The need for rigorous applied research on critical Digital-Technology policy questions
The Pearcey Foundation is interested in the role of the ICT sector in creating an innovative Australia. Radical digital innovation has the potential to either relegate Australia to an economic backwater, or propel us forward to be a fair and prosperous society, depending on whether or not we can foster and grow innovation in new ventures and existing organisations.
As we see it, the main opportunities for digital-innovation-led prosperity lie in services, mining, infrastructure and health.
From the Policy Hack call for submissions, it might appear that the best response is to come up with concrete policy ideas (like a Carbon Tax). However, we believe that there is a critical need for an intermediate step. Australia lacks an organised capacity for applied research (and associated activities) focused on creating a globally competitive, sustainable, and fair Australia. The main need we see is for rigorous applied research on critical Digital-Technology policy questions (e.g. issues around data privacy, regulated industry sectors like taxis, accommodations and the like, telecommunications policy). We also see a need for related ancillary activities like those that the Pearcey Foundation has run over the past several years (e.g. the Australia 3.0 forum www.australia30.com.au ) and the hackathon we embedded within it.
To that end, we have been working, in partnership with governments, CSIRO, and universities to create the Pearcey Institute. It will conduct and sponsor economic research that will address the spectrum of issues linking digital innovation to Australia’s future as well as the ancillary activities referred to above. The members will collaborate together, and with corporate R&D organisations, to analyse the possibilities for Australia’s future.
We hope that the policy hack will agree with us on the need for such an organisation and offer an open invitation to partners interested in pursuing this shared vision for Australia to contact us.
Wayne Fitzsimmons, Chairman, Pearcey Foundation Inc. www.pearcey.org.au