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ASCA supports call for innovation push

Thursday, 01 February, 2018

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The Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) has echoed a call for Australia to increase its commitment to innovation, made yesterday by Innovation and Science Australia (ISA). The ISA plan sets out a vision for Australia to become a top-tier innovation nation by 2030.

CEO Laurie Patton said ASCA believed innovation was key to Australia leading the world in the creation of smart cities and communities and had previously called for a bipartisan national strategy.

“We need every level of government to embrace the smart use of technology to deal with increasing congestion, environmental issues and the many other constraints that are causing people to question the state of modern city living,” said Patton.

ASCA is the not-for-profit peak body representing people and organisations spearheading moves to make our communities more livable, more sustainable and more technologically empowered. Its members and partners include governments, businesses, universities and passionate individuals.

ASCA was originally created as the Broadband Alliance by people primarily involved in local government who saw great opportunities in an emerging digitally enabled world.

Patton was recently appointed inaugural CEO with a remit to grow the organisation, broaden its focus and enhance its role as a sector leader by engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, including federal and state governments.

“Smart lighting systems that reduce our power needs, smart meters, intelligent traffic monitoring, smart parking systems, connected garbage bins that alert councils when they’re full: these are just some of the solutions already being deployed around the world,” Patton said.

“We need to adopt the best ideas from overseas but, more importantly, we need to be encouraging our local innovation experts to focus on ways to improve our cities and communities.

“When it comes to creating smart cities and communities we are already well on the way, with Melbourne named the 2017 Intelligent Community of the Year by the New York-based Intelligent Communities Forum.

Ipswich has twice been named in the global Top7 (2017 and 2015), while Adelaide, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich are among the Smart21 Communities of 2018 and in the running for the 2018 global Top7 due to be announced next week (8 February).

“Australia helped invent Wi-Fi. We developed the Heart Pacemaker, the Black Box Flight Recorder and numerous other things that have already improved peoples’ lives. Innovation is a strength on which we need to build a better Australia in the 21st century,” Patton said.

The Australian Smart Communities Conference, which will be the largest conference for smart city and communities practitioners in the Southern Hemisphere, will be held in Melbourne from 9–11 May 2018.

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