Digital Economy and Information and communication technologies (ICT) are transforming the way we work and driving change in many industries. Governments everywhere understand their decisions can assist or impede businesses and families adjust to an increasingly digital
economy and society.
Since 2007, Labor has presided over a sharp fall in Australia’s ranking as a digital economy according to the World Economic Forum, the International Telecommunications Union, INSEAD and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), among others.
This chapter explains the CAMAC review of crowd sourced equity funding (CSEF), summarises the review process and invites submissions on any aspect of the review. In Advancing Australia as a Digital Economy: An Update to the National Digital Economy Strategy (June 2013), reference was made to holding an independent review of the regulation of crowd sourced equity funding (CSEF). CAMAC was asked to conduct that review.
CSEF is a relatively new and evolving form of capital raising. Broadly, it refers to schemes through which a business seeks to raise funding, particularly early-stage funding, through offering debt or equity interests in the business to investors online. Businesses seeking to raise capital through CSEF typically advertise online through a crowd funding platform website, which serves as an intermediary between investors and the business.
This report reveals that over the next decade we will see significant gaps open up between enterprises that proactively transform their operations for the digital economy and those that continue with business as usual. In 2012, we looked at the macro effect that information and communications technology (ICT) – including high-speed broadband – will have on Australian industries, workplaces and society over the next 40 years. That report – A Snapshot of Australia’s Digital future to 2050 – revealed just how important it will be for organisations to transform the way they operate if they are to survive and prosper in the digital age.
This year, we move from the macro to the micro and look at what this digital transformation means for individual enterprises. What is at stake for organisations? What trends will determine their future? What metrics do boards, CEOs and other executives need to monitor and improve? What will success look like in an increasingly digital economy?
Australia’s future can be prosperous but this will depend on maintaining strong economic growth and an environment that supports businesses to do well. The actions, decisions and choices we make now will either support or inhibit Australia’s prospects.
Australia has experienced a very successful growth period and we continue to have many intrinsic strengths, but we are a small economy in a fiercely competitive global environment. We do many things well and lead the world in areas like mining, agriculture and various services industries. However, with a small local market we lack the scale and expertise needed to exploit opportunities in many sectors of our economy, particularly manufacturing.
It’s no secret that the Australian pharma and medicines industry is going through tough times. Globally, the industry is having to grapple with changing business models, a more competitive market, major patent expiries, shifting technology, constrained budgets, increasing scrutiny from payers and regulators, and fundamental questions being raised about the validity of what the industry does. Australia has not been immune from these pressures. Many of the challenges the industry is facing around the world are being replayed here in Australia and it is incumbent upon the industry to collectively articulate the value of what it does and the issues it needs to pursue.
This is why this survey by PwC is particularly pertinent. It comes at a time when the industry is grappling with a range of issues here in Australia, not least of which is the tough reimbursement environment. Overwhelmingly the Australian medicines industry has signaled its frustration with a system that appears to be getting more difficult to navigate for various reasons. Against the backdrop of major price reductions and restructuring, the difficulties in delivering new medicines and vaccines are a major disappointment. The reforms to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme over the last 10 years or so were always about generating more competition and savings in the off-patent market to provide headroom for new medicines to be listed on the PBS and made available to Australians. While the savings are being delivered, there is still some way to go to securing the timely access to new medicines and vaccines that Australians demand.
Advancing Australia as a Digital Economy is an update of the 2011 NDES, building on the 2011 NDES, and laying out the next steps towards delivering our 2020 vision.
The recent Australia in the Asian Century White Paper focussed on the enormous social and economic transformation taking place across Asia and the opportunities this growth represents for Australia. To embrace these opportunities, we need to have communications infrastructure that is capable of supporting the burgeoning exchange of ideas and commerce in the Asian region and the necessary skills to participate fully in the global digital economy.
The Government is ensuring that Australia will have worldclass infrastructure by delivering on its commitment to build the National Broadband Network (NBN)
This report explores the relationship between technology investment and productivity in Australian companies. It draws from several sources: the Australian Industry Group’s 2013 National CEO Business Prospects Survey of nearly 350 CEOs, facilitated discussion groups with business leaders, and in-depth interviews with innovative companies from the manufacturing, services and construction sectors. The Report examines the extent of Australian companies’ investment in new technologies and research and development, the success factors and barriers involved, and the impact of these investments on productivity.
Australian businesses have been keen technology adopters over the last two decades. At a company level, this has had a positive impact on productivity, with new research undertaken for this report confirming that companies which invest in new technologies are significantly more likely to experience improved labour productivity than those that do not.
Australia’s productivity performance has a major influence on real per capita income growth. Productivity growth improves current living standards as well as the nation’s capacity to address future challenges such as our ageing population and global economic shocks.
Despite the best efforts of statisticians and economists, the measurement and interpretation of productivity remains a challenge. The update seeks to demystify this commonly used, but often misunderstood, concept.
Future editions of the update will come out in the March quarter of each year. Each edition will unpack the latest ABS productivity statistics, and report on the findings of the Commission’s most recent research into productivity issues.
The Commission is charged with promoting public understanding of productivity issues. A timely annual exploration of Australia’s productivity performance aims to contribute to the public debate and to encourage informed policy discussion.
The Smart Farming: leveraging the impact of broadband and the digital economy report outlines initial research findings from Smart Farming projects, which indicate smart farming productivity benefits.
The roll out of Australia’s next generation broadband network and the growing impact of the digital economy through the adoption of smart digital services has the potential to help the rural sector meet its productivity and sustainability challenges. CSIRO is currently undertaking a number of different Smart Farming projects which look to realise these possibilities.
This report reviews the economic contribution of Venture Capital to Australia. To date, around 500 companies in Australia have been backed by VC. in the us, there are 24,000 such companies. Despite the relatively shorter history of VC in Australia, many of our current leading technology and life sciences companies can claim VC backing in their histories.
What have been the outcomes of VC investment in Australia? Creating jobs and growing innovative companies: VC backing has helped create new highly-skilled jobs and catalyse the growth of new innovative companies that have become market leaders in their own right. Bringing Australian research from the laboratory to the marketplace: VC backing has helped transform homegrown innovation into real productivity gains that have helped make our smart industries bigger, and big industries smarter. Generating far-reaching returns to society and the economy: VC-backed products and services have changed and improved our quality of life, producing high social and economic returns per dollar invested.
One of the fundamental responsibilities of any Australian Government is to protect and defend our people and protect and enhance our national security interests. This requires making complex strategic judgements about risks and opportunities in the international strategic environment. It means providing for an effective and efficiently run Australian Defence Force which is able to make its contribution to meeting strategic challenges.
Government must make judgements about Defence posture, operational capacity, capability, sustainment and Defence budgets and finances.
This periodically requires an Australian Government to methodically review the international strategic environment and Australia’s strategic settings and posture to ensure they are appropriate to changing circumstances.
This last occurred in 2009 – the first Defence White Paper in nine years, far too long a period. That is why the Government committed in 2009 to Defence White Papers not more than five years apart and why the Prime Minister and I announced in May last year that the Government would deliver a new Defence White Paper in the first half of this year.
This is the second stage in the consultation process in this Inquiry into whether the Copyright Act needs amendment to allow Australia to fully participate in a modern, digital economy. The first stage included the release of the Issues Paper, Copyright and the Digital Economy (ALRC IP 42), which generated 295 submissions.
In releasing this Discussion Paper, the ALRC again calls for submissions to inform the final stage of deliberations leading up to the final Report, which is to be provided to the Attorney-General by the end of November 2013. This introductory chapter and Chapters 2 and 3 provide an overview of the policy framework and the background to questions and proposals in the Discussion Paper. They set out in detail the issues raised by the Terms of Reference, the research behind the proposals, a thorough analysis and discussion of stakeholder views.
In considering whether changes are needed to the Copyright Act, and options for reform, the ALRC is required to consider whether existing exceptions to copyright are appropriate, and whether further exceptions should be introduced. In doing so the ALRC has to take into account the impact of proposed changes on other areas of law, consistency with Australia’s international obligations and recommendations from other reviews.
The environment in which Australia’s National Security and Intelligence Agencies operate is a complex and rapidly evolving one. Recent events such as the Boston bombings and the murder of a British Soldier on the streets of London remind us of the impact of terrorist attacks and the continued need for the Government and its Security and Intelligence Agencies to maintain vigilance, preparedness for and defence against terrorist attacks.
The Committee recognises the need for our Security and Intelligence Agencies to be appropriately resourced and to be granted powers, which are often intrusive, to carry out their work. However, these intrusive powers must always be balanced by appropriate safeguards for the privacy of individuals and the community recognising that Australia is a democratic nation which values personal freedom and places limits on the Power of the State.
The Inquiry into the reforms proposed by the Attorney General was one of the most complex and controversial inquiries ever undertaken by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (the Committee).
This edition of Dealtracker – Flight to quality covers Australian mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and equity market activity during the 18 month period to 31 December 2012. Our analysis shows a decline in median transaction valuation multiples when compared to the preceding 18 month period, however high multiples are being paid for companies with strong growth prospects.
Whilst a large number of private businesses in Australia are expected to change owners in the medium term to longer term, many have been deferring sales processes in the current market conditions. As vendors gain confidence in fair valuation multiples, we expect to see a gradual increase in deal activity.
The Higher Education Online Revolution in Australia is not new, but in 2012 it caught popular attention. Hundreds of media stories about ‘MOOCs’ – massive open online courses – drove a surge in enrolments. By March this year more than three million people around the world had enrolled in Coursera, the largest MOOC provider. High-profile universities, including the University of Melbourne, rushed to make their course materials available via MOOCs. Time magazine published a cover story on online technology ‘reinventing college’, asking if it could make higher education better and cheaper.
The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education seeks to build and sustain links with academics and researchers with an interest in Innovation Research and/or Innovation Policy. As part of this process, the Department has developed a community of academics and researchers working, or interested, in the field of innovation theory and practice. The Community is open to academics and researchers in Australia as well as overseas.
The Community uses a broad definition of ‘innovation’ and includes work related to:
- The innovation process
- Innovation within organisations, including the public sector
- Business model innovation.
Academics and researchers include individuals affiliated with a university or public research organisation.
The Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research in Australia was established by the Australian Government in late 2011. The Review was to report early in 2013 and recommend a 10-year strategic health and medical research plan for the nation.
The Panel is chaired by 2011 Australian of the Year, Mr Simon McKeon AO. The other members of the expert panel are:
- Ms Elizabeth Alexander AM;
- Professor Henry Brodaty AO;
- Mr Bill Ferris AC;
- Professor Ian Frazer AC; and
- Professor Melissa Little.
Creating and supporting Australian jobs and building a dynamic and diverse economy are critical objectives for the Australian Government. A Plan for Australian Jobs is a $1 billion investment in this critical work.
Australia’s economy is resilient. While the Global Financial Crisis pushed other economies into recession, we saved jobs and kept our economy growing. Now the Government is laying the foundations for future growth and prosperity. Our economy is experiencing profound structural change. A high Australian dollar is placing many businesses, particularly those in manufacturing, under pressure. Changes in our economy have real impacts on people and communities. Australians expect people to be supported through these periods of change and that is why we are acting.
Australians also expect their business and political leaders to generate prosperity. The Government’s vision is for Australia to have innovative industries that deliver high-skill and well-paying jobs. We want Australia to be world-competitive with a dynamic and diverse economy, powered by multiple engines of growth across a range of industries and regions. That is why the Government has almost doubled its spending on schooling, made record investments in research, and is modernising the nation’s transport infrastructure, building the National Broadband Network, and moving to a Clean Energy Future.
Venture capital and later stage private equity is high risk capital directed towards businesses with prospects of rapid growth and/or high rates of returns. Australian Venture Capital and Private Equity Industry. It is an investment not only of money, but also of skills and time. This publication presents information on both financial and non-financial contributions to venture capital and later stage private equity investments.
The Real-Time Payments Committee was formed in September 2012 to develop a clear way forward for the Australian payments industry on real-time, low value payments.
The catalyst for action was the publication in June 2012 of the Payments System Board’s Strategic Review of Innovation in the Payments System; Conclusions (Conclusions Paper). In the Conclusions Paper, the Payments System Board (PSB) sets out strategic objectives for the development of Australian real-time low value payments. The Committee is committed to working with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Australian payments industry participants on payment system evolution.
Digital Economy Scoping Brief – under the auspices of the Australia Program theme ‘Connecting and Integrating Australia, Asia and the World’, The Global Foundation recently convened an exploratory Roundtable meeting in conjunction with PwC and Telstra.
The Roundtable marked the beginning of a comprehensive program of engagement by the Foundation to explore and better understand the digital economy.
Of course, the idea of an emergent digital economy is not a new one. However the forces driving this change – including universal broadband, ‘always on’ internet access, big data and inexpensive computing power, ‘crowd’ generated social services and ubiquitous smart mobile devices – are new and have the potential to create significant economic and social disruption.
AIIA welcomes the opportunity to provide input into development of the Prime Minister’s Digital Economy White Paper. The following comments complement the contributions already provided by AIIA’s participation in the Prime Minister’s Digital Economy Forum in October 2012; Minister Evans’ Skills forum in November; the follow up workshop hosted by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) to discuss the White Paper in December 2012; our response to the Draft National Cloud Computing Strategy in December 2012; and the ICT Skills and Training Development: a ‘State of Play’ Paper developed and circulated by the AIIA also in December 2012. In presenting these additional comments our focus is on recommending a fresh approach to positioning the Digital Economy agenda, rather than expanding what is already a long ‘shopping list’ of suggestions.
The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is the peak national body representing multinational and domestic suppliers and providers of a wide range of information technology and communications (ICT) products and services. We represent over 400 member organisations nationally, including global brands such as Apple, EMC, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Oracle; international companies including Telstra; national companies including Data#3, SMS Management and Technology, Technology One and
Oakton Limited; and a large number of ICT SME’s. All of our members, large and small are committed to developing Australia’s digital capability and presence nationally and on the global stage.
The Australian Government takes cyber security very seriously. CERT Australia stands at the forefront of the Australian Government’s support to businesses in best preparing it to defend against cyber attacks on their systems and networks – attacks that can affect us all.
Australia’s way of life is now integrally linked with the internet. The internet provides a global means of communication and interaction that underpins much of our lives – for government, business and individuals.
But while the internet offers huge range of opportunities, it also brings risks associated with criminal and malicious activity that seeks to exploit those who use it. In particular, the activities and transactions conducted by business online require diligence to ensure that Australia maximises the opportunities offered by digital economy.
Australia’s first National Security Strategy highlights the dramatic economic and strategic shift towards the Asia-Pacific region and provides a blueprint for national security over the next decade.
Complementing the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, the National Security Strategy will ensure Australia takes advantage of the opportunities of the Asian Century whilst focussing national security efforts on the risks and challenges that come with change in the region.
Year Book Australia is the principal reference work produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It provides a comprehensive statistical picture of the Australian economy, society and environment. In addition, it contains information on Australia’s geography and climate, system of government, government services, international relations and defence.
The first Official Year Book of the Commonwealth was published in 1908, although individual Australian states and colonies had been producing year books for several decades previously. Over more than 100 years, the ABS and its predecessor, the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, have maintained the tradition of publishing the Year Book. This is the 92nd edition of Year Book Australia, and as with previous editions, a number of additional articles are included.
The ICT Strategy identifies actions to be taken between 2012 and 2015 to continue the release of government data for wider use, to share information and knowledge resources and unlock further economic and social value.
The global connectedness arising from technology creates opportunities for Australia’s participation in new economies, to be a leader in exploiting technology for national growth through the NBN and to be a preferred destination for new enterprises.
At the previous PMSEIC meeting, it was agreed that the Chief Scientist would bring to the next meeting advice on breakthrough actions that governments could take to enhance innovation in Australia.
The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) wrote to 63 organisations, peak bodies and individuals seeking their answer to the question:
What are the top breakthrough actions that the Commonwealth and state/territory governments, research agencies, universities and the business community can take to utilise fully Australia’s substantial research capability to contribute to national productivity growth through innovation?
Organisations approached included federal government departments, the Business Council of Australia (BCA), Australian Industry Group (AIG), science and research agencies and the learned academies.
The objective of ICT Statistical Compendium was to produce a series of ‘snapshots’ of statistical data on the ICT workforce for ACS members, industry and government, and a potential ‘bible’ for ICT users, incorporating statistics on the Australian ICT sector, ICT higher and vocational education, ICT trade, and ICT employment and skills.
As with each edition, this compendium does not include all of the available data, but we have tried to amass a range of data addressing the main questions that arise. Some data included in the first publication – e.g. ABS ICT industry data – has again been supplemented with later data from CIIER in this edition, as insufficient ICT specific information was available from the ABS. Where no later data could be identified, sometimes because last year’s issue was delayed, but the data is considered still highly relevant, information has been repeated.
This first Australian Startup Ecosystem Report ‘Silicon Beach’ is a vital contribution to further the awareness of why technology entrepreneurship is important to Australia and where it has room for improvement. It provides much needed perspective as technology entrepreneurship is evolving to become a new fundamental to the Australian economy. The public interest will be increasing and more stakeholders will participate in the Australian startup ecosystem. This report will fuel the public dialogue in order to co-ordinate the necessary dynamics between entrepreneurs, investors, corporate development and policy makers.
Even if the commodities boom lasts decades, Australia is in trouble. In Silicon Valley it took 60 years to create the structural, cultural and financial infrastructure to repeatedly create new billion dollar technology based industries. The problem is, we are wired to think in a linear way. We massively underestimate the long term impact of current technology trends and market shifts impacted by the technology.
Australia is estimated to have the second largest Served IT Opportunity and highest nominal GDP per capita in Asia Pacific excluding Japan. By the end of 2015, the country is expected to be US$1.12 trillion with an average growth rate of 2.5%.
The persistent current account deficit and appreciating dollar have affected the manufacturing and export sector which reflects the “two speed economy” Australia is experiencing.
Government policies toward digital economy, robust services sector specifically financial services and growing industrial sector (mining, food processing, industrial and transportation equipment, and steel) are major drivers that define the current and future growth in Australia.