The CSIRO has launched the nation’s largest publica0funded research initiative focused on the digital economy.

The Digital Productivity and Services Flagship, CSIRO’s tenth National Research Flagship, is a $40 million research initiative, which will focus on the services sector and optimizing the full value of the country’s growing national broadband infrastructure.

The Director of the Flagship Dr Ian Oppermann says the new Flagship is focused on helping Australia transition from being a predominantly resource-focused nation by developing and delivering more efficient and innovative digitally-enhanced services.

"Australia is faced with the challenge of maintaining a competitive economic edge in an increasingly complex and resource-limited world," Dr Oppermann says.

"Our labour productivity has declined from around 92 per cent relative to the US in 1998 to around 84 per cent in 2010, meaning Australia's economic prospects beyond the current resources boom will deteriorate significantly if the decline in our productivity growth performance is not reversed.”

The Flagship builds on CSIRO's successful track record in health service delivery, logistics, finance and communications. The Flagship will initially focus on four key research areas:

  • Government Services – develop efficient and effective information use, government services and systems through improved decisions, coordination and customer centricity.
  • Commercial Services – with a strong focus on financial services, develop efficient and effective commercial services and systems through better use of capital and improved service delivery models and processes across supply chains.
  • Smart, Secure Infrastructure – extending and securing Australia's physical and cyber infrastructure, including the extension of wireless broadband services.
  • Health Services – improving the safety, quality and efficiency of health services for all Australians by delivering technology in partnership with all State Health Departments.