Is Australia ready for the digital world?
While the use of all this technology is growing in Australia, the academies stress that the country lags in innovation and development.
“We call on the Australian Government to recognise the importance of building scientific capability behind the digital economy, both in investment and narrative,” says Professor Shazia Sadiq, an ATSE Fellow and computer science researcher at the University of Queensland.
The summary stresses that compared to other Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations, Australia is falling behind in digital technology research and development.
On average, 11.2% of OECD nations’ GDP comes from digital innovation, while in Australia it only accounts for 7.4%.
The academies have three key recommendations for the federal government:
- Prioritise research and innovation in emerging digital technologies
- Include this in the 2021 Research Infrastructure Roadmap, and
- Recognise digital technology as its own independent growth sector
This contrasts with a rise in automation and AI, both of which are expected to replace jobs and further disrupt the workplace over the next decade.
“Australia must address the digital divide to ensure equity of access to the benefits delivered by digital technologies, and to meet the skill requirements for a future digital workforce,” says ATSE Fellow and University of South Australia Emeritus Professor Mike Miller.
“Australia’s emerging digital technology capabilities must receive this support in order for the nation to remain internationally competitive and ensure that scientific leadership is adequately harnessed in shaping our collective digital future.”
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This article was originally published on cosmosmagazine.com and was written by Ellen Phiddian.