National Innovation System Review urges Web 2.0 adoption

Australian government, public organisations advised to adopt Web 2.0 technologies to enhance information sharing and accessibility.

The federal government has released the report of the Review of the National Innovation System Venturous Australia, which details recommendations for remodeling the nation’s innovation system.

Among 72 key recommendations was a call for an advisory committee of Web 2.0 practitioners to be established to propose and help steer governments as they experiment with Web 2.0 technologies and ideas.

“…exciting new possibilities are now emerging for government from the collaborative use of Internet technologies and platforms otherwise known as Web 2.0”, the report read, offering the example of crime being tracked in US neighbourhoods using Google’s online maps.

“In Los Angeles, Neighbourhood Knowledge California identifies communities at economic risk by tracking tax delinquency, fire violations and other signs of deterioration. The federal government has launched several wikis, which permit officials to post information and expand on it until a consensus is reached,” the report said.

According to the review, among the most interesting uses of Web 2.0 technologies by government is Intellipedia; a cross-departmental platform of collaborative tools, such as wikis, that officials from the CIA, FBI, NSA and other US intelligence agencies use to share information.

“The possibilities [of Web 2.0 technologies] here are so substantial, so full of promise (and sometimes so challenging to existing cultures) that it is neither possible nor desirable for this report to spell out comprehensively what might or should occur,” the report, released on Tuesday, said.

However, it did indicate that there are a number of principles with which we may be able to make progress:

“The most fundamental principle is that governments should be as open as possible to experiments with Web 2.0 approaches. Importantly, they should seek to learn from those that are successful but should expect, and educate the public to expect, that many initiatives will not fully succeed.”

The review also recommended making information about the full range of Australian state and territory government innovation programs available through a Web portal.

Other ICT related recommendations include the suggestion that all practicable information, research and content funded by Australian governments should be made freely available over the Internet as part of a global public commons.

“This should be done whilst the Australian government encourages other countries to reciprocate by making their own contributions to the global digital public commons,” the report said.

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