Government opens $5B door to start-ups

New digital marketplace will be an online catalogue of services, people and technology to assist government with service transformation

The federal government has announced the first stage of a new online digital marketplace that will enable start-ups to access its $5 billion annual spend on ICT projects.

The marketplace is part of the government $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda and is being led by the Digital Transformation Office (DTO).

Minister for industry, innovation and science, Christopher Pyne, said the marketplace will be an online catalogue of services, people and technology to assist the government with service transformation.

“We are keen to open this up to smaller and newly-established businesses who have traditionally found it too big a burden to prove their credentials to government. There have been too many hoops to jump through so they simply haven’t bothered to apply for government ICT work,” Pyne said in a statement.

“That’s a lost opportunity because we know lots of businesses are on the cutting edge of digital innovation and can provide exciting solutions for government to deliver better services at a lower cost.”

The DTO is establishing a series of targeted panels of providers while the marketplace is being built. The government has already launched digital specialists’ panel – the first of three panels – for companies in this field to apply through Austender.

Assistant minister for cities and digital transformation, Angus Taylor, said this panel will make it easier for government agencies to access digital expertise to supplement their teams.

“These are just the first steps in a greater collaboration between government and the tech industry,” he said.

Over the coming months, the DTO will examine the obstacle that block ICT suppliers from providing digital products and services to government. Discovery on the digital marketplace begins next month with a public beta expected by the end of 2016.

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Tags businessstart-upsDigital Transformation Office (DTO)National Innovation and Science Agenda

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Byron Connolly
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