Showing posts with label Digital Business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Digital Business. Show all posts

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Digital Canberra Challenge award winners

Digital Canberra Challenge winners

Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA has today announced the winners of Round Three and launch Round Four of the Digital Canberra Challenge.

The Chief Minister said" The Digital Canberra Challenge is an initiative which not only provides an opportunity for the ACT Government to think differently, but also harnesses the talent and creativity of our innovative SMEs and seeks to engage them in the design and development of digital solutions to improve public service delivery."

"Encouraging the public service to work collaboratively with these organisations will help grow the private sector here in the ACT. This is a priority for the government as we aim to reduce our reliance on the Commonwealth public service."

Round Three joint winners APositive and Link Digital were awarded $10,000 each in prize money. APositive developed a digital art installation and Link Digital developed a Digital Image and Video Library.

APositive is a design studio specialising in using augmented reality. Their innovative solution involved the creation of a unique soundscape at the Arboretum linked to the different forests.

Link Digital is an established digital agency within the Government and commercial sector, located in Canberra, Australia. Link Digital’s solution to developing a Digital Image and Video Library is truly innovative in its use of open source and community supported tools.

Since making the first call for challenges in August 2013, local designers and developers have collaborated with public servants to address real problems encountered by the ACT Government in doing business.

The Chief Minister said "I congratulate all of the participants in this round of the Digital Canberra Challenge and look forward to even more local innovators stepping up to the next challenge."

"The two new challenges to be addressed are Augmented Built Reality and New Communications Platform for ACT Government Staff and Volunteers and I encourage local innovators to get involved."

To find out more visit the Digital Canberra Challenge website External Link - opens in new window.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Digital Canberra Challenge

Do you know about the Digital Canberra Challenge? It’s an initiative that seeks to engage Canberra’s brightest minds to help build and support a dynamic, healthy and prosperous Digital City for the 21st century.

The Digital Canberra Challenge (DCC) invites all Canberrans to get involved in thinking about how to improve our city. If you’re interested in being involved in helping our Government do things better, faster or more efficiently, then keep reading to find out how you can get involved.

How does it work? 

Canberrans are invited to put forward challenges of things they think the Government can improve on through the use of digital technology; things that can be done better, smarter, or faster.

The best two of these are then chosen and the ACT innovation community is invited to put forward their solutions. The top two innovator teams become the competitors who then have twelve weeks to develop a prototype solution and a case study. The teams are then judged with the winner receiving $12,500 and the runner-up $7,500.

What’s been happening so far?

The DCC started in 2013 and runs a new challenge every 6 months. We’re currently nearing the end of round 3 and round 4 will start soon.

There has been a diverse range of challenges so far, from making it easier to book ACT Government services (like road tests) to creating an app for patients and visitors to use while visiting The Canberra Hospital.

This round the challenges are: developing a digital public art installation and creating a whole of government image and video library that both the Government and public can access.

How do I get involved?

Do you have an idea?

If you’re interested in making our Government better and have some ideas to put forward, it’s really easy. All you need to do is write a few sentences explaining the situation, the opportunity for improvement and what you want to see achieved. Just go to the Digital Canberra website.

If your challenge gets picked, you’ll receive a Great Idea award. If your challenge isn’t picked this round, don’t worry, it will continue to be considered for future rounds.

Are you an innovator?

Make sure you keep up to date with Program and consider applying if you have a solution to one of the challenges. The challenge will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to get to work directly with a Government agency, to build connections within the innovator community and develop a solution to a real problem.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

CBRfree public Wi-Fi goes live in Civic

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has today launched CBRfree public Wi-Fi in Civic East – the first area of the city to go permanently live with Canberra’s new free public Wi-Fi network.

At the launch, the Chief Minster also announced that service provider iiNet will increase the download limit of CBRfree from 100 megabytes per day (3 gigabytes per month), to 250 megabytes per day (7.5 gigabytes per month).

“This is a significant moment for Canberra and represents the ACT Government’s commitment to our future as a smart and digital city,” the Chief Minister said.

“We want to ensure Canberra is a place where businesses and entrepreneurs can compete globally in new knowledge-based and ICT industries.

“The rollout of CBRfree Wi-Fi will continue to make Canberra a place of influence and innovation. It will encourage vibrant town centres where Canberrans are connected to their community and are able to engage with Government services easily.

“It is fantastic that iiNet have offered to increase the download limit of CBRfree to 250MB at no additional cost to the Territory. This allows iiNet to create a homogenous service across the cities in which it delivers free public Wi-Fi while giving Canberrans even greater connectivity.

In May this year, the Chief Minister announced that as of October Civic East – from Garema Place to the Convention Centre, round to Gorman House and up to Girrahween Street in Braddon – would be the first area of the city to go live with CBRfree public Wi-Fi. This would be followed with a staged rollout in other town centres and commercial precincts over the following 12 months.

“The next area of Canberra that CBRfree public Wi-Fi will be rolled out in is Civic West – from Moore Street to the New Acton precinct. This area is scheduled to be fully live in January 2015,” the Chief Minister said.

“Over the coming months, as free public Wi-Fi is rolled out across all of Civic, Canberrans will start to see signage that will identify the free public Wi-Fi hotspots. I encourage you all to log on and check out the new network,” the Chief Minister concluded.

CBRfree public Wi-Fi was recently made available at this year’s Floriade and was incredibly popular. There were more than 48,000 sessions and nearly 13,000 unique users connecting to the network over the duration of the festival.

The new free public Wi-Fi service will provide users with 250 megabytes per day, totalling 7.5 gigabytes per month. An example of the type of internet activity Canberrans will have per month is:
  • the capacity to send around 15,000 emails (without attachments);
  • make around 1,500 Facebook posts;
  • download about 525 songs; or
  • download roughly 1,500 photos.

For more information on the rollout of CBRfree public Wi-Fi visit  External Link - opens in new window.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Streamlined ‘digital ID wallet’ from Imagine Team wins top Canberra SME innovation award

Winners of round 2 of the Digital Canberra Challenge

A prototype app giving Canberra residents the ability to seamlessly access a wide range of local services has secured first place – and a $12,500 cash prize for Canberra’s Imagine Team – at the Digital Canberra Challenge External Link - opens in new window awards this week.

Imagine Team’s 'digital ID' wallet gives users one app instead of a myriad of cards to access buses, libraries and other government services. The app, called ‘Cardly’ is the brainchild of co-creators Zakaria Bouguettaya and Andrew Clapham. The prototype app incorporates MyWay cards and ACT drivers' licences but can be extended to include other services. Bouguettaya said he will use the cash prize to further develop the prototype.

“I want to thank NICTA’s eGov Cluster and the ACT Government for backing the Digital Canberra Challenge. The support that this competition is giving to innovative SMEs in Canberra has been fantastic,” said Mr Bouguettaya.

Mr Bouguettaya says he anticipates using the money on extending the concept of Cardly, and investing on his other venture, As for the next steps for Cardly, Mr. Bouguettaya is in discussions with government agencies to see how the concept can be rolled out for a private beta, and what would be needed to see it through to reality.

The runner-up app came from local start-up company Basement Labs. It aims to streamline information about the Canberra Hospital for patients, visitors and staff. Tim Ainge from Basement Labs has trialled the app in the hospital’s new paediatrics ward. “The value of the app is in providing information in smaller and more relevant ‘chunks’, making it easier for people to consume,” said Mr Ainge.

This awards were presented last night at NICTA’s Canberra Laboratory by ACT Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr. He also launched round three of the Challenge. “Through the Challenge, we have seen SMEs challenging the status quo and thinking deeply about the issues facing our government. These businesses have been focussed on developing the right solutions for these challenges. The Digital Canberra Challenge encourages ACT public servants, and the local community, to get involved in thinking differently about our government and developing new and better ways for us to do business,” said Minister Barr.

Michael Phillips, Manager of the NICTA-led eGov Cluster said: “Once again, the diversity, drive and resourcefulness of Canberra’s innovators was on show in the Digital Canberra Challenge. Congratulations to the winners!”

Digital Canberra Challenge is an ACT Government initiative to engage Canberra’s brightest minds to help build and support a dynamic, healthy and prosperous Digital City for the 21st century.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

ACT Budget 2014-15: Investing in Canberra

On 3 June 2014, ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr handed down the 2014-15 ACT Budget, a budget about investing in Canberra to maintain growth in our economy and support local jobs.

This includes $2.5 billion investment over four years in a capital program - the largest ever by an ACT Government – which will help progress transformational projects such as Capital Metro, Australia Forum, City to the Lake and new court facilities. It also includes investment in the tourism and events, education, health and community sectors.

The ACT Government recognises local businesses as the lifeblood of the economy and it is hoped these investments will deliver the transformative infrastructure needed to support businesses for the long term. As part of the budget there is also a range of new and continuing initiatives aimed specifically at helping businesses to grow and create jobs.

This includes the acceleration of payroll tax reform which will see the threshold rise from $1.75 million to $1.85 million in 2014-15. For businesses with a payroll of $2 million this will mean a saving of $6,850 per year.

Combined with the 2012 payroll tax cuts, this means Canberra businesses, on average, are each paying $25,000 less payroll tax annually than before the reforms.

In his Budget speech, Minister Barr said “Businesses in Canberra continue to benefit from our tax reform agenda. Stamp duty continues to come down and insurance taxes will be fully abolished in 2016.”

The ACT Government recognises the burden government regulation imposes on business and so this Budget brings red tape reduction to the fore, with specific actions right across government.

During 2014-15, the ACT Government will set up a new forum to give business a direct voice in regulatory reform prioritisation.

Businesses will also be able to interact with government easier, with funding commencing for the digital project, iConnect. When fully developed, iConnect will give access to many government services and payment transactions through a single sign on.

As part of its commitment to making Canberra a digital city, the ACT Government will also introduce electronic tendering which will modernise the process for businesses seeking to work with the Government and reduce the administrative burden on small business.

The 2014-15 ACT Budget also provides continuing support for Canberra’s entrepreneurs.

To help those affected by Commonwealth Government job cuts stay in Canberra and build a new future, a specially tailored program will be implemented to provide them with support to start their own business.

Young entrepreneurs will also benefit from the budget through the new Young Business Connect program. The $300,000 program will provide assistance to young entrepreneurs, helping them to develop their ideas and establish new local businesses. This will include business planning and market development advice, connections to specialist advisors and business mentors and assistance in attracting start up funding.

The recently announced CBR Innovation Network, which will provide a more joined up approach to the delivery business services and advice, will have an important role to play in shaping the delivery arrangements for these new programs.

ACT businesses are the heart of our economy and community and this package of measures aims to invest in our city and our economy in partnership with the business community.

View the full ACT Budget 2014-15 External Link - opens in new window.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Free Wi-fi provider announced

Creating a leading digital city. That’s the ultimate goal of the ACT Government’s Digital Canberra Action Plan External Link - opens in new window, unveiled by Chief Minister Katy Gallagher MLA earlier this year.

One of the major priorities within the action plan is the implementation of free Wi-Fi in Canberra, commencing in Civic and later rolling out to other town centres and commercial precincts. Last week, the Chief Minister took the next step in achieving this goal, announcing iiNet as the successful supplier to provide the Wi-fi which will be available in Civic from October this year.

iiNet has delivered a free public network in Adelaide that is used by 200,000 people each month and has up to 500 people connected during peak periods.

Once available, Canberrans will be able to download up to 100 megabytes per day of data. When complete, the Territory’s network will be the largest free outdoor public network in Australia.

Read more about in the Canberra Times article, ‘Free Wi-Fi for Canberrans to come to Civic in October’ External Link - opens in new window.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Digital Canberra Challenge awards ACT innovators

Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA has launch Round 2 of the Digital Canberra Challenge and presented prizes to the winners of Round 1 of the Competition.

The Digital Canberra Challenge, an initiative of Growth, Diversification and Jobs: A Business Development Strategy for the ACT, aims to create a more effective and efficient government by working with local innovators to develop new and improved digital government services. The Program has been developed to align closely with the ACT Government’s broader Digital Canberra agenda.

The Digital Canberra Challenge features two competition rounds a year with Round 1 of the Competition launched in August 2013. Since then:

  • The general public and members of the ACT Public Service have put forward a total of 21 unresolved business requirements, or challenges.
  • From this pool of challenges, two were selected and ACT innovators were invited to submit proposed solutions for the two challenges.
  • Eleven ACT innovators submitted their proposed solutions, and two teams were selected to develop proof-of-concept prototypes and compete for the prizes.
  • Over the past three months, DigiACTive has partnered with the ACT Government Territory and Municipal Services Directorate (TAMS) to develop a proof-of-concept prototype to provide an online permit approval service that allows people to submit their applications online with guidance and checklists.
  • Design Managers Australia has partnered with the ACT Government Justice and Community Service Directorate (JACS) to develop a ‘proof-of-concept’ prototype to set up an online facility which allows people to view service availability time slots and then book and pay for it.

In what was an extremely competitive Round 1, the DigiACTive team, comprising ofthree ANU undergraduates, has emerged as the inaugural winner taking home $12,500 in prize money.  Design Managers Australia, a Canberra-based specialist service design agency working with private, public, community and volunteer organisations, received $7,500 as runner-up.

The work that both companies delivered in a partnership arrangement with the ACT Directorates has been exceptional. The government recognises that the best outcome for the competition would be for the companies to continue the development work commercially with the directorates. The ACT Government will be looking at ways of progressing this.

At the award ceremony, Minister Barr also launched Round 2 of the Digital Canberra Competition. From a list of approximately 30 challenges submitted for the round by ACT public servants and others in the community, the 2 challenges chosen are:

Challenge 1: Better access to hospital info' about patient's progress; facilities and services; and
Challenge 2: Improved ACT service delivery through a streamlined personal identity system.

To find out more or to participate the challenge, visit the Digital Canberra Challenge website External Link - opens in new window.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Part 2: Increase your business' digital presence - there's help out there!

In last week’s blog post we discussed creating a website for your business and potentially using that website to engage in e-commerce. These are just a couple of ways your business can increase its digital presence.

Social media:

Social media is just one more way your business can create an online presence. This is often quite an effective, low-cost option that can be a way to create a connection with your customers.

There are a number of different social media platforms, the most popular ones include:

The Australian Government’s Digital Business website External Link - opens in new window as well as the Driving Business Online website External Link - opens in new window both provide information to help your business start with social media.

You can also visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website External Link - opens in new window which provides information relating to:
  • monitoring social media;
  • minimising your risk on social media; and
  • misleading claims and comments on social media.

Still need help? Contact the ACT Digital Enterprise program.

The ACT Digital Enterprise Program External Link - opens in new window is an Australian and ACT Government initiative, delivered by the Canberra Business Council. The program uses industry experts, digital champions and case studies to demonstrate the digital success stories of local Canberra businesses.

The ACT Digital Enterprise Program provides hands-on learning to local business through a series of group workshops. These workshops cover topics such as e-commerce, online marketing, social media and digital strategies. To find out more about their upcoming workshops visit the ACT Digital Enterprise Program Event Calendar External Link - opens in new window.

You can also contact the ACT Digital Enterprise Program to arrange a free personalised business consultation. Using expert professionals, the consultation will help your business to understand where it is, where it wants to go and how the goals can be achieved.

To qualify for the consultation, you must attend at least one of the group workshops.

To arrange a free personalised consultation register your details on the ACT Digital Enterprise website External Link - opens in new window. You will then be asked to complete a short online questionnaire which will determine your current business’ digital position.

An appointment with one of their industry experts will then be arranged to discuss your businesses and to develop some options to deliver its digital growth. A ‘Digital Ready Roadmap’ will then be provided to you outlining the next steps.

Have you found any other resources that help business get online? Share your tips on our Facebook External Link - opens in new window or Twitter External Link - opens in new window pages.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Part 1: Increase your business’ digital presence – there’s help out there!

Retail business owner using computer

In 2002, 23 percent of Australian business had an online presence1. Ten years later, that number has grown – only just! The latest results of the Australian Bureau of StatisticsExternal Link - opens in new window (ABS) annual Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business External Link - opens in new window show that in 2011-12, whilst 91.9 percent of Australian businesses have internet access, only 44.6 percent have a web presence.

Creating an online presence for your business can open up a wide range of opportunities. You may just use it as a marketing tool, or you may use it to engage in e-commerce, where you sell your products or services online.

So is your business part of the majority of Australian businesses that are not online? Why not? While entering the digital world may seem like a daunting task, it could be easier then you think - and there are plenty of free resources available to help you! Following are some tips to get you underway.

To make the most of your business’ online activities you should look at developing a plan, such as an online business plan or a digital strategy. This should include what you are hoping to achieve through your digital activities, and how you plan to achieve them.

To help you get started with creating an online business plan, download the ‘Online business plan template’ External Link - opens in new window available on the Australian Government’s Digital Business website External Link - opens in new window or visit the Winning Business Online website External Link - opens in new window.

Creating a website:
One of the simplest ways to get online is to create a website.

The Digital Business website External Link - opens in new window provides a range of information to help your business create its first website, including:
  • helping you understand the costs and timeframes involved;
  • registering a web address;
  • building the website;
  • launching and marketing the website; and
  • keeping the content on your website fresh.

One of the key advantages of online business activity, particularly websites, is the capacity to track and measure its performance, such as how many people are visiting, how long they are staying and what they are clicking on. Some website hosting companies provide analytics tools, however there are also other alternatives such as Google Analytics or Yahoo! Web Analytics. Find out more about website analytics External Link - opens in new window.

If you want to take your website to the next level, you can use it as a tool to engage in e-commerce.

In an Australian and Communications Media Authority report External Link - opens in new window, in the six months leading up to April 2011, approximately 62 percent of Australian adult internet users purchased a good or service online. E-commerce can allow your business to grow its customer base by tapping into this market, and by giving you access to national or even international audiences. It can also provide a more convenient experience for your customers, with the ability for them to purchase your products or services at a time suitable for them.

The Digital Business website External Link - opens in new window provides a number of e-commerce resources. The Australian Government’s website External Link - opens in new window website also has an Online Business section which includes information on:
  • the legal essentials for doing business online;
  • making your online activity safe and secure;
  • marketing your online goods or services; and
  • importing and exporting goods online.

You can also visit the Driving Business Online website External Link - opens in new window for free assistance on e-commerce. An initiative of PayPal Australia, along with supporting partners, the Driving Business Online website aims to help small business get onto the internet, or make their existing online business more successful. The website provides information on:
  • setting up online shopping carts;
  • taking payments online; and
  • managing the logistics such as delivery and shipping.

There’s a lot more resources and information available to help your business online presence! Make sure you come back to this blog next week to read Part 2.

Is your business already online? Share your tips and stories on our Facebook External Link - opens in new window or Twitter External Link - opens in new window pages.

1 ABS, Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2005-06