NSW Government tips in $6 million for innovative ICT initiatives

Wednesday, 22 December, 2010

The tourism and retail sectors will be the first to benefit from a new $6 million NSW Government fund to develop innovative new-to-market information communication technology initiatives.

Minister for Tourism Jodi McKay said the first stage of the NSW Government’s Collaborative Solutions Program will help increase use of mobile and wireless solutions for the tourism and retail sectors, before being rolled out to other industries.

“The Collaborative Solutions Program is part of the NSW Government’s $36 million Digital Economy Strategy and will provide $2 million a year over three years to bring together business consortia to develop new ICT-enabled innovations across a number of sectors,” McKay said.

“The first stage will be the ‘Mobile Concierge’ program, focusing on mobile and wireless solutions in tourism and retail, which are both high-value sectors of the state’s economy and which have the potential to benefit hugely from digital innovation.

“The tourism sector in NSW is already leading the way in the digital economy and Tourism NSW has built an extensive online presence through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, with our visitnsw.com and Sydney.com websites now visited by more than 600,000 people each month.

“We’ve also increased our click-through rate from the visitnsw.com and Sydney.com websites to industry operator websites from one in 12 visitors to one in three - and we plan to boost this even further over the next year.

“We know from our recent Visitor Information Services review of Sydney that visitors want better delivery of information via technology platforms, and the Mobile Concierge program will provide much-needed funding to the private sector to help develop these solutions.

“From virtual tour guides and interactive tourist maps, to real-time communication and marketing services that can enhance the visitor experience, this initiative will help generate a range of innovative and commercially ready applications,” McKay said.

McKay said Collaborative Solutions funding will be offered competitively to business consortia comprising mobile application developers, technology and service providers, device manufacturers, research organisations and user organisations.

“As a guideline, the grants will cover a maximum of 35% of total project costs up to $250,000, but higher amounts will be considered for exceptional proposals.”

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