THE Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Senator Kim Carr, yesterday launched a Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) aimed at significantly increasing productivity in Australia’s services industry and enhancing its global competitiveness.
The Smart Services CRC was awarded $30.8 million of CRC program funding until 30 June 2014 to develop work by its predecessor, the Smart Internet Technology CRC.
“The Smart Services CRC will focus its research in three sectors – finance, media, and government — to develop high-value, sophisticated digital services delivered over internet and mobile platforms,” Senator Carr said.
“In an advanced knowledge intensive country like Australia, a strong and competitive services sector is fundamental to our well being.”
The Smart Services CRC will work in six strategic areas: global services futures, user-focused services, service aggregation, multi-channel content delivery, trust and privacy issues, and collaborative service interfaces.
“This CRC will help Australian service industries to evolve new business models as they undergo transformation driven both by consumer involvement with service creation and by competition with new providers.
“The services economy is commonly known as the largest contributor to Australia’s industry value added and employment, and a growing contributor to exports.”
Senator Carr said the Smart Internet Technology CRC had resulted in the Collaborative Services Network technology that had operability across multiple service economy sectors.
This would be used by the Smart Services CRC in trials involving health services and other government and finance service delivery areas.
“The new business models will result in new ways of doing business and will enable Australian service industries to increase the export of digital services by capturing and utilising the knowledge of their highly skilled workers,” Senator Carr said.
“Smart digital services will enable service providers to use their human resources more productively, delivering larger volumes of service and higher profitability.”
Businesses will be able to increase the productivity of their internal operations by using external services selectively.
“The latest aggregate data for the services economy indicates it represents around 77 per cent of industry value added; around 85 per cent of employment; and around 23 per cent of Australia’s exports.”