years, the Asian and Western economies are predicted to converge. Some industries and functions - manufacturing and IT services, for example - will shift even more dramatically.

The unprecedented aging of populations across the developed world will call for new levels of efficiency and creativity from the public sector.

Almost a billion new consumers will enter the global marketplace in the next decade as economic growth in emerging markets pushes them beyond the threshold level of $5,000 in annual household income. From now to 2015, the consumers’ spending power in emerging economies will increase from $4 trillion to more than $9 trillion - nearly the current spending power of Western Europe.

Consumers, wherever they live, will increasingly have information about, and access to, the same products and brands; in the area of ICT, consumers will be more knowledgeable and real prices of ICT products and services will fall.

Social and environmental trends Whilst connectivity is now changing the way we work and live, we are at the early, not mature, stage of this revolution. Individuals, the public sector and businesses are learning how to make the best use of IT in designing processes and in developing and accessing knowledge. This will create fundamental changes for most of what we buy and do.

Technology is shifting behaviour. Work will be global and instantaneous. Communities and relationships will be formed in new ways (12 percent of US newlyweds last year met online), and social network sites on the Internet will grow as consumers create their own products and services. - 30 -

30


Access to talent will be the key resource for the success of ICT ventures. Ongoing shifts in labour and talent will be far more profound than the widely observed migration of jobs to lowwage countries. The shift to knowledge-intensive industries highlights the importance and scarcity of well-trained talent. For many companies and governments, global labour and talent strategies will become as important as global sourcing and manufacturing strategies.

The role and behaviour of business will come under increasingly sharp scrutiny. This trend is not just of the past five years but also of the past 250 years. The increasing pace and extent of global business, and the emergence of truly giant global corporations, will exacerbate the pressures on industry over the next ten years.

Demand for natural resources will grow, as will the strain on the environment.

Water

shortages will be a key constraint on growth. Innovation in technology, regulation, and the use of resources will be central to creating a world that can both drive robust economic growth and sustain environmental demands.

Business and industry trends New global industry structures are emerging. In response to changing market regulation and the advent of new technologies, non-traditional business models are flourishing, often coexisting in the same market and sector space. In many industries, a structure of, a few giants on top, a narrow middle, and then a number of smaller, fast-moving players on the bottom, is emerging. Corporate borders are blurring as interlinked ‘ecosystems’ of suppliers, producers and customers emerge.

Private equity will continue to change corporate

ownership and established relationships.

Ubiquitous access to information is changing the economics of knowledge.

Not only is

knowledge increasingly available and, at the same time, increasingly specialised but its production is moving from creation by individual specialists to creation by communities of practice. This rise in ‘open source’ is important in ICT, but increasingly also in other industries.

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4.7

RISE OF DEVELOPING AND TRANSITIONAL ECONOMIES

Figure 4 – Share of global GDP (%): emerging and developed economies

An important trend that has the potential to impact Ballarat ICT is the rise of the developing and transitional economies – China, India, Brazil, etc.

Figure 4 illustrates the growing

strength of this group of countries – the forecast is that by 2025 they will control 72 percent of world GDP, from 51 percent in 2005.

These economies will be important export markets in

the future, as well as major competitors for ICT investment. India has already demonstrated its potential and the Chinese IT industry is growing rapidly. Ballarat ICT strategy needs to recognise the power and potential of this group of countries.

4.8

IMPLICATIONS OF TRENDS FOR AUSTRALIA AND BALLARAT

Based on the trends for the worldwide ICT industry, we consider the implications for Australia and regional Australia in particular. The following tables draw from a number of sources but some have been adapted from a Commonwealth ‘Foresight’ study of the future of ICT in Australia.

Technology Trends Table 3 - Summary of significant technology trends Technology trends

Implications for Australia and Ballarat

Shift from information management to knowledge management. Growth of knowledge management including the development of the Semantic Web ICT industry changing

ƒ ICT becoming more important but embedded in automated processes ƒ Potential for spin-out enterprises based on UB research in this area

• •

boundaries between ICT and other industries blurring

becoming more pervasive but less visible as IT and CT converge Development of computer games,

ƒ Opportunities arise particularly at intersection points with other industries ƒ Develop a focus for Ballarat around ICT use in industries where Ballarat has a competitive advantage ƒ Robotic production, mechanotronics ƒ New opportunities in a number of areas including - 32 -

32


Technology trends

Implications for Australia and Ballarat

and simulation technologies as well as virtual reality

Exponential growth in computing power and networking capability and storage capacity •

growing functionality and ubiquity of communications networks, access to data anywhere/anytime

Development of quantum computing reducing the silicon limits of processing power

Growing interdisciplinary nature of ICT Interoperability of systems, knowledge-based and intelligent systems

Growth of cyber fraud Development of Grid computing and e-science

Software provided ‘on demand’ via Internet Growth of online storage and processing Continued growth of data

High speed Internet links and wireless Integrated mobile telephony, data, media and entertainment Ubiquitous adaptive intelligent information websites and physical hotspots / info centres / sites that can provide personalised information to a mobile user Computing becomes invisible and is embedded in products and services

ƒ ƒ ƒ

ƒ ƒ

computer games and game engines, virtual reality techniques in surgery and remote medicine, training in transport, factories, offices and for farming Opportunities for entrepreneurs and start-up enterprises Increased specialisation of software industry Scope for applied research in areas of worldclass ICT research strengths, or the clear potential to develop them Training and education to include an increasing business process integration Diffusion of ICT enabled products and services into all service offerings in education, government, non profits and the private sector

ƒ Competition by service providers no longer regionally based ƒ New businesses adhere to standards ƒ Opportunities for the development of intelligent systems ƒ Research opportunities ƒ Threat to e-commerce ƒ Less reliance on having huge computing power resident in a single location ƒ Access to ‘virtual’ teams by regionally based scientists ƒ Facilitation of global research groups – only need a few well connected players in Ballarat ƒ Globalisation of services markets. Decline of local retailers and vendors ƒ Opportunities to locate Server Farms ƒ Opportunities for processing and mining data ƒ Opportunities for developing more efficient and effective knowledge discovery and extraction applications and technologies ƒ Need for major investments in infrastructure. Worker individualisation and remote working ƒ Broader scope for entertainment on demand and mobile workforce where location declines in importance ƒ Scope for information provided in a context sensitive way to the user

ƒ Focus on applications as well as developments

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33


Economic, business and social trends Table 4 - Summary of significant economic, business and social trends Economic, business and social trends

Implications for Australia and Ballarat

Growth of ICT enabled social network sites

ƒ Opportunities for ICT start-ups

Rationalisation and consolidation of ICT businesses

ƒ Companies more footloose and mobile

Intra-firm linkages by mergers and alliances and extensive global networks of niche players

ƒ Need for civic and regional links with other ICT clusters and participation in international trade missions

Commoditised products and services. Falling prices of ICT hardware and software. Chief Information Officers are looking for high value added from new systems

ƒ Limited opportunities in manufacturing. Declining margins. ICT industry continues its cyclical pattern – but in specific segments. Price competitiveness important

Market power shifts to consumers

ƒ Global competition. Regional advantages decline but regional disadvantages decline

Out-sourcing continues but growth declines. Off-shoring continues but growth declines

ƒ Importance of location as stable, good infrastructure, good support and ancillary industries

Decline of traditional media. Growth of online substitutes

ƒ New opportunities but possible loss of some local players

Generational shift in attitudes to ICT products and ICT in the work environment

ƒ Major shifts in markets and working patterns

Innovation or low cost is the key to growth

ƒ Build an innovative community of practice. Need to achieve better University – Industry relationships. Technology parks and precincts become the bridge

Polarisation of ICT skills markets into design, management of business processes and less skilled operators

ƒ Maintain and develop research based training and also TAFE skills training

Different adoption rates by social class, gender and location

ƒ Recognise the problems and opportunities associated with diversity and provide social justice opportunities to marginalised

Rapid development and adoption of micro-processor driven sensors in all walks of life

ƒ Scope for innovative niches in the use and application of sensors in strategic regional industries

ƒ Can enhance community networks and broaden their geographic and cultural scope

ƒ Continued scope for start-up enterprises

ƒ Create a local environment that encourages creative and high end ICT professionals

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4.9

UNCERTAINTIES THAT MIGHT AFFECT THESE TRENDS

There are a number of areas of uncertainty that might affect the progress of the ICT sector that we note in this strategic assessment of the ICT industry. These are uncertainties that arise from radical and unforeseen changes in technology, the economic system and society. Uncertainties, by their very nature, cannot be insured against, but do need to be recognised as they will influence the scenario that provides the context for the strategic decisions. Examples of uncertainties may include: •

Major ICT disaster constraining innovation and growth and leading to increased regulation

An unforeseen downturn in Western economies stemming from various political, environmental and economic factors

Acceleration of the impacts of climate change on South-East Australia limiting growth

A private equity takeover of many of the large ICT companies

Radical and unforeseen technology breakthroughs in processing power and storage

Breakthroughs in the harnessing of processing power to produce order of magnitude increasing in intelligent systems that can be developed

Hacker attacks reduce confidence in the Internet

A slump in ICT and eBusiness stocks

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5.

Where is Ballarat as a vibrant and dynamic ICT centre?

The following section details the major findings from primary and desktop research and the consultation process, regarding Ballarat’s current position as a vibrant and dynamic ICT centre. First, a profile of the local industry is provided, followed by discussion and analysis concerning critical success factors including: recognition of the local sector’s potential, critical mass, level of employment, locational benefits, industry champions, entrepreneurship, financing, information networks, education and research and physical infrastructure.

5.1

INDUSTRY PROFILE

Ballarat is currently home to approximately 100 ICT firms. In order to develop a profile of the Ballarat ICT sector, a web-based survey was widely circulated to the region’s ICT firms. In total, 23 firms completed this survey, representing a response rate of approximately 23 percent. An overview of the results from this web based survey is presented below.

Size of local ICT businesses The majority of responding organisations are classified as micro businesses. Figure 5 - Size of local ICT businesses

Medium to large businesses (20+ employees) 22%

Microbusinesses (0-4 employees) 52% Small businesses (5-19 employees) 26%

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36


Years established Although a considerable proportion of businesses (50 percent) are young (i.e. operating for less than 5 years), reflecting recent opportunities in ICT, half of respondents had been operating in the Ballarat region for 5 years or more. Figure 6 - Years operating in the Ballarat region Medium to large businesses (20+ em ployees) 22%

Microbusinesses (0-4 em ployees) 52%

Sm all businesses (5-19 em ployees) 26%

Industry sector Ballarat has representation across all major sectors of the ICT industry. The three dominant sectors within the local sector are software (e.g. application development, web-based application development, games); telecommunications; and ICT services (e.g. ICT consulting, training and education services). Figure 7 - ICT sector representation Other

4%

Retail

9%

Hardware

9%

Content

13%

Telecommunications

26%

ICT services

26%

Software Development

48% 0%

10%

20%

- 37 -

30%

40%

50%

60%

37


Target markets Respondents to the survey indicated that they provided goods and services to a variety of industry sectors. The high proportion of respondents who nominated that they target all sectors, suggests that a broad rather than niche focus may be common within the local ICT sector. Figure 8 – Industries targeted by local ICT companies Wholesale & Retail Trade

4%

Financial & Insurance Services

4%

Arts, Recreation & Entertainm ent

4%

Transport, Postal & Warehousing

9%

Manufacturing

9%

Consum ers

9%

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

9%

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

13%

Inform ation Media & Telecom m unications

13%

Health Care & Social Services

13%

Governm ent, Police & Em ergency Services

13% 22%

Education & Training

61%

All industries

0%

10%

- 38 -

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

38


Sales and exports As indicated by Figure 9, the majority of respondents indicated that their sales revenue was less than $500,000. Figure 9 - Sales revenue of respondents (2005/06)

More than $10,000,000 13% $5,000,000 to $9,999,999 4%

$0 to $199,999 39%

$1,000,000 to $4,999,999 13%

$500,000 to $999,999 9% $200,000 to $499,999 22%

Sales and export information provided by respondents indicate that the Ballarat ICT sector has a relatively strong presence outside of the Ballarat region. Figure 10 – Market focus of local ICT companies

29%

International

67%

Interstate

Rest of Victoria

90%

Ballarat

95%

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

- 39 -

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

39


Intellectual property and research and development Nearly two-fifths of respondents (39 percent) indicated that they claim ownership for the Intellectual Property (IP) for ICT products and services they provide. Furthermore, 39 percent indicated that they undertook ICT related research and development and innovation activities in the last 12 months. The major foci of such activities were the development of new ICT goods and services or customising or modifying existing products and services.

An important prerequisite for developing an effective ICT strategy for Ballarat is identifying the region’s current strengths, assets and barriers inhibiting its development. The consultation phase of the strategy development process identified that the region has experienced a number of ICT related achievements since the inception of Ballarat IT 2010 in 1994. Some of the major achievements during this period are presented in Table 5. Table 5 - ICT achievements in Ballarat

Year 1995

ICT Achievements

1999

ƒ Revised strategy for Ballarat ICT 2010 adopted with a balance between supply side and demand side strategies ƒ Ballarat Televillage project funded, planned and implemented under the Connecting Victoria program.

2002

ƒ cBallarat established to coordinate, lead and champion ICT activities in Ballarat. Ballarat the Connected Community strategy adopted to support the development of business and community usage of ICT and the attraction and growth of new and existing ICT business to Ballarat. ƒ IBM and the University of Ballarat launch the Earn as you Learn undergraduate program, the Bachelor of Information Technology (Professional Practice) with Commonwealth Government funding support through the Backing Australia’s Ability initiative. ƒ Ballarat IT Specialists (BITs) network established with bi-monthly breakfast meetings held to support greater networking and to provide growing ICT industries with access to a series of informative guest speakers.

ƒ IBM attracted to Ballarat with the Victorian Government establishing an ICT centre for the delivery of services for the Public Transport Commission and VicRoads. ƒ Ballarat Technology Park located on the Mt Helen campus of the University of Ballarat officially launched as the first step towards implementing a strategic initiative for the region to promote and develop information technologies.

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40


Year 2003

ICT Achievements

2004

ƒ Victorian Minister for Innovation identifies that ‘The Ballarat Technology Park is fast becoming known for its excellence in information and communication technology expertise’. ƒ Collaborative Optical Leading Text-bed Project (COLT) initiated with Ballarat selected as a test-bed for the development of effective ‘last mile’ connectivity solutions.

2005

ƒ Ballarat ICT Cluster project launched by Minister, observing that ICT was shaping up to be a key driver of growth in Ballarat.

ƒ IBM Global Services extends its partnership with the University of Ballarat by the establishment of a Regional Software Solutions Centre. The Victorian Government contribute $1.5 million to the refurbishment of the former Arts Building at the Mt Helen Campus to house IBM. ƒ Emergency Communications Victoria a state-owned organisation delivers leading edge emergency services communications from the Ballarat Technology Park ƒ City of Ballarat Economic Development Strategy identifies the establishment of an ICT cluster as the next step to improving industry competitiveness, innovation and research. ƒ $3.4 million Global Innovation Centre established on the University of Ballarat’s Technology Park – a critical link in the strategy to develop a leading worldclass business growth centre.

5.2 UNIVERSITY OF BALLARAT TECHNOLOGY PARK Profile 1 - Ballarat Technology Park The Ballarat Technology Park provides occupants with high quality optical fibre and network facilities specifically designed to support IT companies.

These technical provisions are

supported by an infrastructure of roads, water, electricity, public transport and easy access to good schools and comfortable housing. Together with its close proximity to the University of Ballarat it provides ready access to highly skilled and experienced research scientist, technical staff and IT graduates, making this a very desirable location.

The University of Ballarat Technology Park exemplifies local growth in ICT over the last ten years. Not only have the number of companies grown so have the size of major tenants. In December 2006, the Park housed 31 companies with 1,172 employees.

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41


Table 6 - University of Ballarat Technology Park employees as at November 2007

Entity IBM State Revenue Office Regional Software Centre Rural Ambulance Victoria Greenhill Enterprise Centre Global Innovation Centre Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority ID Research Total

Employees 678 200 100 130 90 113 53 14 1,378

In his speech to the National Press Club on 7 March 2007, Glen Boreham, CEO and Managing Director of IBM Australia and New Zealand, confirmed that IBM’s partnership with the University of Ballarat has been critical to the continuing growth of its Ballarat workforce to a level of more than 600.

IBM has an undergraduate program with the University of Ballarat, where students work at IBM and IBM experts teach at the university. Now, you can look at that and say: "yes, but what difference does it make?" The difference it makes is that Centre in Ballarat employs over 600 people in regional Australia and it could have been located anywhere in Asia Pacific. It was located in Ballarat because we had a partnership with the University that ensured a pipeline of talent to staff that Centre.

5.3

BALLARAT ICT CLUSTER

The City of Ballarat has experienced considerable growth during the past decade and is recognised as one of Australia's most vibrant regional centres. Strong industry development has been experienced in sectors including health, manufacturing and retail. The ICT Sector and the nascent ICT cluster show characteristics of fragmentation. The cluster needs to be invigorated by the formation of strong connections to national and international support.

Ballarat ICT Ltd (previously cBallarat) and the City of Ballarat with funding support from the Victorian Government’s Regional Innovation Clusters Program have established the Ballarat ICT Cluster. During 2005 and 2006 Stage 1 activities undertaken by the University of Ballarat included:

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42


Establish a cluster profile study o

Develop an organisational plan o

That defines the characteristics of the Ballarat ICT Cluster.

To guide the establishment and development of the Ballarat ICT Cluster.

Establish a cluster management and communication system o

To support engagement with local organisations and promote ICT cluster activities and capabilities.

Stage 2 activities have recently been implemented and were focused around the following themes: •

Engagement program and Business intelligence

Profile and marketing, ICT Demonstration Projects

Professional Development for ICT firms

Export

Profile 2 - Ballarat ICT Cluster Ballarat ICT Ltd and the City of Ballarat recognise the potentially critical economic role of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) cluster and seek to underpin regional ICT activities with appropriate support.

During 2004 the Ballarat ICT Cluster

Steering

Committee

was

established

with

representation from small and large businesses, government and education providers. On the 15 July 2005, Minister John Brumby announced that the Ballarat ICT Cluster Consultancy had been successful in attracting funding through the Regional Innovation Clusters Program when the project was officially launched at the Greenhill Enterprise Centre.

5.4

RECOGNITION OF POTENTIAL

Results from the consultation process and desktop research concerning Ballarat’s current position as a vibrant and dynamic ICT centre are presented below.

Voyer’s (2003)

characteristics of cluster success have been adapted to provide a structure for the review of Ballarat’s current landscape with each of the following areas considered: •

Recognition of potential

Critical mass

Level of ICT employment

Locational benefits - 43 -

43


Industry champions

Entrepreneurship

Financing

Information networks

Education, research, development and commercialisation

Physical infrastructure

ICT is recognised as a priority area by all three levels of Government. Ballarat has been able to use its reputation as an ICT Centre to successfully attract public funding. A recent example of the State Government’s commitment to ICT in Ballarat is the funding of the Ballarat ICT Cluster project, in partnership with the City of Ballarat and Ballarat ICT Ltd .

Ballarat’s ICT related achievements and the commitment of Local, State and Federal Governments provide credence to Ballarat’s potential to further develop and enhance a position as a leading regional ICT Centre. The recognition of this potential by the City of Ballarat, industry and the University of Ballarat is considered a key strength of Ballarat’s competitive position. The following elements are key exemplars of the commitment to the development of ICT in Ballarat and the broader region: •

The City’s Economic Development Strategy provides support for the Ballarat ICT Ltd board and enhancing the uptake of ICT in the business and residential community;

A priority of the Ballarat ICT Cluster project is to involve industry in the development of the local sector;

The University of Ballarat’s School of ITMS, Centre for Informatics and Applied Optimization (CIAO), Collaborative Centre for eHealth (CCeH) and Centre for eCommerce and Communications (CeCC) provide essential links between higher education, research institutions and the business and residential community.

The University of Ballarat achieved significant success in attracting funding, particularly through the Networking the Nation program, for regional ICT initiatives. More than $3.2 million was secured during the period between 1997-2002 for ICT projects which focused on awareness raising, training and support, Internet infrastructure, strategy and business case development, public Internet access centres; travelling-training and technical support services.

The Grampians Regional Rural Health Alliance Network (GRHANet) was established in 2002 after attracting $8 million in Federal Government funding to meet the needs of rural health care agencies for cost effective access to telecommunications services, and to achieve the strategic and logistical support required to sustain and enhance

- 44 -

44


the use of broadband services. As a result of developing this network, broadband has been made available to nearly 40 communities in Western Victoria.

Although the recognition and commitment to Ballarat’s potential as an ICT centre is apparent there continues to be a need for more deliberate collaboration with neighbouring local government areas to maximise the benefits derived from ICT related development and adoption.

5.5

CRITICAL MASS

The City of Ballarat has achieved a reputation for ICT success. In order for Ballarat to maintain and develop its position as a regional centre for ICT, it is imperative that the region has a critical mass of ICT related organisations. By housing a density of ICT firms, local suppliers and users, Ballarat will be able to reap scale economies concerning access to common services and support infrastructure. In 2007 Ballarat has over 80 organisations which can broadly be classified as ICT firms.

Ballarat has particular strengths in the proportion of organisations within the software development (e.g. application development, web-based application development, games) and ICT related services (e.g. ICT consulting, training and education services, repair and maintenance services, data processing, information storage and retrieval) sub-sectors. However, consistent with the national trend, Ballarat does not have a strong representation of computer-related hardware designers or manufacturers.

The Ballarat ICT sector depends on micro businesses and a few larger SMEs, with only a relatively small proportion of firms having more than 100 employees. The ability of Ballarat to attract large and multi-national ICT companies will play an important role in its development. Larger organisations can spill-over knowledge and create a link between local and global technology developments, business trends and practices. Such benefits are essential for the competitiveness of the local ICT sector, in order to respond to global market and technological developments. In co-operation with larger organisations, Universities and smaller local exporters can play a similar role in linking the local industry with the rest of the world.

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45


5.6

LEVEL OF EMPLOYMENT

The 2001 Census indicated that the Ballarat region employed 489 people in ICT occupationsii. This represented 1.49 percent of the City’s labour force. According to City of Ballarat data, this figure had increased to 630 and 1.9 percent of the labour force by 2006. These levels of ICT employment indicate that the Ballarat region has strong claims to being Victoria’s leading regional centre for ICT. Figure 11 – Distribution of ICT employment in the Ballarat Region IT Managers 62 (13%)

Computing Support Technicians 117 (24%)

Computing Professionals 310 (63%)

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census of Population and Housing

The location quotient technique was used for deciphering the level of ICT employment within the Ballarat region. This formula allows for an assessment of the ratio of Ballarat’s share of the ICT industry compared to the share of the national economy. A location quotient of more than one indicates that a region has a relatively high share of employment within the sector. As indicated by Figure 12, Ballarat’s location quotientiii is 0.66, which although below the level of the national economy, is stronger than that of Victoria’s other major regional centres – Bendigo (0.44) and Geelong (0.49).

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46


Figure 12 - ICT location quotients (selected regions) Regional Victoria

0.30

Bendigo

0.46

Geelong

0.49

Ballarat Newcastle Woolongong Australia Victoria Melbourne

0.66 0.75 0.84 1.00 1.18 1.51

Port Phillip

3.82

Nth Sydney

5.56

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census of Population and Housing

Concerning specific occupations, Ballarat has a relatively high proportion of computing support techniciansiv. Ballarat’s level of employment within the IT Managersv and Computing Professionalsvi, although below the national average, is still higher than that of Bendigo and Geelong. Table 7 - ICT location quotients – specific occupations (selected Victorian regions)

Area Ballarat

IT Managers

Computing Professionals

Computing Support Technicians

0.56

0.60

0.98

Bendigo

0.38

0.45

0.54

Geelong

0.49

0.49

0.53

Melbourne

1.51

1.57

1.26

Regional Victoria

0.26

0.30

0.35

Victoria

1.16

1.22

1.01

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census of Population and Housing

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47


Figure 13 - ICT employment per 1,000 labour force

122.7 North Sydney

84.2 Port Phillip

33.4 Melbourne 25.9 Victoria 22.0 Australia 18.6 Wollongong 16.5 Newcastle

14.5 Ballarat 10.9 Geelong 10.0 Bendigo 6.7 Regional Victoria Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census of Population and Housing

Another means to assess the level of ICT employment in Ballarat is to calculate the proportion of the labour force employed in such occupations. As demonstrated by

- 48 -

48


Figure 13, Ballarat is again more favourably positioned than Geelong, Bendigo and the rest of regional Victoria. The level of ICT employment in Ballarat is however significantly less than Melbourne or North Sydney and below the regional New South Wales areas of Wollongong and Newcastle. This indicates that Ballarat’s ICT sector is still underperforming the national and major metropolitan area averages.

5.7

LOCATIONAL BENEFITS

The Ballarat region offers a number of residential and business benefits.

A recent

survey undertaken by CRIC for Regional Development Victoria identified Ballarat as the most popular provincial Victorian location for Melbourne residents (refer Table 8).

In

contrast, Ballarat was also the least popular Provincial Victorian location to reside, which in some ways is reflective of its high profile. In

Ballarat offers a compelling combination of lifestyle and location unmatched in Australia. These two elements hold the promise of living a better life - of a community, a lifestyle and a destination where you can experience more, live more, do more and be more than anywhere else (Source:www.ballarat.com.au).

particular, Ballarat provides relatively low cost of living, a strong labour pool, close proximity to Melbourne, quality education, health and transportation infrastructure, cultural and social amenities, a low crime rate and natural beauty and features. Table 8 - Provincial Victorian locations with highest and least appeal (Melbourne residents) Highest Appeal Ballarat Bendigo Geelong Echuca/Moama Warrnambool Mildura Lorne Mornington Peninsula Daylesford Gippsland Total

Least Appeal Count

%

Rank

68 67 61 24 24 20 15

17% 16% 15% 6% 6% 5% 4%

1 2 3 =4 =4 6 =7

Ballarat Mildura Moe Wimmera-Mallee Bendigo Shepparton Geelong

15 13 13

4% 3% 3%

=7 =9 =9

Horsham Morwell Gippsland Warrnambool Total

410

Count

%

Rank

43 40 36 26 20 18 17

10% 10% 9% 6% 5% 4% 4%

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

15 14 12 12 410

4% 3% 3% 3%

8 9 =10 =10

Source: CRIC and ASCET Group (2006), Benchmarking Research for Make it Happen in Provincial Victoria

The Federal Government’s ICT industry development framework paper, Enabling Our Future, addresses the need to brand Australia as a country with world-class ICT capabilities. The paper suggests that ‘Australia is currently not widely perceived as having these characteristics, which makes the task of selling its ICT capabilities, products and services

- 49 -

49


more difficult and undermines our investment promotion and embedding efforts’.

The

consultation process undertaken for the development of Ballarat ICT 2030 identified that the City’s profile faces similar issues to the national industry. The newly adopted Come to Life destination brand for Ballarat is designed to position the City as a proud, progressive and pioneering region. In order to develop Ballarat’s profile and identify Ballarat as a vibrant and dynamic ICT centre, it is important that this campaign highlights the quality, dynamism and innovativeness of the Ballarat community and its ICT sector.

An issue concerning regional centres, and in particular, Ballarat’s ability to be a leading centre for ICT, is a relatively small population size. The City of Ballarat’s current population is estimated at 88,968vii (6.4 percent of regional Victoria; 1.8 percent of Victoria). This population is expected to grow at 0.9 percent per annum over the next 24 years, resulting in a population of 110,631 in 2030 (6.6 percent of regional Victoria; 1.8 percent of Victoria). A relatively small population has three major impacts on Ballarat’s ICT competitiveness – the need for businesses to have access to markets, access to new ideas and Ballarat’s ability to attract skilled professionals. These impacts are discussed further in the following sections.

Access to markets Although ICT has theoretically diminished the need for organisations to be in close geographical proximity to markets, a large part of the ICT sector can be considered as part of the general business service sector. Historically, regions with larger populations have attracted a greater demand of ICT products. Such demand has been driven by the growth of metropolitan markets, revealing the strength of large cities as drivers of ICT investment and innovation (Graham and Marvin, 1996). Although large cities are most likely to have a large ICT sector, a local economy’s composition is also influential. If Ballarat is able to attract an over-representation of ICT intensive sectors (e.g. ABS statistics identify utilities, cultural and recreational services, property and business services, health and community services) and maintain quality transport connections, then the City’s ICT sector is likely to be relatively large for its population size.

Access to new ideas The second issue relating to a relatively small population is access to new ideas, which may lead to product developments and innovations. Urban diversity is considered an important attractor of innovative industries. The competency links between ICT and non-ICT companies leads to product development and innovation, as ICT becomes increasingly embedded in other sectors and products. High-density urban areas may therefore, be preferable locations for ICT companies, in which they can integrate and exchange ideas with other sectors. Therefore, in order to create an environment, which is conducive to innovation, Ballarat must - 50 -

50


develop, despite its relatively small population, a co-operative, creative and diverse city that fosters exchanges between ICT and non-ICT companies.

Attraction of skilled professionals The quality of life provided by a region is a key determinant in its ability to attract or retain knowledge workers. The job opportunities provided by technological developments have resulted in a more mobile, international workforce. If Ballarat fails to meet the current and future locational demands of such professionals, it will be unable to achieve the position of a high-grade ICT centre. Large cities have traditionally offered a better supply of cultural amenities and have had a more favourable image among highly skilled workers. Although, the Ballarat region has certain advantages over metropolitan areas (e.g. cost of living, natural surroundings), in order to attract skilled professionals, it must develop its reputation on attributes which are considered salient by this segment of the workforce (e.g. culture, nightlife, music, art). Profile 3 - Aviarc When Core Technology, a New Zealand Research, Development, Delivery and Support company was looking to establish a wholly owned subsidiary company their research identified the University of Ballarat Technology Park as the ideal base for their Australian and Asian activities.

Aviarc Australia focus on the

development of small business systems for enterprise clients. The company’s mission is to build a world-class Australian software development company that delivers bespoke applications firstly in Australia then Asia. In less than two years the company has grown from one to six employees.

5.8

INDUSTRY CHAMPIONS

A major strength of ICT in Ballarat is the strong group of local ICT industry champions. These local champions include individuals, who regularly use their profile and business/social networks to promote Ballarat’s ICT capabilities within and outside the region, and local institutions (e.g. Ballarat ICT Ltd , University of Ballarat). Such industry champions are critical to the future development of ICT in Ballarat. It is important that such resources are used most effectively and that Ballarat continually increases the number and profile of its champions. The identification of cross-sectoral ICT champions from key regional industries is an

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opportunity as are strategies, which will support the renewal and reinvigoration of local leadership over time.

5.9

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The City of Ballarat’s ability to produce entrepreneurs is central to the development of ICT in the region. Many examples of ICT entrepreneurship have arisen from the Ballarat economy over the last decade. Examples in areas including infrastructure, education, manufacturing and ICT services include: •

Netconnect established by George Fong, grew to become the largest regional Internet Service Provider in Australia before being purchased by Chariot Netconnect.

Employment with IBM was a precursor to the spin-off Sparx Systems (a software development company). The company’s flagship product, Enterprise Architect, has received numerous accolades since its commercial release in August 2000. Now at version 6.5, Enterprise Architect is the design tool of choice for over 100,000 registered users in more than 60 countries worldwide.

Local multimedia companies, Yum Productions and Ziptales, were both established by individuals who identified commercial opportunities for the development and application of multimedia through their previous employment as teachers.

Long term employee or contractual relationships with Master Foods Australia have preceded the spin-off of new companies including Colourfield Creative (graphic design and marketing) Tenerquo (hand held technologies) and Staley and Associates (electrical engineering and automation solutions).

Research developed through the Centre for Informatics and Applied Optimisation and Latrobe University has been commercialised through the spin out of JustSys that designs and builds web based decision support systems.

The Collaborative Centre for eHealth spun out of the Centre for eCommerce and Communication. The foundation Director of CCeH subsequently established Argus Connect to commercialise software that enables health service providers to securely exchange clinical documents between their computer systems via email.

Employment with the University of Ballarat was also a precursor to the establishment of Alliance Software (now Melbourne based), InBos (providers of Linux and Open Source solutions) and TuxLink (regional registration and location services for ICT professionals).

The Enabling our Future paper, suggests that an entrepreneurial culture would provide the environment and support infrastructure to undertake business development, an education system to develop skills, a network of experienced peers and a research and development system that rewards commercial activity. Such a culture is also necessary in Ballarat to - 52 -

52


encourage larger organisations to make targeted investments in new ventures and existing local companies. This process would also address SMEs needs concerning the availability of patient early stage capital, and access to markets plus government and big business contracts.

5.10

FINANCING

SME participants in the consultation process identified difficulties accessing finance as a key growth inhibitor. A variety of funding sources are required for Ballarat to take the next step as a vibrant and dynamic ICT Centre, including business angels, venture capital, public equity and government funding. The Ballarat ICT sector’s ability to attract a greater proportion of such funding will be critical for the industry’s development.

Ballarat is reasonably well serviced by entities that have the knowledge and experience to assist individuals or SME’s wishing to develop and commercialise intellectual property (IP) and innovations. These entities have access to Federal and State Government, and private investment funds that can be used as seed funding for early development of IP or venture capital funding to develop business plans in taking the IP to market. They realise that early support and investment by governments will stimulate private capital flow.

As already mentioned in this document the City of Ballarat has been progressive in its desire to make Ballarat a leading regional ICT centre within Australia with worldwide recognition. Reaching this current position has required investment by both the government and the private sector. The Greenhill Enterprise Centre provides an ideal incubator environment for spin out entities from the University or for small enterprises wishing to enter the IT market with a product or service. Profile 4 – Information City Australia Information City Australia (ICA), which has an office in the Greenhill Enterprise Centre, receives funding from DCITA for SMEs in the ICT sector. This funding is made available under the Backing Australia’s Ability funding package to consolidate the achievements of the former Building on IT Strengths (BITS) Incubator Program. The BITS Incubator Program is designed to include a range of business models, and as a demonstration program to help instil confidence in private capital markets in early stage ICT firms.

Information City complements other

Australian Government initiatives to encourage SMEs in Australia’s ICT sector to promote innovation, employment, wealth creation and economic growth.

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5.11

INFORMATION NETWORKS In a modern knowledge-based economy, linkages and networks between leading-edge users and producers of ICT products and services, and between firms and research organisations, are particularly important for establishing and maintaining the competitiveness of businesses within the ICT industry. – Enabling our Future (p. 59)

A key characteristic of successful industries is informal and formal information-sharing networks. The Ballarat business community provides a number of formal information

networks

(e.g.

Ballarat

Information

Technology Specialists Network, Commerce Ballarat), however, a study undertaken for phase one of the

From a networking perspective it is difficult to be innovative when you are a ‘one man band’ running the IT section of a business (Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Participant)

Ballarat ICT Cluster project revealed that informal collaboration was relatively low. The relatively fragmented nature of Ballarat’s ICT industry is considered a major barrier impeding industry development. Specifically, low levels of collaboration suggest that local firms are not realising potential benefits related to business productivity, innovation, knowledge transfer and market awareness. Greater collaboration between users and producers of ICT products and services, and between firms and research organisations, is likely to provide greater efficiency through economies of scale and shared resources.

Increased collaboration will also provide access to new knowledge, and

innovation opportunities through stronger linkages. Greater collaboration with local clients and markets is also likely to allow local ICT firms to serve and respond to existing markets more effectively.

A priority area for Phase 2 of the Ballarat ICT Cluster project is to foster relationships across local industries and institutions. The Panel Series conducted during the Ballarat ICT 2030 consultation was well supported and generated significant positive feedback. This experience provides a foundation for future engagement of local ICT professionals.

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5.12

EDUCATION, RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND COMMERCIALISATION

The Ballarat region has a number of adult education providers who offer ICT training and courses.

Such providers play an important role in developing the general community’s

understanding and skills relating to ICT.

The University of Ballarat’s School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences (ITMS) plays an important role in educating students and providing them with relevant knowledge and skills. ITMS has grown significantly over the last five years to become one of the largest providers of IT education in Australia. It delivers courses not only in Ballarat but also in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Geelong and will commence delivery in China in 2007.

Clusters of excellence are maturing in certain areas. The University’s Centre for Informatics and Applied Optimization (CIAO) plays an important role in undertaking research aimed at discovering new technologies in data mining, optimization, simulation and computer games as well as information and e-commerce security.

It also provides eHealth technologies for

Australia with a national health-messaging laboratory and its centre for health informatics.

The University of Ballarat - TAFE division’s School of Business Services, Department of Information Technology provides training, assessment and consultancy services.

The

department provides training in a range of IT disciplines, including hardware, Internet and multimedia technologies, networking, operating systems, software applications and programming.

The need to develop a curriculum and research agenda that meets the needs of industry was identified as an issue during the ICT 2030 consultation process. It is important that the University of Ballarat establish stronger linkages with the local sector, to ensure that ideas developed at the University are adapted and commercialised by local enterprises, and that graduates are industry ready having had exposure to the latest software products being used in industry.

Specific strategies may need to be introduced to support greater knowledge transfer and interaction between the University and SMEs. Specific options identified through the ICT 2030 consultation included SME sponsored scholarships and a SME version of the successful University of Ballarat and IBM Earn as you Learn program.

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Profile 5 – Earn as you Learn IBM extended its level of operation on the University of Ballarat Technology Park in 2003 by establishing the IBM Regional Software Solutions Centre (RSSC). A key initiative of the Centre is the Earn as you Learn program linked to the Bachelor of Information Technology (Professional Practice) with the University of Ballarat. Through this program students gain valuable hands-on experience in what is required for a demanding future IT career. The program aims to ensure that students graduate with the skills required to enhance their employment opportunities in the IT industry. In the period to June 2006 more than 80 students participated in the Earn as your Learn program. IBM actively participates in curriculum development for the program, and has funded 69 scholarships at the university since 2003.

University of Ballarat

records confirm 80 percent of the 2006 graduates have found employment in IT with 72 percent offered ongoing employment with IBM.

5.13

PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Investment in communications infrastructure is one of the most significant areas where governments can make a difference in terms of developing ICT in a region. Broadband services are an indispensable component of business growth and community connectivity. During

the

consultation’s

Infrastructure

panel,

it

was

suggested

that

Ballarat’s

communications network is possibly better than any other regional area in Australia. Ballarat could loose ground rapidly, however, if infrastructure fails to support global competitiveness in terms of capacity and coverage. Representatives from surrounding local governments and rural areas identified the lack of broadband infrastructure as the major inhibitor of ICT growth in their regions. Active steps need to be taken to address current disadvantages.

With the growth of digital networks changing the manner in which businesses and the community use information technologies, it is imperative that Ballarat becomes a leading adopter of communications infrastructure.

Early access to advanced communications

infrastructure will support Ballarat’s residential and business communities in taking advantage of these new opportunities.

Ballarat is in a good position to take the lead in fostering infrastructure partnerships and collaborative approaches to solving infrastructure needs. The challenge will be to ensure that the developed approach is one that cannot be easily replicated by other regions.

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5.14

MAIN OUTCOMES OF THE CONSULTATION PROCESS ON WHERE BALLARAT IS NOW

The main issues that surfaced through the consultation process on where Ballarat is now, included: •

A continuing need for better networks to facilitate linkages between organisations and for modernisation

The importance of embedding ICT to increase the competitiveness of local industry

The importance of fostering generational shift and good communications with the region’s children and youth

Ensuring ICT is connected with diversity and social justice, e.g. acts to prevent a disenfranchised class

Infrastructure! Infrastructure! Infrastructure! Infrastructure! Infrastructure!

In-depth interviews In-depth interviews were conducted to gain the view of media organisations and Local, State and Federal representatives with a number of consistent themes emerging. These included: •

Positive perceptions of the University of Ballarat and UB’s Technology Park together with recognition of the need to build on this base to further strengthen and grow Ballarat's ICT reputation and expertise.

The need to improve on existing ICT infrastructure, especially broadband to many locations.

The need to encourage and develop a wider cohort of ICT literate users, in both the business and domestic settings.

The need to stay 'ahead of the ICT game', with the recognition that this review is crucial to that outcome.

The impression that opinion makers (whilst supportive of an ICT agenda), do not possess a high degree of knowledge/opinion concerning likely technical advances in ICT technology and infrastructure except for a short term, narrow focus in their domain or area of particular concern.

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ICT Panel Series The Ballarat ICT Panel Series – ‘Our Future ICT Needs’ provided an opportunity for more than 50 individuals to come together over a four-week period to engage in debate and discussion around themes including infrastructure, services, and ICT adoption and innovation.

Infrastructure panel participants identified that a variety of matters will have to be considered in formulating the Ballarat ICT 2030 strategy. One goal must be to ensure that this strategy links to related initiatives being pursued under separate strategies. While fibre to every house was identified as our future, strategies for the short term could include: •

Continue to address problems with last mile

Tackle the challenge of joining up all the breaks in the pipe

Ensure planning regulations support provisioning in new estates

Future proofing current infrastructure

Begin exploring opportunities for economies of scale

Use demand aggregation as a mechanism for opening up available pipes

Whether right or wrong many businesses still perceive they are disadvantaged compared to metropolitan businesses. Key observations relating to infrastructure included: •

Infrastructure capacity alone does not address tyranny of distance – only when distance costs are removed will you get equality

Infrastructure is not only about data, it is also about governance - new people networks will be required to achieve future goals in areas such as enhanced infrastructure and shared services

Storage facilities may be a part of this but not enough on their own

Ongoing education for IT firms and others - Ballarat must become much more proactive in generating greater awareness and knowledge of what is possible through the adoption of new technologies

The Services Panel participants identified the importance of marketing and the benefits of Ballarat being an ICT Centre with a specific focus - Ballarat should focus on its strengths and turn these into internationally renowned and marketed features of the region. Key steps identified in maximising future opportunities included: •

Find and focus on a niche market where Ballarat can be competitive

Market what we have locally, nationally and internationally

Optimise use of the University

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58


Engineer and continually evaluate innovative and workplace relevant undergraduate courses in order to create industry ready graduates

Work towards changing the culture and developing young people so Ballarat develops a reputation for having a relatively high proportion of young entrepreneurs

Engage in cluster activities to fully utilise existing SMEs and generate ‘big business’ through cooperation

Undertake community consultation on a regular basis

The ICT Adoption and Innovation Panel participants identified that innovation should be promoted as something that Ballarat prides itself on: •

There is need to recognise and communicate Ballarat’s history of innovation, its importance and benefits, for example, its financial return to the City and the region

Ballarat has passion, parochialism, people, Universities, culture, manufacturing and service delivery among a long list of positive points, it is time to recognise and promote this as a driver of innovation, and a reason for adoption

Ballarat is the right size for innovation

Let innovation come from the business – provide opportunities for business to identify what they are already doing – get the IT professionals to provide feedback on opportunities to apply technologies to generate efficiencies and other benefits

Allowing staff to be innovative in their work places will not only boost innovation, it will help to retain employees and talent in Ballarat

Lobby the local media for at least one page a day on innovation/technology

In the final panel local experts discussed what technology would allow us to do in the future. Mobile offices, increased levels of working from home, virtual organisations and companies will create new demand for social infrastructure. Robotics and mechtronics will revolutionise manufacturing. Technology will become embedded in our homes and biological processes will be able to be controlled by technology. Standards will be increasingly used to dictate quality control for the ICT industry. Education will be crucial for creating the culture within which technology can operate.

Workshops The University of Ballarat ITMS experts, City of Ballarat Major Business Units and Local Government Economic Development Officers and Regional IT Group Workshops all provided different perspectives, which informed the development and refinement of the Ballarat ICT 2030 Strategy.

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The ITMS experts were best able to articulate the ‘blue sky view’ of possible ICT trends for the next 1, 2, 5 and 10 years. Key issues identified included technology convergence; data storage; processing power; bandwidth; knowledge engineering; adoption issues; social issues, trust, security and privacy. Fibre optics, server farms, quantum computing and a rapid increase in handheld device capabilities, were all potentially significant drivers of change.

Participants in the City of Ballarat workshop identified that ICT, particularly in the sense of online communication, is seen as just one part of the suite of tools Council should use to communicate with businesses and the community.

Internal use of ICT is much more

widespread, with staff and other management, finance, communication, planning, mapping and data storage all online.

Some of the respondents wished for better technology to

facilitate more work flexibility for their staff, usually related to mobility and information storage and organisation. Thoughts about the future were nearly all focused on making the move from communication to interaction, so that more of the community are able to both, access service information and use services online. Security concerns and a lack of (or the cost of) infrastructure were cited as the main obstacles to be overcome before this could occur.

The central message from the workshop with IT and Economic Development staff from neighbouring councils related to the need for infrastructure upgrades – particularly in terms of broadband connectivity in such a way that would ensure broad accessibility and cost effectiveness. Ballarat has the capacity to advocate and work with neighbouring councils. The smaller LGAs are interested and want to be strategic about the region as much as Ballarat does. Ballarat ICT 2030 and other strategies should be geared towards the broader region as opposed to being just Ballarat – in particular the focus needs to be broad enough to encompass those Shires that have a tendency to be lost between Melbourne and Ballarat, and Geelong and Ballarat.

Briefings Briefings with key regional committees and networks provided opportunities to promote the Ballarat ICT 2030 Strategy. Attendees were able to learn about the key goals of the project; who was involved; the consultation activities underway and also find out how they could become involved.

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5.15

WHAT BALLARAT ICT LOOKS LIKE NOW

Ballarat has experienced moderate growth in ICT in the period since IT2010 was first developed.

Many of the fundamentals are now in place, in terms of infrastructure,

relationships and the scope of the sector. Since the 2001 census, there has been significant ICT growth through inward investment, notably the expansion of IBM, an extension of the University of Ballarat Technology Park and some organic growth. Twenty-seven percent of companies in the identified ICT Cluster were founded after 2000. Two thirds of the Cluster members reported an annual turnover of less than $500,000, with eight percent over $10 million.

The ICT Cluster study conducted over the period 2005-06 identified a nascent rather than a dynamic cluster in Ballarat. Local labour and capital markets were seen as below average in terms of relating to local needs, although these factors were seen as important to company growth. Thirty-seven percent of the Cluster offered ICT services internationally. In terms of joint working relationships, joint ventures, marketing and supply chain collaboration, most companies had only ad hoc or no collaborative partnerships.

One of the respondents

remarked: There is a lack of cohesion and participation on the part of most of the smaller ICT players in the region. They are losing business to Melbourne companies as a result.

Another participant remarked: ‌so often the Council, semi government organisations and larger companies do not even look at Ballarat software development firms.

Local benchmarking in the cluster was only average, although most companies were aware of the others in the Cluster.

Looking to the future, there was an above average level of

confidence in Ballarat as a productive and innovative location. Much of this sentiment was also reflected in the consultation sessions for ICT 2030. Ballarat, as a regional centre for ICT, has potential but is not yet a dynamic cluster. However, there are many positive signs for the future; the Cluster is growing, levels of collaboration are developing and the rate of organic growth through spin-outs is notable. In addition, the consultation process found that the main institutions in Ballarat are helping sustain growth and support the momentum; Ballarat, among the regional centres in Victoria, has a real reputation for ‘action’. This has proved a significant attractor for a number of new initiatives involving various State and Federal bodies.

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The following profiles demonstrate just some of Ballarat’s successes since the City initiated a co-ordinated strategy for ICT development in the region – Ballarat IT 2010. Profile 6 – Staley and Associates Since its beginnings in 1996 as a sole operator small business providing electrical services, Staley and Associates has grown into a leading Victorian provider of total electrical engineering solutions that integrate state of the art ICT applications into manufacturing processes. Staley and Associates devise, design and install Industrial Automation Control Systems (IACS) that utilise Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) technologies to link together Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) in manufacturing and processing environments. These integrated solutions assist companies in the food and beverage, mining and agriculture, and manufacturing sectors increase productivity through effective Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) and custom designed automation processes. Profile 7 – JustSys JustSys, located on the University of Ballarat Technology Park was launched in 2002 to commercialise discoveries in the field of artificial intelligence made by company founders at the University of Ballarat and La Trobe University. A world leader in the creation of web-based, intelligent decision-support systems, JustSys provides software tools for giving expert advice and information on highly complex issues. These user-friendly decision aids harness ground-breaking new understanding of how people reason and make decisions. Over its first four years, JustSys (and partners) have achieved sales of almost $1 million and its innovations have been widely reported including articles in The Economist and MIT Technology Review.

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Profile 8 – IBM Our skills infusion program with the University of Ballarat, together with assistance from local government, enable IBM to provide world class application and infrastructure services from Ballarat, supporting both local and international clients. - David Burns, General Manager of IBM's Global Technology Services Unit, 27 June 2006. IBM Global Services is one of the world's largest business and technology services providers. IBM first established services in Ballarat in 1994 to provide data centre and support services to VicRoads and the Public Transport Corporation. The Ballarat facility has rapidly grown to become a major hub in IBM’s global delivery network with its offerings for customers in Australia as well as for IBM worldwide including application management services, a customer care management centre, technical software services, database and data communications services, technical

consulting

services,

security

services,

storage

services and project management. In July 2003, IBM opened its Regional Software Solutions Centre in Ballarat, Victoria, working in collaboration with the Victorian State Government, the City of Ballarat and the University of Ballarat. IBM’s regional facility in Ballarat has attracted a series of service excellence milestones which in 2006 included the Client Service Centre helpdesk winning a national excellence award, while the Regional

Software

Solutions

Centre

gained

top

CMMI

(Capability Maturity Model Integration) appraisal for application development and maintenance.

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Profile 9 – Netconnect Exposure to the Internet through their employment with the University of Ballarat, was a precursor to the establishment of NetConnect Communications Pty in 1994. By the end of 1996 the company’s four founding partners were employed in the business

fulltime.

Netconnect

Communications

rapidly

expanded to become one of the largest Internet Service Providers in regional Australia.

It pioneered purchases of

wholesale satellite bandwidth from the United State and used this as its primary backhaul device in delivering Internet connectivity to businesses and communities in Western and Central Victoria. By 1999 the company employed more than 40 people in locations including Ballarat, Bendigo and Orange. In December 1999 the business merged with the Adelaide based Chariot Internet Limited. Today this company employees more than 130 people nationally.

Profile 10 – B&D Technologies B & D Technologies has grown to become a leader in the IT and Communications industries within the Ballarat region. The company started out seven years ago as a two man operation servicing a small local client list. In 2007 B & D Technologies employs 20 staff, covering a wide range of products, services, clients and geographical areas. B & D Technologies aspire to provide every business with the best possible opportunities to grow through technology solutions.

In 2005 B & D

Technologies was a CGU Business Ballarat Award Winner.

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6.

Ballarat’s ICT Vision

6.1

MIGRATING TO A NEW FUTURE

The development of a strategy for the future addresses the key goals of the City embedded in the City of Ballarat’s Strategic Plan, Blueprint Ballarat. Blueprint Ballarat shares its vision for Ballarat towards the year 2030, and establishes ‘what we want for Ballarat’ in the following areas: •

People

Services and infrastructure

Jobs and investment

Health and resilience

Learning and knowledge

Environment and heritage, and

Connections

Blueprint Ballarat sets out the issues, required priorities, strategies, and early projects. Within each theme there is a section titled ‘Where we will be in 2030’, which outlines what Ballarat will have achieved. The linkages between the visions for each area and the way ‘embedded’ technology will assist with the realisation of these visions, provides an excellent opportunity to link the ICT 2030 to the overarching Blueprint Ballarat Strategy.

The ICT 2030 strategy is based on emerging trends and opportunities and the developing resources and competencies of the Ballarat ICT Cluster. It would be wrong to expect an assessment of these strengths and weaknesses to limit the strategy for the future. Ballarat needs to migrate to a more competitive, innovative and sustainable future. Resources are constraints but in this area, the most important resources are the knowledge assets that are themselves generated from the activity of a growing cluster and the foresighted support of the community, government, institutions and businesses.

The key to this strategy is to consistently set stretch targets for achievement within the context of an aspirational strategy, and to mobilise effort around this.

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6.2 SUSTAINING AND GROWING A COMPETITIVE ICT INDUSTRY IN BALLARAT We concur with the conclusions of the McKinsey and Company study which identifies that the Australian ICT sector, (and in our view the Ballarat cluster specifically), will face challenges in attracting multinational investment, competing in a market where international brands are most trusted, and innovating and producing in fragmented markets. Nevertheless, there are still significant opportunities for the industry around: •

Advanced applications with industries and firms that are globally competitive and users of ICT; e.g. Mining, Games, Mechanical handling in the food industry, Agriculture, Health.

Development of specialist functional skills to service large ICT suppliers or their customers.

Development of advanced networking solutions and intelligent networks, social network computing and GPS applications.

Providing advanced capability in data storage, data processing, data mining and knowledge extraction for any organisation in the world but in particular locally.

6.3

THE VISION AND STRATEGIC INTENT

Ballarat will become acknowledged internationally for the strength and innovativeness of its ICT industry, the strategic use of ICT by lead users in the region, and the rapid diffusion and effective use of new technologies by its community.

The overriding strategic intent underpinning ICT 2030 is to create a business, research, training and community environment that encourages new investment, fosters business startups, encourages leading edge research and supports the rapid adoption and effective use of ICT technologies across all sectors of business and the wider community. In the next five years, Ballarat will consolidate its position as a leading regional ICT centre through strengthening and upgrading its cluster. In the long term – up to 2030 – Ballarat will develop niche positions in ICT around the interaction of lead users and responsive and innovative producers.

Through linkages between its ICT companies, tertiary institutions and

international clusters, Ballarat will become a leader in the use of emerging technologies, a centre for their application in specific industries, and an innovator in using new technology to address issues of diversity and social justice.

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We will know if the vision is achieved if: •

Organic growth has created 100 new firms by 2012, and 200 by 2020. Thirty per thousand (i.e. 3 percent) of Ballarat’s workforce are employed in ICT occupations, increasing to 40 per thousand by 2020 and 50 per thousand in 2030 (refer Figure 14). Twenty percent of local ICT companies will be internationally recognised, the remaining firms will all serve national as well as local markets.

Manufacturing,

services and agriculture industries in Ballarat are competitive in export markets because of their use of ICT in ways that reduce costs and increase customer value through improved reliability, logistics and innovation. The University of Ballarat and associated training organisations are key providers of ICT training, particularly in applications, social network technologies and web technologies. •

Ballarat is recognised by governments, industry and the research community as a leading centre for ICT in the Asia-Pacific.

Local firms are linked to high profile

partners in other international centres, and the ICT related activity in Ballarat, specifically in its application to health, education, agriculture and food industries, is recognised as world class. •

Ballarat is recognised for high levels of ICT adoption among the broader community and for achievements in areas such as e-enabled community networks, e-government and the effective application of ICT across a range of community activities and contexts.

Figure 14 - Achieving the vision: Ballarat's projected ICT employment levels 2,500

50.0

ICT Employees

2,000

40.0 1,500 30.0 1,000 20.0 500

10.0

0

Employess per 1,000 workforce

60.0

0.0 2029

2027

2025

2023

2021

2019

2017

2015

2013

2011

2009

2007

2005

2003

2001

Year ICT Employees per 1,000 workforce

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ICT Employees

67


7.

The Strategy

The strategy to migrate Ballarat to a new future is presented in Figure 15. Whilst it sets stretch targets for 2030, it is also concerned with upgrading and consolidating the existing cluster of ICT firms that will form the basis of an internationally competitive ICT sector by 2012 and beyond. The elements in the strategic framework include upgrading the cluster, strategic enablers, and strategic actions designed to achieve the Ballarat ICT 2030 vision.

The first stage of the strategy focuses on upgrading of the cluster; this is already happening as part of the Ballarat ICT Cluster program, but needs to be maintained and further accelerated as Ballarat continues to enhance and improve the nascent ICT cluster.

The second stage has two parts. In the first instance, those factors that are necessary but not sufficient for the development of an ICT cluster must be put in place – we call these the strategic enablers. The second part of this stage, is the development of the cluster through a number of strategies and actions that will provide Ballarat, not just with the foundations of a dynamic cluster, but with real difference and distinctiveness in the nature of what happens to ICT in Ballarat. The impact of Stage 2 will be to create a dynamic ICT Cluster in Ballarat by 2012.

This is a Cluster, which will be export oriented, innovative and will serve as a

benchmark for other regional clusters nationally and internationally.

The final stage is more speculative, but it involves building on the advantage of the dynamic ICT Cluster in 2012 and taking Ballarat forward to 2030 when the Cluster and the region are recognised for their strong international ICT presence, the rapid diffusion of new technologies and for state-of-the-art application of ICT in tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, health, education, and other leading industries.

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Figure 15 - Ballarat ICT 2030: strategic framework

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The scope of the strategy targets the development of the ICT sector in Ballarat and the use and rapid adoption of ICT by industry and the community. In this context, there are a number of tools and policies for accelerating the process of regional development that have demonstrated success: •

Developing the cluster: Evidence on the determinants of successful regional advantage and subsequent growth, places the regional innovation system (RIS) – or the cluster of local companies and institutions – as the key to producing sustainable growth in a region. In addition to innovative companies and institutions, the RIS requires a supply of talent and skilled labour; banks and finance that understand the specific industry requirements; supportive local institutions to facilitate linkages between firms and sources of support and advice; local R&D; ancillary industries that provide important services, components and inputs; and enough enterprises to create a competitive environment that will drive innovation. There is an important role for government in facilitating and developing networks and interaction.

Leveraging resources: The RIS is a dynamic and interactive network. However, individual resources can, on their own, also provide a location with a distinctive advantage over its competitors.

Proximity to good transport links, an ICT

communications infrastructure, an identity for the region that serves as a brand to attract investment and talent, are all of significant potential importance. The role of government here is to play an active role in supporting the provision of hard infrastructure (ICT communications) and soft infrastructure (a network of skills, capital and research provision). •

Setting the agenda: A RIS will have a momentum of its own. However, this can be accelerated by government or industry bodies identifying an aspirational strategic intent based on data and knowledge of future trends and possibilities in ICT.

Translating the vision into strategic requirements focuses on seven important goals: •

Provision of a world class infrastructure

Upgrading and developing innovation and research

Establishing mechanisms for translating ideas into new businesses

Building skills and competencies to develop high quality jobs

Assisting with access to global end-markets and collaboration

Reducing ICT social disadvantage in the region

Leveraging and upgrading existing strengths

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The strategies and initiatives proposed include measures that are ‘enabling’ – and are required just to be competitive in this area and those which are ‘strategic’ – and differentiate Ballarat from many of its competitors to provide it with unique or difficult to copy advantages.

Phase 1 – consolidation up to 2012 of the ICT strategy involves upgrading and supporting the nascent ICT cluster in Ballarat and sowing the seeds for future growth up to 2030. Ballarat ICT Ltd, a renamed and refocused cBallarat will be the implementer and coordinator of the strategy.

7.1

LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS AND IMPROVING THE INFRASTRUCTURE

Laying the foundations and improving the infrastructure is the first task of the strategy. Figure 15 illustrates how this task links to other essential components of the Ballarat ICT 2030 strategic framework. There are five target groups in our strategy: new firms, growing existing firms, ICT firms locating in Ballarat, adoption by non-ICT leading industries, and by the wider Ballarat community.

Without an adequate infrastructure the ICT sector in Ballarat cannot be competitive. The foundations of a future dynamic ICT centre will require both hard (physical) and soft infrastructure. The main types of infrastructure are listed below, along with the sectors or nodes of growth that require them. •

Physical infrastructure

Soft Infrastructure o

Leadership and entrepreneurship

o

Smart skills

o

Connections to markets

o

Ideas and R&D

Physical infrastructure Emerging

technologies

and

trends

will

require

significantly enhanced infrastructure to fully capitalise on potential economic and social benefits. symmetric

broadband

capability

will

In the future become

a

“If we are still running on a copper line in 2015 we should pack up and go home” (Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Participant)

requirement for all industries and communities.

Whilst large multinationals may create their own infrastructure, individuals and SMEs, who make up the vast majority of ICT companies, typically depend on existing physical

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infrastructure. Ballarat needs to ensure it has infrastructure with capacity, coverage and competitiveness for international business. The region will lose ground rapidly without access to world-class infrastructure in terms of genuinely high-speed symmetric broadband, fibre to the node and high-speed wireless. Current speeds are approximately 15 percent of that experienced in countries like Korea or Finland and only one percent of the speed of the broadband recently developed by CSIRO.

Without appropriate infrastructure, progress will be slow and all the expert and user panels and individual experts noted the need for improved infrastructure in the form of faster and better-distributed broadband, an extension of wireless throughout the City, and regular upgrading of this. This requires major investments but should be a central feature of any strategy the City implements. The increasing trend for software to be accessed and data to be stored on remote ‘server farms’ exacerbates the City’s need for faster, higher capacity broadband.

Soft infrastructure Entrepreneurship: Recent work by ACS (2007), suggests that infrastructure, capital and technology alone will not achieve growth.

For new business

growth there must be concerted entrepreneurship training and development. In both the corporate and community required.

sectors,

visionary

leadership

is

also

Ballarat’s ability to develop entrepreneurs

“Bring diverse teams together to work on projects – Ballarat has potential but we need to find ways to bring diverse people together in order to accelerate new ideas and innovation” (Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Participant)

and leaders is central to the growth of new and existing ICT businesses in the region.

There are already good examples of ICT entrepreneurs

(referred to in Section 5) but it is important to continue to invest and develop entrepreneurial infrastructure. This may be as important to future growth as the development of physical ICT infrastructure.

New enterprise development is an important goal of this strategy. The potential for Ballarat to attract major new multinational investors is low and organic growth maybe the main way forward. However, establishing economic and technological preconditions for organic growth may be difficult.

Leadership: In Section 2 we confirmed that the purpose and scope of the Ballarat ICT 2030 included the aims to establish Ballarat as a globally competitive ICT centre and provide an ICT and associated infrastructure that facilities the development, adoption and use of ICT to

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achieve productivity gains, innovation and differentiation of products and services. We also identified that specific levers that Local Government in collaboration with other public bodies can use included championing, encouraging and facilitating the establishment of hard and soft infrastructure and fostering the adoption of new technologies by industry and the broader community.

Through strong leadership and advocacy Ballarat will work with other interests to mobilise the local industry, understand the importance of emerging trends and attract the investment that is required to rapidly develop infrastructure that is competitive when benchmarked against national and international regions.

Consultation activities as well as the literature on regional development have confirmed the importance of having a coordinating body to oversee the implementation of the ICT 2030 Strategy. cBallarat has served Ballarat well in terms of advocating and attracting resources and providing a conduit for communicating with State and Federal Government but needs a clearer identity for promoting and supporting ICT development towards 2030.

We recommend that cBallarat changes its name to Ballarat ICT. Ballarat ICT will mobilise resources and advocate actions around the vision and recommendations of ICT 2030. It will retain its focus on providing leadership and advocacy for ICT to support development of new and existing firms, investment attraction, and community and business adoption of ICT. Membership of the new entity will be strengthened though greater participation of the ICT industry whilst also achieving representation from key regional sectors such as health, agriculture, education, manufacturing and services.

Training, R&D and collaborative links: The final dimensions of infrastructure include the investment and development of training and R&D, and provision of support for the development of collaborative links nationally and internationally.

Without some public

“Most people use ICT for the ‘C’. The split between people who use and people who understand the technology is growing” (Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Participant)

support, individual enterprises, particularly small ones, would not have the resources to provide these services.

These companies specifically

warrant some public support and provision. The marketing and development of inter-regional collaborative links by the City, the University and MMV, is important for the same reasons. A final issue, and one that emerged from the consultation process, is the linking of these activities to the needs of the ICT cluster. Regular forums and industry consultation exercises are required to link these dimensions of infrastructure with local requirements.

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Improved infrastructure will underpin the growth of ICT in Ballarat. But it is a necessary and not sufficient part of the strategy. To achieve the vision, Ballarat will need to complement the infrastructure with a range of other measures.

1. Strategic action: Establish Ballarat ICT with its primary purpose being to ensure that all agencies, organisations and groups that exist to foster regional development and represent the interests of the Ballarat ICT community are actively committed to and involved in realising the direction and projects of Ballarat ICT 2030 and for the conveying of these to the community.

Actions to 2012: •

Institute and maintain practices which are complementary to those established to support the Blueprint Ballarat Community Committee.

Develop joint advocacy and lobbying strategies that are to be realised by Ballarat ICT in conjunction with various agencies and organisations, including Council.

Sustain input from the broad range of sectors and organisations that will have ideas and contributions to make to the future of Ballarat ICT 2030.

Develop and implement measures to communicate progress on Ballarat ICT 2030 to the community at large, in conjunction with Council's marketing & communication activities.

In conjunction with related agencies, organisations and members of the Ballarat ICT community organise, develop and promote an annual program of events to build the social structure of the Ballarat ICT Cluster.

Form task forces which are broadly representative of the ICT Industry, Government, Education, Research and of the specialist domains and users to take responsibility for moving Ballarat ICT 2030 initiatives forward.

Short term actions: •

Form Ballarat ICT Ltd by 1 July 2007. Launch Ballarat ICT Ltd and ICT 2030 to Ballarat businesses and the community.

Coordinate the involvement of key stakeholders in the promotion and delivery of Ballarat ICT 2030.

Coordinate advocacy and lobbying based on the Ballarat ICT 2030 vision to State and Federal Government and other potential partners.

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Initiate a regular process of review including development of a Report Card on major performance measures that can be used when communicating progress on Ballarat ICT 2030 to the community.

Build on the consultation process undertaken in the development of the ICT 2030 by holding open and focused panel sessions, workshops and forums that engage the Ballarat ICT sector and the major industry sectors.

Bring related agencies, organisations and individuals together to work on projects, participate in forums and to develop the Ballarat ICT 2030 project list in more detail.

2. Strategic action: Pursue partnerships with governments, telecommunications providers and others to ensure Ballarat achieves its strategic requirements for the delivery and maintenance of world's-best infrastructure

Actions to 2012: •

Sustain joint advocacy, lobbying and benchmarking strategies to ensure Ballarat achieves world-class infrastructure in terms of genuinely high-speed symmetric broadband, fibre to the node and high-speed wireless.

Develop and continually foster partnerships in mutually beneficial ways to maximise the energy, support and achievements in delivery and maintenance of infrastructure.

Attract public and private investment to support Ballarat in achieving its infrastructure goals.

Achieve expansion of the University of Ballarat Technology Park to at least double its 2007 size.

Short term actions: •

Establish Ballarat ICT Infrastructure Task Force and immediately commence negotiation with telecommunications providers to achieve bandwidth parity or better with metropolitan

Australia

and

continually

compare

Ballarat

against

international

benchmarks. •

Undertake research to support Ballarat in demonstrating the business case for investment in shared services and shared infrastructure.

Confirm infrastructure priorities and available funding options in order to lobby and advocate for them as effectively as possible.

Work with the University of Ballarat and the University of Ballarat Technology Park Advisory Group to identify the space, land, zoning and infrastructure requirements to support expansion at its current and potential new locations.

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7.2

IMPROVING THE SKILLS

Improving the pool of skilled individuals in Ballarat will be a key driver in differentiating the region as a vibrant and dynamic ICT centre. The ICT 2030 consultation activities identified recruitment and skills retention as areas of current challenge. Whilst training and education are an integral part of the ICT soft infrastructure, the direction of

“ICT people need to be interpreters. We still have to educate business and change their processes before we can implement the ICT” (Ballarat ICT 2030 panel participant)

training and recruitment of talent represents a continuing and changing agenda. The paradox of regional Australia is that it has higher than average unemployment but has significant skill shortages. Different strategies are required to attract new skills and to develop new skills

Labour bottlenecks can be detrimental to the continued development of the ICT cluster. A report from the National ICT Skills summit (2006) identified a growing number of skills shortages. MMV note particular problems persuading young people to enter ICT careers (Multimedia Victoria, 2004). Ballarat ICT must work closely with local providers to close these gaps.

In part, the growth of the cluster will provide a natural attractant to talent and skilled labour. As the cluster grows, there will more opportunities to move around the region for career development. However, the University and local training providers need to continually design their courses to satisfy changes in the local labour market. Strong emphasis on technical training integrated with a entrepreneurship and business curricula are identified as important in some cluster studies.

The following is a comment made by Professor Cooper of

Wollongong University:

IT workers have certainly come out of the back room and today their jobs are much more about working with people. In fact, employers tell us the most important thing an IT graduate can have is excellent communication skills, both oral and written, and research shows that women are better communicators than men. (Source: Girls Urged to Get Their IT Muscles Working, University of Wollongong website, 2003).

Strong support for an enhanced ‘Ballarat’ package of incentives for professionals to relocate to the region is also important. Attraction of talent is a key issue across many industries. Regional locations, sometimes for the reasons articulated by Florida (2003) in his research on the ‘Creative Class’ find the attraction of professionals particularly problematic. A report by

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Best International (2006) suggests that in ICT the greatest demand is coming from development, consulting and business analyst roles.

Ballarat ICT needs to work with existing providers and client companies to look at emerging areas of skill needs for the Ballarat ICT 2030 vision to be achieved.

3. Strategic action: Develop, attract and retain the ICT talent that the Ballarat region needs to prosper.

Actions to 2012: •

Effectively promote the skills, talents and capacities of the Ballarat ICT Cluster with periodic audits to update knowledge of local capabilities, skills, accomplishments and talents.

Develop and implement a long term ICT skills strategy to ensure that Ballarat develops, attracts and retains the ICT talent that the region needs to prosper.

Short term actions: •

Build on the current strengths of ICT in Ballarat by promoting and supporting the Ballarat ICT Cluster in its profile, marketing and business intelligence activities.

In partnership with Ballarat's key industry sectors audit existing ICT skills, capabilities, aspirations, requirements and skills gaps.

4. Strategic action: Deliver information technology and business graduates who are work-ready with adaptable knowledge, skills and competencies.

Actions to 2012: •

Attract public and private investment to support Ballarat in achieving its education goals.

Ballarat ICT will work with training providers to ensure that ICT skills programs will be supplemented with entrepreneurship training and development programs.

Develop public and private partnerships to support expansion of the University of Ballarat 'Earn as You Learn' program.

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Short term actions: •

Establish a Ballarat ICT Education Task Force and commence planning for Summit for education providers and employers to identify and prioritise responses to Ballarat's ICT education and training needs.

Encourage all training and education providers to enhance graduate skill base through the integration of entrepreneurship training as a component in all programs.

Expand the successful 'Earn as you Learn' Bachelor of Information Technology (Professional Practice Program) at the University of Ballarat to include a much wider range of Ballarat employers

5. Strategic action: Through research and other partnerships foster regionally useful and relevant research and knowledge transfer.

Actions to 2012: •

Support local businesses in keeping abreast of latest developments by facilitating events which draw presenters of an international standard for the benefit of the Ballarat region and beyond.

Support regular forums and knowledge events which bring members of the Ballarat ICT community together, fostering collaboration and social networking.

In partnership with the University of Ballarat and other training providers develop programs to increase and promote high levels of economic growth and entrepreneurial initiative.

Integrate the Enterprise Workshop Program with other State and Federal support initiatives for SMEs.

Foster a highly entrepreneurial culture by actively seeking out and encouraging the growth of new and existing companies, markets, products and services.

Short term actions: •

Facilitate a regular round of seminars and workshops with high profile speakers presenting the latest ICT thinking as part of an annual program of events.

Facilitate and support established forums and knowledge exchange events as part of an annual program of ICT focused events around innovation.

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Conduct a review of the entrepreneurship training and mentoring opportunities which are available to support the growth of new and existing companies, markets, products and services.

Investigate the feasibility of establishing an ICT enterprise development program which leverages programs such as the NSW Enterprise Workshop.

Parallel to this, new start-ups will be encouraged and supported through a ‘Regional Entrepreneurship’ program run by the University and local training organisations, and a hands on and active response to spontaneous new starts.

7.3

LEVERAGING THE STRENGTHS

We proposed earlier in this report that ICT is becoming increasingly embedded in processes and products such that it could become ‘invisible’ in the future. In addition, even though ICT and productivity seemed poorly related at the end of the last century, the evidence is now clear – ICT has a major impact on productivity and competitiveness of the firms that adopt it (Jorgenson 2004, Bloom et al 2006). ICT investment doubled its contribution to economic growth through productivity improvements over the period 1995-2001 in most G7 countries. Parham (2003) of the Productivity Commission also underlines the importance of ICT investment in productivity improvements in Australia.

The Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA), in research on the factors driving productivity growth in Australia and the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in this growth has confirmed that ICT contributes more to output than its cost to producers [of other goods and services]. In fact, the report estimates indicate that ICT inputs are worth around 40 percent more to producers in terms of marginal product than they pay for them. The undervaluation of ICT inputs by producers is likely to be due to a combination of market disequilibrium, innovation related externalities and intangible investment in human capital associated with investment in ICT.

New

technologies

drive

economic

development,

increase employment and productivity and introduce new

production

methods.

The

IT2010

Report

proposed that investment in information technology would be justified where each regional investment fostered linkages with strategic industries within the relevant region. We concur and propose that the ICT strategy should have a significant focus on the industry

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“People at the top of Ballarat businesses are too busy to be technologically literate… The challenge is not technology; it’s the business intelligence; it is people understanding what they want and what the Ballarat ICT sector can do” (Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Participant)


users of ICT. Ballarat can significantly improve economic development by its major public and private sector entities becoming leading users and early adopters of ICT innovations.

6. Strategic action: Build local, regional and international linkages to support achievement of the Ballarat’s ICT 2030 goals.

Actions to 2012: •

Foster the development of specific collaborative projects between Ballarat ICT and other recognised national and international clusters.

In conjunction with related agencies, organisations and members of the Ballarat ICT community organise, develop and promote an annual program of events to build the social structure of the Ballarat ICT Cluster

Short term actions: •

Establish and maintain relationships with comparable Australian and international ICT clusters.

Facilitate regular forums and knowledge exchange events to bring local firms and organisations together around ICT innovation.

7. Strategic action: Work with State and Federal governments and the University to accelerate establishment of ICT spinout enterprises from the University and other organisations.

Actions to 2012: •

Accelerate valuable commercialisation projects by developing a joint agenda for a networked and supportive environment which will assist individuals and organisation in more rapidly taking ideas from concept stage to market release.

Work with the University of Ballarat Technology Park and with Government to implement technologies and ideas identified for ‘spinning–out’ into incubator sites.

Create a local environment that encourages creative industries and high end ICT professionals by encouraging the attraction and development of Ballarat's arts and social infrastructure

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Short term actions: •

Together with the University of Ballarat identify individuals in local companies, research organisations and other enterprises who have ideas for new enterprise development.

Facilitate discussions among major and lead users to identify technologies and ideas available for ‘spinning–out’ into incubator sites.

Examine the criteria established by Richard Florida and others for the attraction of creative professionals to a city and identify how Ballarat could upgrade its social and creative infrastructure in line with these.

7.4

RAISING THE PROFILE AND DEMONSTRATING THE VALUE

In section 7.1 the role of the ICT Cluster in the competitiveness of Ballarat was emphasised. For a cluster to be effective, there is increasing evidence that it must also have a clear identity to attract investment, skilled professionals and collaborative partnerships.

Ballarat already has a strong profile but this will need to be strengthened for the cluster to continue as an attractor to new ICT activity. In short, develop Ballarat as a ‘happening’ place. Capital and knowledge gravitate to locations where there is activity, excitement and the chance of lucrative collaborations or fortuitous spill-overs of knowledge. Ballarat must maintain its regional ICT leadership reputation and work towards generating and celebrating some real successes. It can do this across the broad scope of the ICT industry or foster a dynamic research culture in targeted areas such as data and knowledge, games, the arts and media.

In a specific attempt to lure footloose professionals it is suggested that Ballarat foster the development of a ‘creative environment’ to attract the creative class that Florida (2003) attributes much of the regional growth that has occurred in specific locations of the US. By joint-sponsoring of the arts, the environment, sport, streetscapes, housing and public places and by underwriting the creation of ‘smart’ locations with wireless access to information for mobile consumers a ‘creative class’ will be encouraged to the City and will help drive further ICT innovation.

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Profile 11 – Issy-les-Moulineaux Issy-les-Moulineaux is a town of 70,000 on the outskirts of Paris. In 2005, Issy was nominated, among the ‘Top 7 Intelligent Communities’ by an international panel. Its profile came from innovative policies on e-government including a multimedia-equipped City Council room that permits citizens to participate in Council meetings; through a “CommeVous” search engine on the city’s Web site that allows citizens to discover people who share their interests; through the attraction of multiple carriers to provide high-speed Internet service via ADSL-2 or cable modem at speeds of up to 20 Mbps by 2004; and through the establishment of an ICT interpretative centre called Le Cube. Le Cube is a cultural space dedicated entirely to digital creation. Managed by a local association, it promotes ICT through the Arts. Through theme-based workshops, projects and training suited to all levels, Le Cube allows the community to access the cultural and artistic practices offered by new technologies. Le Cube's facilities include 60 computers, several rooms for multimedia training, a large exhibition space, three workshops dedicated to artists in residence, a special multimedia room for young children, and a documentation and resources centre.

8. Strategic action: Strengthen Ballarat's reputation by actively promoting and branding Ballarat as dynamic and vibrant ICT centre.

Actions to 2012: •

Continual promotion of the credibility and purpose of Ballarat ICT 2030 to its target audiences and the wider community.

Develop a strong brand and identity for Ballarat ICT by linking in, leveraging and supporting established regional marketing activities.

Ballarat ICT will work with other agencies to create a local environment that encourages creative industries and high end ICT professionals.

Leverage research into the cost and productivity benefits achieved by firms locating in Ballarat to achieve new business attraction and retention.

Each year identify an ICT project that makes a major impact and brings the media to Ballarat.

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Short term actions: •

Nominate specific spokesperson/s for a range of issues and projects associated with Ballarat ICT 2030.

Immediately commence negotiations with City of Ballarat to achieve promotion and branding linkages with the Ballarat Come to Life campaign.

Develop a campaign to attract ICT professionals to Ballarat as an extension of the Come to Life campaign.

Contribute to the development of an investment prospectus to more clearly articulate the competitive advantages of investing in Ballarat.

Identify and implement an ICT project in 2007/2008 that makes a major impact and brings the media to Ballarat.

9. Strategic action: Develop and implement measures to ensure the vision of Ballarat ICT 2030 is owned by the whole community

Actions to 2012: •

Through continued growth and development the University of Ballarat Technology Park will contribute substantially to the dynamism and vibrancy of the Ballarat ICT Cluster.

Identify opportunities for leaders from Ballarat's major industry sectors to participate in projects that better embed ICT in the broader industry base of Ballarat.

Work with the City of Ballarat, the Ballarat University Technology Park and the ICT Cluster as well as the Committee for Ballarat to promote an annual showcase of ICT capabilities.

Build Ballarat's profile, capacity and track record as an ICT laboratory and test bed.

Through ongoing engagement with industry foster applied research, ICT development and commercialisation initiatives.

Develop and implement measures to bring ICT to the wider community and foster greater understanding of the importance of ICT to the Ballarat Community.

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Short term actions: •

In partnership with the University of Ballarat continue to develop the Technology Park as Ballarat's IT focal point.

Co-opt leaders from Ballarat's major industry sectors to be active in the implementation of the ICT 2030 strategy.

Bring related agencies, organisations and individuals together to determine the best approach to developing and implementing Ballarat's annual ICT celebration and showcase event.

Bring health, agribusiness, tourism and manufacturing sectors representatives together with researchers and other key stakeholders to identify potential ICT test-bed opportunities.

Facilitate the bringing together of leading users with local ICT producers to examine where collaborative ‘applications’ projects can be developed that translate and adapt technologies, products and processes to the specific needs of those industries that are embedded in Ballarat and the surrounding areas.

Investigate the feasibility of establishing an Arts enabled ICT interpretative centre. For example, a new media gallery space in the Camp Street locality or adjacent to the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery.

7.5

WORKING TOGETHER

The underpinning framework of this strategy is the way it works to complement and support the cluster. A large part of the essence of a cluster is the development of collaborative networks between cluster participants. The consultative forums emphasised the usefulness of this to ICT participants. One aspect of Phase 2 of the Ballarat ICT Cluster is focused on bringing companies together for joint projects. This should be extended, and with the University, a series of ‘knowledge partnerships’ should be set up to develop both horizontal and vertical collaborations around innovation. Ballarat ICT will be the vehicle for high level networking events and the front for taking the ICT cluster to other countries in the search for active collaborative partnerships.

The focus of collaboration will change over time. Web 2.0 and its derivations will facilitate collaboration across a broader geographic landscape.

The Ballarat ICT strategy should

promote and develop this. Ballarat, because of its regional location, needs to be at the forefront of the new economics of collaboration. Local ties will remain important but the new web, facilitated by asymmetric broadband, will drive new collaborations. The ICT cluster will in effect become more geographically spread. - 84 -


In order to create an environment which is conducive to innovation, Ballarat ICT should facilitate a consolidation and development of a cooperative, creative and diverse culture that fosters exchanges between ICT companies and non ICT companies through representation on Ballarat ICT or cooption of the major industry sectors as well as mobilisation with the help of the Committee for Ballarat.

10. Strategic action: Establish niche areas of focus and build 'laboratory' and 'test bed' activities

Actions to 2012: •

Work with the Committee for Ballarat, City of Ballarat and State Government to establish an investment attraction scheme to focus on niche areas where Ballarat can demonstrate some level of distinctiveness and advantage.

Identify potential test bed projects that local organisations can host. As part of this promote Ballarat as an ICT ‘laboratory’ and ‘test bed’.

Promote knowledge transfer, ensure measurement of progress and verification of success of ICT 2030 program activities.

Short term actions: •

Identify scope for innovative niches in the use and application of ICT – for example the use of sensors in strategic regional industries, and the development of Internet commerce security systems. Further work needs to be undertaken by task forces with the sectors and with the University.

Develop scoping proposals for test bed projects in health with health providers and the Collaborative Centre for eHealth as well as possible test bed projects with high speed high bandwidth wireless access for the major sectors.

Work with the University to build an innovative community of practice around research as well as commercial projects.

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11. Strategic action: Identify opportunities for producing competitive advantages through widespread adoption of ICT across Ballarat’s major industry sectors.

Actions to 2012: •

Establish a strong research and development culture that links the Ballarat ICT Cluster, local economy and education sector.

Develop a focus for Ballarat around ICT use in industries where Ballarat has a competitive advantage. Through dialogue with the major sectors, ICT, health, agribusiness, manufacturing and tourism, establish the common and core areas where there is currently competitive advantage and give priority to these areas in terms of support and incentives.

Maintain momentum by sustaining and expanding the partnerships between research and industry to achieve the application and widespread adoption of ICT.

Maintain a high level of organisational readiness and capacity to tap into the entire range of resources available to assist in implementing Ballarat ICT 2030 including resources available from all levels of government.

Commission further research into aspects of opportunity identification that require further detail during and beyond 2007.

Short term actions: •

Organise forums that bring related agencies, organisations and individuals together to identify and prioritise opportunities for ICT adoption across Ballarat's major industry sectors.

Facilitate dialogue with the major sectors, ICT, health, agribusiness, tourism, manufacturing and tourism to establish the common and core areas where there is competitive advantage and give priority to these areas in terms of support and incentives.

Form multidisciplinary teams to work with Ballarat's major industry sectors to identify new ICT related technologies that could provide them with ongoing competitive advantage.

Develop working parties or other structures that may be necessary to further examine and advance priority projects across Ballarat's major industry sectors.

Seek out commitment, capacity and funding to achieve piloting and adoption on innovative ICT products and services in priority project areas.

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7.6

BUILDING CRITICAL MASS AND ATTRACTING INVESTMENT

Most successful regional clusters of businesses have advantages that stem from a number of alternative sources. These may include a natural advantage – access to markets or technology, a concentration and scale of operations that provides benefits of size and scope for specialisation, or creative interactions that lead to collaborative ventures and innovation. Each of these advantages works best when the cluster achieves critical mass – a level of activity that drives economies of scale, interaction and scope, or a breadth of the cluster base. As clusters reach this critical mass their advantages grow at an increasing rate, and they become increasingly attractive to new investment in the innovative and competitive cluster.

Ballarat has done well in terms of attracting ICT but needs new businesses and capital to achieve critical mass and become internationally competitive. Ballarat’s ability to build critical mass and attract investment will require a sustained effort beyond traditional political and planning timeframes of three-to-four years. Evidence suggests that it takes a long time for a region to build a cluster of critical mass. The development of Silicon Valley pre-dates World War I and most modern cluster’s growth was initiated in the immediate post World War II period (Voyer, 2003). Such observations indicate that clusters can take more than 30 years to become dynamic and viable. Although this incubation period may be accelerated by future technological developments, this historical duration is timely for this strategy’s horizon – the year 2030. As noted in section six of this strategy (refer Figure 14, page 67), achievement of this strategy’s vision will require an increase in the number of ICT employees within the region from its current 630 to 1,164 in 2012 (3% of the total workforce); 1,633 in 2020 (4%); and 2,077 in 2030. This growth is in addition to any major new inward investments of large government or international organisations moving to Ballarat.

12. Strategic action: Continue to support the development and growth of the Ballarat ICT Cluster but develop policies to expand both its depth and breadth.

Continue to encourage

interaction between participants.

Actions to 2012: •

Increase scale, size and population density of ICT firms to build critical mass and attract investment.

Facilitation of new business development assistance particularly in export markets. Set aside land and/or in City precinct space to provide an attractive land and location package for inward investment.

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Develop a long term strategy to attract ICT enterprises to the region which will complement and enhance Ballarat's existing business and growing skill base.

Short term actions: •

Stage 2 Ballarat ICT Cluster activities in the period to 30 June 2007 will focus around: Rollout of an engagement program; Establishment of business intelligence services; Profiling and marketing of the Ballarat ICT Cluster; Support for ICT demonstration projects; Professional development opportunities; Export assistance.

Stage 3 Ballarat ICT Cluster activities will focus on developing the international exposure and growth of the Ballarat ICT Cluster: Information, training and support; Development of research and development partnerships; Identification of areas of future opportunity (based on ICT 2030 and other research); Continuation of the successful ICT Panels; Continued cluster coordination.

13. Strategic action: Attract new ICT businesses to the Ballarat region.

Actions to 2012: •

Develop a long term strategy to attract ICT enterprises to the region which will complement and enhance Ballarat's existing business and growing skill base.

Short term actions: •

Create an investment campaign linked to Come to Life campaign and drawing on the ICT investment prospectus. Link into regional business attraction programs and initiatives to attract businesses to Ballarat.

7.7

CREATING AND ACCESSING NEW KNOWLEDGE

New knowledge and innovation is at the centre of progress in ICT. Few Ballarat organisations have the requisite scale to conduct R&D on their own. However in collaboration with the University more can be achieved.

Knowledge partnerships, where partners

“Innovations get sold best by people who can tell you what the benefit is to your business. This is the way forward” (Ballarat ICT 2030 Panelist)

work collaboratively on projects, or using the UK model, where doctoral or post-doctoral students are located in companies but supervised jointly by the University and the company are one approach to raising the level of R&D in the region.

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Another approach is to access new knowledge through collaborative partnerships around the world.

Much of

the knowledge and technology required to enhance existing Ballarat ICT suppliers or users may already exist elsewhere. The provision of assistance and advice in terms of locating potential partners and helping local

“What we need is a paradigm change in the way we work. If we could allow a space where people could think then we would be ahead of the game” (Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Participant)

firms to manage the processes of search, relationship building and collaborative agreements could be a role for Ballarat ICT if support funding could be identified.

14. Strategic action: Facilitate new industry based research partnerships and programs.

Actions to 2012: •

Foster greater research and development capacity within Ballarat's key industries through innovative projects which link industry, universities and research students.

Continually reappraise through a rolling 'foresight' program the emerging technologies that Ballarat ICT providers and users should be aware of.

Seek long term funding for these partnerships through Federal and State programs. Publicise early successes to encourage future involvement.

Short term actions: •

Establish industry sector task forces to facilitate new industry based research partnerships and programs.

Work with government and the University to foster greater ICT research and development capacity within Ballarat’s key industries.

Work with the major industry sectors and the University to establish a knowledge partnerships scheme that locates Masters or Doctoral students in local companies to work on projects supervised jointly by the company and university.

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15. Strategic action: Identify and exploit ICT niche areas where Ballarat can achieve competitive advantage.

Actions to 2012: •

Develop this, possibly through a joint venture with a venture capital firm.

Expand and develop the register through a dedicated portal.

Develop specific projects around strengths that existing enterprises have around data and knowledge management and link theses with capability for research and development at the University of Ballarat. Hold regular updating sessions for local firms.

Short term actions: •

Set up a network of local providers who can help firms locate, negotiate with and develop collaborative arrangements with potential international partners.

Develop a ‘live’ collaborative opportunities register of local firms seeking partners outside the region and internationally. Develop a similar online register to help firms locate sources of technology and business collaboration overseas.

Build on the strengths that existing enterprises have around data and knowledge management and link these with the capability for research and development at the University of Ballarat. In particular Ballarat ICT should consult with the City of Ballarat, IBM, SRO and the major Health providers as well as interested SMEs and the University on further developing this as a focus.

7.8

GIVING SOMETHING BACK

Whilst the majority of the Ballarat community are able to participate in the connected ICT age, there are those who are left behind, and who will be increasingly disadvantaged by the progress of technology.

Appropriate use of ICT can address justice within society and

provide information and support access for a large proportion of a community and disenfranchised groups.

This may be in the form of education and training, including

Ballarat’s own ‘Cube’, extending the public provision of ICT, and by checking all policies for their social justice impact. This is not philanthropy. If Ballarat is to achieve international status as an ICT enabled city, it must ensure that all of its citizens are given the chance to participate. Whilst the focus here is social justice, the other impact is on Ballarat being able to boast a technologically informed community and workforce, and one that is quick to adopt innovation and change.

- 90 -


16. Strategic action: Foster innovation through projects which focus on the application of ICT to achieve social, environmental and sustainability goals.

Actions to 2012: •

Confirm stakeholder involvement and support and attract private and public funding to support establishment of the sustainability centre.

Short term actions: •

Develop a business case to support the establishment of a sustainability centre in central Ballarat.

17. Strategic action: Ensure all Ballarat citizens are given the chance to participate in the connected ICT age.

Actions to 2012: •

Retain a focus on working with socially disadvantaged communities to actively shape ICT initiatives which build skills and participation. Establish a trust fund to support projects in this area.

Support engagement of the local non-profit sector in development and planning and implementation of ICT projects and developments.

Ensure all publicly rolled out projects – for example e-government – provide opportunities for participation across society.

Short term actions: •

Undertake analysis of community needs and examine the scope for specific programs, in conjunction with philanthropic organisations, to take ICT to the socially disadvantaged.

Continue to actively support and build upon initiatives such as Ballarat.vic.au, Community Telecentres, Computer Recycling and YLab

Develop advocacy and lobbying strategies to ensure initiative benefits and participation goals can be accessed by all members of the Ballarat community.

- 91 -


7.9 ENSURING COMMUNITY-WIDE OWNERSHIP OF BALLARAT ICT 2030 STRATEGY Specific mechanisms will be needed to ensure that the vision of Ballarat ICT 2030 continues to be owned by the whole community. Recommended measures include: •

Adequate and regular processes of review to occur;

A clear understanding of the roles and capacities of all stakeholders, including the role of Council and;

Continual promotion of the credibility and purpose of Ballarat ICT 2030 and critical linkages with Blueprint Ballarat to its target audiences.

To that end it is proposed that Ballarat ICT Ltd be given responsibility for ensuring that all agencies, organisation and groups that exist to foster regional development and represent the interests of the Ballarat ICT community are actively committed to and involved in realising the direction and projects of Ballarat ICT 2030 and for the conveying of these to the community.

Ballarat ICT’s principal roles in ensuring community-wide ownership of Ballarat ICT 2030 would be: •

To institute practices which are complementary to those established to support the Blueprint Ballarat Community Committee.

To design an implementation framework for the delivery of Ballarat ICT 2030 that will identify and coordinate the involvement of the various sectors of the Ballarat ICT community, including business, education and government agencies;

Facilitation and leadership – to bring related agencies, organisations and individuals together to work on projects, participate in forums and to develop the Ballarat ICT 2030 vision and project list in more detail.

To

analyse

the

overall

progress

made

on

Ballarat

ICT

2030

and

make

recommendations on further action; •

To develop joint advocacy and lobbying strategies that are to be realised by the Ballarat ICT Board and various agencies and organisations, including the Council;

To develop and implement measures to communicate progress on Ballarat ICT 2030 to the community at large, in conjunction with Council’s own marketing and communication activities;

To organise and develop annual forums with the key stakeholders and members of the Ballarat ICT community to seek ongoing feedback about Ballarat ICT 2030 in light of changing regional, national and international circumstances;

To regularly revise the vision in the light of changed circumstances and knowledge;

- 92 -


To develop a Report Card of major performance measures that can be used when communicating the progress of Ballarat ICT 2030 to the community;

To develop various working parties and other structures that may be necessary to further examine and advance various aspects of Ballarat ICT 2030;

To commission further research and forums into aspects of Ballarat ICT 2030 that require further detail during and beyond 2007;

To link with existing organisations and other structures in Ballarat to obtain feedback regarding Ballarat ICT 2030 on a regular basis;

To nominate specific spokesperson/s for a range of issues and projects associated with Ballarat ICT 2030.

The Vision and projects outlined in Ballarat ICT 2030 are very broad. Some are the direct responsibility of Council, some will be joint efforts involving Council, other service providers, State Government, Federal Government, volunteers and community groups.

It is proposed that an annual Report Card be produced and distributed to the entire community to communicate what Council and other agencies are doing to achieve the Ballarat ICT 2030 vision for the future. It will detail the projects that have been given priority, inform on progress and advise on areas that need further attention and consideration.

Developed by the Ballarat ICT Ltd Board, in partnership with Council, the Report Card will contain a number of elements including: •

A list of key projects within each area of Ballarat ICT 2030: o

Laying the foundations and improving the infrastructure

o

Improving the skills

o

Leveraging the strengths

o

Raising the profile and demonstrating the value

o

Working together

o

Building critical mass and attracting investment

o

Creating and accessing new knowledge

o

Giving something back

An update on these key projects from Council and other agencies and organisations committed to achieving the Ballarat ICT 2030 Vision: o

What projects were achieved

o

What projects remain outstanding

o

What projects are still in progress

- 93 -


The key indicators identified as part of the Ballarat ICT 2030 strategy development o

Global ICT developments and trends

o

Economic, social and business trends

o

Where Ballarat is as a vibrant and dynamic ICT Centre ƒ

Industry profile

ƒ

University of Ballarat Technology Park

ƒ

Ballarat ICT Cluster

ƒ

Critical Mass

ƒ

Level of employment

ƒ

Locational benefits

ƒ

Industry champions

ƒ

Entrepreneurship

ƒ

Financing

ƒ

Information networks

ƒ

Education, research, development and commercialisation

ƒ

Physical infrastructure

A list of Council’s future short term, medium term and long term plans.

A list of Ballarat ICT Ltd future short term, medium term and long term plans.

Following the distribution of the Report Card, an annual Summit will be held as part of the overall process. At the Summit, Ballarat ICT Ltd and Council will discuss relevant issues relating to both the Report Card and Ballarat ICT 2030. Stakeholder representatives and members of the community will have the opportunity to contribute to revisions of Ballarat ICT2030 according to achievements and possible changes that may have occurred in the environment.

7.10

PHASE TWO

Through to 2030… As we look to 2030, a number of trends will accelerate: •

Maturing of the industry will lead to the further development of dominant standards and increased inter-operability in the ICT environment. Increasingly innovation will be tied to established trajectories and the scope for radical innovation will diminish.

This ‘dominant design’ and standardisation phase will mean greater industry consolidation. The ICT industry will consist of a few giants and a large number of agile suppliers and ancillary firms. The pursuit of cost reduction by the giants will increasingly lead them to low labour cost locations.

- 94 -


At a product level, computing will become increasingly invisible and embedded in applications. The distinction between ICT innovation and innovation in application industries will narrow. The flow of new ICT businesses will slow and be replaced with new business starts around application.

Worker individualisation through the ability to work independently from many locations, will accelerate. The growth of integrated mobile devices will compound this trend.

Government transparency will increase with mobile and online access to processes of governance at all levels in the public sector.

The generational shift will be complete; ICT will start to create new social and business environments, rather than ones that layer technology over existing systems and structures.

Some of the ‘emerging’ economies will overtake many of the ‘developed’ economies, not only in GDP, but in innovation and research.

Some of the new technologies identified earlier will be commercialised and start to change the scope of ICT applications; o

The Semantic Web will embed knowledge processing in new applications.

o

Advances in flash technology will facilitate the personal archiving of all records, music, video, photographs, etc.

Alternatively, as in Korea, high

broadband speeds will mean that users will just download their materials, wherever they are, placing a greater emphasis on central storage facilities. o

The ability to extract knowledge from data and make sense of large quantities of data will affect sources of knowledge and what we are able to learn about our social and business groups.

The strategy to deal with this less turbulent but very new environment will mean: •

Infrastructure will be even more important; without super-fast broadband Ballarat will not compete globally.

Worker individualisation will be a major feature of the new competitive environment and will require appropriate infrastructure.

Monitoring, understanding and where appropriate facilitating the adoption of new technology will be critical.

The integration of ICT with other dominant local industries will increase in importance. Application of ICT to many mature industries will transform the potential competitiveness of those industries.

- 95 -


Participation in a networked knowledge environment will ensure that we have the required capacity to sense, understand and better manage our environment, collective health and governance.

Investment in Semantic Web and intelligent systems research and development at the University will facilitate its adoption in the region.

Continued development of international linkages will provide impetus to a dynamic ‘intelligent applications’ cluster.

Increased support for new businesses and training should be accelerated as the connected world will also provide greater scope for outsourcing and independent contracting into organisations.

Accelerate investment in research, research collaborations and knowledge accessing partnerships.

- 96 -


8.

Managing the change

We will move from a conventional planning framework to establish an architecture that will facilitate Ballarat’s migration to a new future. The specific change the Ballarat ICT 2030 strategy focuses on is captured in Table 9. Table 9 - The changing focus of strategy

Now

To 2012

To 2030

ƒ

Regional

ƒ

National

ƒ

International

ƒ

Attraction through physical

ƒ

Attraction through

ƒ

Dynamic advantage through

and location based

knowledge based resources

knowledge, networks and a

resources ƒ

Suppliers

world class ICT cluster ƒ

Supplier and end users

ƒ

Integrated leading edge users

ƒ

Fit with resources and

ƒ

Stretch beyond resources

ƒ

competences ƒ

ICT products and services

Stretch into the future and gain international leadership

ƒ

Business application of ICT

ƒ

Transformation processes through ICT

ƒ

Infrastructure comparable

ƒ

World class infrastructure

ƒ

World leading infrastructure

Interoperability within some

ƒ

Universal interoperability

with Metropolitan ƒ

Patchy interoperability

ƒ

sectors ƒ

Very little knowledge from

ƒ

data

Strong focus on extracting

ƒ

knowledge from data

Automated extraction of knowledge from data

ƒ

Followers

ƒ

Early adopters

ƒ

Leaders

ƒ

SME growth and Foreign

ƒ

Organic growth and spin

ƒ

Leading edge new

Direct Investment

offs

businesses networked around the world

ƒ

Passive recruitment of skills

ƒ

Partnerships with University

ƒ

Develop a new skills agenda

ƒ

Population networks

to develop more appropriate skills

ƒ

Population density

ƒ

Attractor of ICT skills

ƒ

Population quality

- 97 -


ICT 2030 paints a picture of rapid and sometimes uncertain change.

Ballarat has been

fortunate to have had entrepreneurial and forward looking local leadership that has guided policy and action. This needs to be continued and reinforced. The road ahead is an exciting one, but Ballarat cannot take its early advantage for granted. Increasingly other regions and towns are seeing the opportunities for development from ICT. Whilst Ballarat will gain from this, it is also sometimes in competition with these locations. Through a mix of mobilising disparate resources, promoting collaboration, identifying trends and initiating action, Ballarat ICT can make a real difference. But we will have to run fast just to keep up, and faster and smarter to stay ahead.

This research has identified the benefits of taking a staged view towards 2030 where welldefined targets are set and achieved by 2012 in the first two stages of the strategy. This will achieve a dynamic, innovative and export oriented ICT cluster and regional innovation system that will serve as a benchmark for other regional clusters nationally and internationally

The final stage looks towards 2030 and by the very nature of the rapidly changing global ICT environment and horizons is less precise and more speculative. It recognises that there is an increasing trend to pervasive and ubiquitous ICT with far greater diffusion and embedding of the technologies not only in devices, but within social activity and decision making. There will be a clear need for a process of revised planning and adjustment with particular opportunities for Ballarat’s major industries, including health, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and education. The methodology used in this work and the structures set out here can form the basis for this process of revision and steering.

- 98 -


List of references Acs, Z., O'Gorman, C., Szerb, L., & Terjesen, S. (2007). Could the Irish Miracle be Repeated in Hungary? Small Business Economics, 28, 123-142. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2001). Census of Population and Housing. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2006). Business use of information technology. Available Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2006). ICT Satellite Account. Australian Computer Society. (2005). Inquiry into Australian Technology Innovations. Sydney. Australian Computer Society. (2006). Employment Survey 2006. cBallarat. (2002). Ballarat the Connected Community: Building on the IT2010 Strategy. Ballarat. Regional Development Victoria. (2006). Benchmarking Research for Make it Happen in Provincial Victoria. Melbourne. City of Ballarat. (1994). IT 2010. Ballarat. City of Ballarat. (2004). Blueprint Ballarat. Ballarat. City of Ballarat. (2006). Economic Development Strategy. Ballarat. Department of Communications Information Technology and the Arts. (2003). Enabling Our Future: A Framework for the information and communications technology industry. Canberra. Economist. (2006). The phone of the future. Economist, 381, 18-20. Farhoomand, A. (2005). Managing (e)business transformation: a global perspective. China: Palgrave MacMillan. Florida, R. (2003). The rise of the creative class : and how it's transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life. New York. Graham, S., & Marvin, S. (1996). Telecommunications and the City. Electronic Spaces, Urban Places: Routledge. Jorgenson, D. W. (2004). Information technology and the G7 economies: Harvard University. Multimedia Victoria. (2004). Victorian Government ICT Industry Plan 2005–2010. Melbourne. National Office for the Information Economy,. (2002). Contribution of ICT to economic growth. Canberra. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2005). OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2005 - Towards a knowledge-based economy. Paris.

- 99 -


List of references continued Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2006). Information Technology Outlook 2006 Highlights. Available from: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/27/59/37487604.pdf Parham, D. (2003). Sources of Australia’s Productivity Revival: Productivity Commission Staff Working paper. Queensland Government. (2006). National ICT Skills Summit. Brisbane. Schwartz, P., Koselka, R., Tkaczyk, C., & Taylor, C. (2006). Quantum Leap. Fortune,154, 7683. Smith, K. (2001, September). Assessing the economic impacts of ICT. Paper presented at the Future of Innovation Studies, Netherlands. Voyer, R. (2003). Knowledge-based Industrial Clustering; International Comparisons. In J. de la Mothe & G. Paquet (Eds.), Local and Regional Systems of Innovation (pp. 81-110). Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

- 100 -


Appendix 1 – Consultation process The University of Ballarat undertook a broad range of consultation in producing ICT 2030, a fourth generation strategy for ICT for the Ballarat region in the period between October and November 2006.

Summaries on each of the following activities can be accessed from

www.ballaratict.com.au.

Panel series Four panels were held, comprising: •

ICT Infrastructure

ICT Services

ICT Adoption and Innovation

ICT Experts

The City of Ballarat promoted the Ballarat ICT Panel Series through radio commercials, media releases and via the Council Updates in the Ballarat Courier on Saturday's during the month of November 2006.

While this increased awareness of the events, the most successful

method of engaging individuals was via personal invitations.

Workshops A number of workshops were held throughout the consultation period. These included: •

University of Ballarat ITMS Experts

City of Ballarat Major Business Units

Local Govt Economic Development Officers and the Regional IT Group

A summary of the workshop and panel outcomes appears in the appendix.

Briefings A number of briefings were provided during the consultation period. These included: •

Blueprint Ballarat Community Committee

Committee for Ballarat

Multimedia Victoria

University of Ballarat Technology Park Executive Network

University of Ballarat Technology Park Advisory Committee

Central Highlands Mayors and CEO’s forum

- 101 -


Interviews In-depth interviews were conducted to gain the view of: •

Local Media Organisations

Local, State and Federal Representatives

Local Government Chief Executive Officers

A summary of the interview outcomes is found in the appendix.

Web based surveys Local individuals and organisations were able to provide feedback and input via a number of online surveys delivered via the the Ballarat ICT website during the consultation period.

IT2010 strategy feedback A web-based survey was established to collect IT2010 Strategy feedback. Media articles and letters to individuals involved in the development and implementation of IT2010 promoted the opportunity to provide feedback on Ballarat's achievements in areas including interactive multimedia, GIS, health sector IT and government and private sector outsourcing.

ICT 2030 comments At the project outset, interested individuals were able to provide ‘ICT 2030 comments and suggestions’ about priority areas for the Ballarat ICT 2030 strategy.

Ballarat ICT - Have your say During the week commencing 18 October 2006 the more comprehensive ‘Ballarat ICT - Have your say’ survey, was launched to gather feedback. The web-based survey followed the same question structure as the one-on-one interviews with questions organised around the three themes: Where are we now? Where do we want to be? How do we get there?

Ballarat ICT sector survey During November 2006, the Ballarat ICT Sector Survey was launched. This survey sought to understand the aspirations and needs of local organisations and to assist in the development of strategies and programs to support existing ICT businesses. Local ICT organisations were initially advised of the survey by letter. An email invitation was then sent to firms during the week commencing 20 November 2006. A further reminder will be sent early in 2007.

- 102 -


Other events Parallel events supported during the Ballarat ICT 2030 consultation included: •

Women in Information Technology Luncheon: hosted by Multimedia Victoria, VicIT and University of Ballarat 6 October 2006 between 12 noon and 2 pm.

ICT Listening Forum: for Small to Medium Enterprises hosted by cBallarat – 26 October 2006 between 6 pm and 8 pm at Oscars Hotel and Café Bar.

Youth Panel and Forum on ICT: hosted by Lead On and City of Ballarat Youth Services – 4.40 pm on 9 November at the Ballarat Learning Exchange.

Participants Individuals and organisations that contributed through the consultation process included:

Ballarat ICT 2030 Working Group Richard Hancock

Annie DeJong

David James

George Fong

Richard Wilson

Wayne Strong

Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Series (Infrastructure) Craig Whitfield, Ballarat Community Enterprise

Dan Morris, Neighbourhood Cable

George Fong, Lateral Plains

Paul Mannix, Grahnet / GCITA

Phil Allen, Telstra Country Wide

Stephen Wheeler, Telstra Country Wide

Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Series (ICT Services) Brian Lovison, ASCET Interactive

Chris Vanderhorst, Peak Software

Dale Alexander, B & D Technologies Pty Ltd

Shane Manley, ASCET Interactive

Wayne Strong, Strong Consulting

Werner Hulsmann

Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Series (ICT Adoption and Innovation) Andrew Straneri, Just Sys Pty Ltd

Cameron Woolfe, IBM

Craig Lloyd, Rural Ambulance

Jarrod Watt, ABC Radio Ballarat

John Schreenan, KingPrint

Matthew Caess, Sovereign Hill

Michael Gwyther, Yum Productions

Ross Smith, Aviarc

Valerie Roberts, Ziptales

Kathleen Keogh, ITMS

- 103 -


Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Series (ICT Experts) Annie Dejong, City of Ballarat

George Fong, Lateral Plains

Ian Knox, University of Ballarat

Paul Mannix, Grahnet / GCITA

Richard Wilson, Wiltronics

Werner Hulsmann

Steven Vaughn, Grampians Regional Integrated Cancer Services

Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Series (Audience Participants) Andrew Macleod, CeCC

Bill Mundy, Telstra Countrywide

Brian Sala, Digital Device Development Group

Cordell Kent, The Mining Exchange Gold Shop

Damian Lubeek, City of Ballarat

Darren Booth, Committee for Ballarat

David Stratton, ITMS

Garry Argent, BRACE

Ballarat ICT 2030 Panel Series (Audience Participants Continued) Garry Fry, Chariot

Gary Homewood, McCain Foods

Glen Stevens, ITMS

Mark Roberts, Moorabool Shire

Michael Porter, Telstra Countrywide

Phil Allen, Telstra Countrywide

Tony Rippon, Creswick Adult Learning Centre

Sasha Ivkovic, ITMS

Stephen Pinson, Commander Centre

Wayne Hurst, ITMS

Robert Hook, University of Ballarat Technology Park Advisory Committee

Ballarat ICT 2030 workshops (UB Experts) Andrew MacLeod, CeCC

David Stratton, ITMS

Eugene Kneebone, ITMS/CIAO

Greg Simmons, ITMS

Kylie Winnell, ITMS

Patrice Braun, CRIC

Sasha Ivkovic, ITMS

Wayne Hurst, ITMS

City of Ballarat Major Business Units Andrew Bellingham

Annie De Jong

Barbara Chalkley

Douglas McNeill

Garry Davis

Graeme Davies

Ian Rossiter

Jeff Haydon

Jen Pollard

Michael Shaw

Patty Shih

Rod Leith

George Sossi

Glen Kalio

Liana Thompson

- 104 -


Local Government Economic Development Officers and the Regional IT Group Chris Parkinson

Bill Johnsen

Mark Roberts

Multimedia Victoria Randall Straw

Anthony O’Shea

Sharon Copeland-Smith

Shelagh Ryan

Andrew Ferrington

Individuals who participated in interviews during the Ballarat ICT 2030 project Angela Carey, Editor The Courier

Catherine King MHR, Federal Member for Ballarat

David Vendy, Mayor of the City of Ballarat

Dominic Brine, Station Manager, ABC Ballarat

Geoff Howard MLA, Member for Ballarat East

Michael Taylor; General Manager, WIN Television

Julian McGauran, Senator for Victoria (and 'Patron' Senator for Ballarat and region)

John Fitzgibbon. Sales Manager (and acting General Manager), 3BA 102.3FM

Organisers and participants in the following parallel events: Margo Ingolby, Multimedia Victoria

Dawn Veale, Leadon

Women in Information Technology Luncheon

Mary Jane , City of Ballarat Youth Services

ICT Listening Forum for Small to Medium

Youth Panel and Forum on ICT

Enterprises

Behind the scenes assistance Alan Kealy, University of Ballarat

Rebekah Fraser, City of Ballarat

Kara Hodgson, CeCC;

Barbara Bennett, City of Ballarat

Kathleen Keogh. ITMS

Craig Briody, CeCC

Elizabeth Matuschka, ITMS

- 105 -


Appendix 2 – Ballarat ICT firms 3 Can Design

ITMS Software Pty Ltd

ADM Software

Jaratech Associates

ADM Software

JR Web Solutions

Alphaville Publishing Services

JTP Solutions

ASCET Interactive

Just Sys Pty Ltd

ASEMA International

Lateral Plains

Australia Printer Reloading Co (APR)

Lunar Designs

Aviarc

MC Web

B & D Technologies Pty Ltd

Nashish Design

B.I.S. Computer Solutions

Neighborhood Cable

Ballarat Community Enterprise

Netlor Computer Systems Pty Ltd

Ballarat Office Systems & Service

Nevett Computer Services

Better Parts HWH Technology Pty Ltd

Newman Creative

Blueprint Web Design

Onfire Communication Services

Brown Ink Design

Online Laser Pty Ltd

Buchanan Business Systems

Osprey Computing

Business Development Network

Oxted Computer Services Pty Ltd

C.Ds PC Repairs

Peak Software

CECC

Peter Lambert Design

Chariot Netconnect

RNF Technologies Pty Ltd

Collaborative Centre for eHealth

RU Advertising

Collins Media

Serendipity Cyber Services

Colourfield Creative

Small Dog Design Pty Ltd

Computers@Ballarat

Sparx Systems Pty Ltd

Corporate Windows Pty Ltd

Strong Consulting

Cressaidmedia

Telstra Countrywide

Cyberlink Access Systems

tenerquo.com

DataTech Services Pty Ltd

The E Team

Didjital Multimedia

The Friendly Giant

Digital Device Development Group Pty Ltd

Toner Action Ballarat

Digital Memories

Universal Business Computers

FastWeb

Urbanwave Inc.

GoldWeb Marketing

Version Two Technologies Pty Ltd

Grahnet

VicTech Consulting

Greenhill Enterprise Centre

Video Horizons

Hardy Audio Productions

Visionweaver Design

HORIZON Broadband Communications

Visual Net Applications

IBM Global Services Australia

website5000

Inbos

Wiltronics Research Pty Ltd

Inkjet & Toner Cartridge Recycling

Woodford Manor Pty Ltd

Invisage Technology

Yum Productions

- 106 -


Appendix 3 – Ballarat ICT sector survey Thank you for helping with this survey on the development of Ballarat’s ICT Industry. Understanding the aspirations and needs of local organisations will help in the development of strategies and programs to support existing ICT businesses. As a member of the Ballarat ICT industry you have been asked to participate in this survey, and we appreciate your assistance. As with all surveys we conduct your responses are confidential.

What is ICT? For the purpose of this survey, Information Communications Technology (ICT) may be defined as the following:

"The ICT industry includes businesses involved in computer software and services, telecommunications equipment and services, computer hardware, communication cable and wire, recorded media, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and additional ICT products." - Australian Information Industry Association

Ballarat ICT Perceptions and Aspirations Q1.

Q2.

In general, how would you rate the performance of the Ballarat ICT industry over the last decade? (Please tick one box only) …

Excellent

…

Good

…

Fair

…

Poor

…

Very poor

…

Don’t know/can’t say

In your opinion, what do you believe have been Ballarat’s major ICT related achievements over the last decade?

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ - 107 -


Q3.

What ICT related areas do you believe need improvement in Ballarat? (e.g. infrastructure, training, availability of qualified staff, hardware penetration)

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Q4.

What do you believe are the key challenges currently facing the ICT industry in Ballarat?

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Q5.

What do you believe Ballarat’s FIVE major priorities for ICT should be over the next three years? (Please tick up to FIVE boxes)

…

Promoting Ballarat’s ICT industry capabilities outside the region

…

Pursuing a broad ICT investment strategy in Ballarat

…

Pursuing investment in niche ICT areas

…

Encouraging local companies (ICT and non-ICT) to be more innovative and globally focused

…

Encouraging the Ballarat ICT industry to be more collaborative

…

Supporting future ICT infrastructure enhancements

…

Maximising opportunities for industry engagement with local research institutions

…

Assisting education and training providers to align their courses with industry needs

…

Encouraging ICT adoption within the general community

…

Encouraging ICT adoption within local non-ICT businesses

- 108 -


…

Establishing an environment that supports innovation within the ICT industry

…

Developing Ballarat’s image as an ICT centre

…

Encouraging ICT businesses to relocate or expand to Ballarat

…

Encouraging ICT businesses to relocate or expand to Ballarat

…

Encouraging new start-up businesses

…

Expanding existing businesses

…

Attracting skilled ICT professionals

…

Encouraging local businesses to use local ICT providers

…

Pursuing capital investment in local ICT businesses

Q6.

Are there any other areas that you believe should be a priority for ICT in Ballarat over the next five-to-ten years?

…

Yes (please specify below)

…

No

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Q7.

What are some key elements of the ICT sector in Ballarat that you would like to see develop over the next 5-to-10 years?

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

- 109 -


Q8.

What local, state or federal government initiatives, if any, have helped your organisation?

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Q9.

How do you expect the profitability of the Ballarat ICT industry to change in the next three-to-five years?

…

Improve

…

Stay the same

…

Decrease

About your organization Confidentiality reminder:

Your answers are completely confidential and will be released only as summaries in which no individual organisation’s answers can be identified.

Name of organisation: ____________________________________

Q10. Including yourself, how many employees (full-time, part-time, casual or on contract) does your organisation have in the Ballarat region? _________

Q11. Where is your organisation’s headquarters located? … Ballarat … Melbourne … Regional Victoria (please specify____________________________) … Interstate (please specify____________________________) … Overseas (please specify____________________________)

- 110 -


Q12. What year did your organisation start operating in Ballarat? ________________________________

Q13. Which of the following best describes the sector(s) in which your organisation operates? (please tick all that apply) …

Computer-related Hardware Design or Manufacture (e.g. Computer components and peripherals, networking gear, manufacturing of computer equipment, telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic equipment, and electric cable and wire)

…

Software Development (e.g. Application development, web-based application development, games)

…

ICT-related services (e.g. ICT consulting, ICT staff recruitment, training and education services, repair and maintenance services, data processing, information storage and retrieval)

…

Telecommunications Hardware Design or Manufacture (e.g. Telecommunication components, phone systems)

…

ICT Retailer/Reseller (e.g. Selling or reselling computer and other ICT related equipment, software)

…

Content (e.g. content: recorded media manufacturing and publishing, radio and television services, film and video production and sound recording.)

…

Other (please specify____________________________)

Q14. What do you believe will be the major changes in your sector(s) over the next 10 years? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

- 111 -


Q15. What skills does your organisation have? (please tick all that apply) …

Electronic engineers - Manufacturing

…

Other electronic and communications technicians and tradespersons - Manufacturing

…

Business and systems analysts

…

Programmers/ Software engineering/development

…

Database & systems administrators

…

ICT security specialists

…

ICT network and support professionals

…

ICT and telecommunications technicians

…

ICT project management

…

ICT trainers

…

Designer – Graphics

…

Designer – Interface

…

Service desk operations

…

Web designers

…

Sales and marketing

…

Business management, human resources and other support functions

…

Other (please specify____________________________)

Q16. Is the organisation able to access the skills needed for its operations? …

Yes

…

No

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Q17. What type of skills does your organisation experience as currently being in short supply in the Ballarat ICT industry? (please tick all that apply) …

Electronic engineers - Manufacturing

…

Other electronic and communications technicians and tradespersons - Manufacturing

…

Business and systems analysts

…

Programmers/ Software engineering/development

…

Database & systems administrators

…

ICT security specialists

…

ICT network and support professionals

…

ICT and telecommunications technicians

…

ICT project management

…

ICT trainers

…

Designer – Graphics

…

Designer – Interface

…

Service desk operations

…

Web designers

…

Sales and marketing

…

Business management, human resources and other support functions

…

Other (please specify____________________________)

…

None

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Q18. What industry sector(s) does your organisation mainly provide goods and services to? (Please tick up to THREE boxes) …

All industries

…

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

…

Mining

…

Manufacturing

…

Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services

…

Building and Construction

…

Wholesale and Retail Trade

…

Accommodation, Restaurants and Food Outlets

…

Transport, Postal and Warehousing

…

Information Media and Telecommunications

…

Financial and Insurance Services

…

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

…

Government, Police and Emergency Services

…

Education and Training

…

Health Care and Social Services

…

Arts, Recreation and Entertainment

…

Other (please specify__________________________)

Q19. Do you claim ownership for the Intellectual Property (IP) for any ICT products and services you provide? …

Yes (please specify_______________)

…

No

Q20. For your Ballarat offices only, have you undertaken any ICT related research and development (R&D) and innovation activities in the last 12 months? …

Yes

…

No Æ SKIP to Q22

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Q21. If yes, what is the main focus of the organisation’s ICT research and development (R&D) and innovation activities? (please tick all that apply) …

Developing new ICT goods and services

…

Customising/modifying existing products and services

…

Improving operational processes

…

Improving organisational processes

…

Collaboration with other organisations

…

Collaboration with research institutes (e.g. Universities)

…

Other (please describe_________________)

Q22. What was your organisation’s approximate sales revenue in 2005-06? …

$0 to $199,999

…

$200,000 to $499,999

…

$500,000 to $999,999

…

$1,000,000 to $4,999,999

…

$5,000,000 to $9,999,999

…

More than $10,000,000

Q23. Approximately, what proportion of your organisation’s sales in 2005-06 were in each of the following markets? (total 100%) _________

Ballarat sales

_________

Rest of Victoria sales (including Melbourne)

_________

Interstate sales

_________

Export sales

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Business Growth Q24. What are your main strategies to grow your business over the next three-to-five years? (please tick all that apply) …

Export

…

Increasing local market share

…

Increasing rest of Victoria market share (including Melbourne)

…

Increasing interstate market share

…

Mergers and acquisitions

…

Capital investment

…

New product/service development

…

Other (please specify)

…

The organisation is not pursuing growth at this time

Q25. What skills will your organisation need to obtain to achieve this growth? (i.e. skills that your organisation does not currently possess) (please tick all that apply) …

Electronic engineers - Manufacturing

…

Other electronic and communications technicians and tradespersons - Manufacturing

…

Business and systems analysts

…

Programmers/ Software engineering/development

…

Database & systems administrators

…

ICT security specialists

…

ICT network and support professionals

…

ICT and telecommunications technicians

…

ICT project management

…

ICT trainers

…

Designer – Graphics

…

Designer – Interface

…

Service desk operations

…

Web designers

…

Sales and marketing

…

Business management, human resources and other support functions

…

Other (please specify____________________________)

…

None

- 116 -


Q26. Which industry sector(s) do you believe your organisation will mainly provide goods and services to in three-to-five years time? (select up to three responses) …

All industries

…

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

…

Mining

…

Manufacturing

…

Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services

…

Building and Construction

…

Wholesale and Retail Trade

…

Accommodation, Restaurants and Food Outlets

…

Transport, Postal and Warehousing

…

Information Media and Telecommunications

…

Financial and Insurance Services

…

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

…

Government, Police and Emergency Services

…

Education and Training

…

Health Care and Social Services

…

Arts, Recreation and Entertainment

…

Other (please specify__________________________)

Q27. Are there any local ICT infrastructure improvements required to facilitate the growth of your organisation over the next 5-to-10 years? …

Yes

…

No Æ SKIP to Q30

Q28. What infrastructure improvements do you believe will be required over the next 5-to-10 years? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

- 117 -


Q29. What technologies is your organisation most likely to adopt over the next 5-to10 years to produce ICT goods and services? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Q30. If you could change one thing concerning the ICT industry in Ballarat, what would it be? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Are there any other comments you would like to make in relation to the Ballarat ICT2030 survey?

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Would you like to receive alerts of information relating to the Ballarat ICT2030 project? If yes, please complete the contact details below. Â…

Yes

Â…

No

- 118 -


Would you like to be involved in future research relating to the Ballarat ICT industry? If yes, please complete the contact details below. …

Yes

…

No

After all surveys are completed, a summary report will be published, would you like to receive a copy of this report? If yes, please complete the contact details below. …

Yes

…

No

Contact name: ____________________________

Your position: ____________________________

Your email address: ________________________

- 119 -


End notes i

A second generation of Web-based services that emphasise online collaboration and sharing among users

ii

For the purpose of this strategy, ICT occupations include ICT Managers, Computing Professionals and Computer Support Technicians. The new occupations classifications for the 2006 Census (ANZCO) incorporate a new occupational segment called Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Professionals. This new classification scheme will allow for more accurate measurement and evaluation of Ballarat’s level of ICT employment. iii

Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census of Population and Housing

iv

Computing Support Technicians provide technical advice and support to users of computer software and hardware (ABS) v

IT Managers plan, administer and review the acquisition, development, maintenance and use of computer and telecommunications systems within organisations (ABS)

vi

Computing Professionals design and prepare software to meet specific requirements in all aspects of the computing environment, and control and audit the operation of computing facilities within an organisation (ABS) vii

Population estimates are based on Department of Sustainability and Environment - Victoria in Future (VIF) 2004 Projections

- 120 -


Ballarat ICT 2030