A new research report from the Communications Alliance Internet of Things Think Tank has revealed that while Australia's IoT capabilities are sufficient, a lack of industry and government focus continues to impede the opportunities of IoT.
The report, Enabling the Internet of Things for Australia, made 12 recommendations on how industry and government can make changes to help facilitate the development of IoT in Australia. Some of the recommendations include developing appropriate policy and regulation, as well as a model and principals for IoT data sharing and opening public data. It also suggested that a few leaders need to be chosen in key sectors to ensure collaboration is enhanced.
Other recommendations focus on encouraging startups, education, security, and the delivery of network services.
The report estimated that IoT could potentially have an impact on the Australian economy valued at AU$116 billion by 2025. It noted that consumers will have the most to gain, because it may help extend life expectancy, as they will be able to use IoT-enabled preventative health applications, and there will be safer transportation, healthier food and a healthier environment.
Mining and resources, food and agriculture, and transport and logistics were named in the report as sectors where IoT could have the biggest impact, and in turn areas where Australia could make a significant global contribution. It also identified telecommunications, energy management, and health as other industries where IoT could drive benefits.
The launch of the report comes days after the federal government launched one of five AU$225 million Industry Growth Centres aimed to boost the nation's competitiveness, productivity, and capacity to innovate.
In the report, it noted that these Industry Growth Centres will offer the opportunity to leverage IoT innovation and align it to industry activities.
To help carry out the development of these recommendations, the report proposed a series of six workstreams that the industry and broader stakeholders can carry out. These workstreams include seeing collaboration between industry, government, and other stakeholders to foster appropriate policy and regulatory settings; developing IoT open data; driving IoT-focused activities for specific industries; developing IoT security guidelines; and working with parties including the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to address spectrum settings and licensing needs for low bit rate wireless services.
Launching the report, Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher said there is no shortage of complex issues on the agenda for the workstreams, and he is pleased to see that it will focus on the development of a framework to foster startups in IoT.
"Meeting the need for open data and data sharing while successfully addressing the resulting privacy implications will be no mean feat," he said.
"Similarly, ensuring that robust and workable security guidelines are in place for IoT services are both necessary and complicated."
In addition, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello have launched the Knowledge Economy Institute (KEi) at UTS. Established by Sirca, KEi will be an IoT innovation hub for the startup community. This will be the first IoT hub, with plans to establish similar hubs in other capital cities.
As part of this announcement, CEO of KEi Mike Briers will be appointed as Australia's first professor of IoT at UTS.