The next big export opportunity of Australia … the babysitter state

Australians may be annoyed by the nanny state that we have created, but according to the federal government's data sciences agency, these minor annoyances are an export opportunity of $ 15 billion.

This is known as legal infomatica or compliance and is one of the eight & # 39; emerging opportunities & # 39; in the digital world, identified by Data61, a spin-off of the CSIRO.

"We are a very compliant country", Adrian Turner, the chief executive of Data61, describes it diplomatically.

This love of rules and paperwork to enforce them costs Australia an estimated $ 249 billion a year, while in the US it is closer to $ 4 trillion. The idea is to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate as many of these processes as possible and thereby capture a part of what is a gigantic and growing global market.

For Mr. Turner, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who has become a data evangelist, the challenge for Australia is to channel his limited research dollars to areas where we already have a competitive advantage.


Making rules and ensuring that people meet them is apparently one of the eight areas where Australia has already developed a digital advantage.

The other identified areas include digital responses to healthcare, agriculture, mining, urban planning, supply chain integrity and critical infrastructure security.

Mr. Turner and his team at Data61, which has 300 PhD students and work with 30 universities, want to build on this by developing a national strategy around these eight target areas.

As the data science branch of the Australian top research agency, it will then coordinate how different parts of the technologies are developed through university research and industrial collaboration.

"We have to organize ourselves around research and development at national level and not be so fragmented," he said.

"We will never compete with other countries in terms of dollars spent, so we need to be more focused."

Wide cooperation

Mr. Turner will launch this strategy at the annual Data61 conference in Brisbane on Tuesday, with economic modeling being contributed by consultancy firm alphaBeta.

According to the modeling, there is a $ 315 billion chance for Australia in these areas in the next decade.

In each area Mr Turner compares the challenge with the development of a space program that requires collaboration in a wide range of scientific and technical areas.

He cites the example of supply chain integrity, one of the eight areas mentioned in the report, and notes that 36 different workflows need to be set up across a wide range of disciplines.

The problem that needs to be solved in this area is how high-quality Australian food products are not contaminated or imitated on the way to markets around the world.

"This means that physical security is integrated with technology such as blockchain and a strong dependence on data," said Mr. Turner.

He brought this national strategy together in his two-year Data61 and said that maintaining the high standard of living in Australia depends on the right transition to a digital economy.

"We need to find new ways to increase productivity and identify new sources of export competitiveness to secure Australia's future prosperity," he said.

"We can not only rely on what has made us successful in the past, Australia needs to organize itself to build digital exports."

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