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NICTA CEO appointed.



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NICTA CEO appointed

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston today welcomed the appointment of Dr Mel Slater as the new CEO and President of National ICT Australia (NICTA).

Dr Slater is a former Vice President of the Global Software Group, Americas, for Motorola in the United States and has held positions on the Boards of the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Illinois. Dr Slater brings with him a wealth of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) experience that will help position NICTA-our national ICT Centre of Excellence-and Australia, as a major driver of innovation in the ICT sector.

Dr Slater's international experience in managing major ICT projects and his impressive corporate background will help NICTA take a leadership role within Australia's ICT research community.

The Framework for the Future report Enabling our Future, released on 15 April 2003, and the Government's $2.9 billion Backing Australia's Ability program highlight the critical role of R&D in ensuring Australia can take full advantage of ICT. NICTA, coupled with other Government initiatives (including the setting of National Research Priorities) will help ensure that these benefits are delivered.

Dr Slater's appointment will help NICTA become a cornerstone of Australia's innovation infrastructure. NICTA will create critical mass in public sector research, develop ICT skills and develop an environment where innovative ideas will be nurtured, developed and commercialised.

The Commonwealth Government has committed $129.5 million to NICTA giving it a central role in promoting the future growth and prosperity of Australia's ICT industry.

NICTA is a new breed of research institute and will use four pillars-research (ideas), training (skills), collaboration and commercialisation-to build Australia's ICT research capability with the long-term goal of generating wealth for the country.

Senator Alston thanked Professor Brian Anderson, the interim CEO and President of NICTA, for his outstanding and tireless work in establishing the Centre of Excellence and said he looked forward to Professor Anderson's ongoing involvement with NICTA.

The appointment of Dr Slater follows the recent launch of NICTA and is a very

positive step for the organisation as it begins to build our national capacity for innovation.

Media contact: Simon Troeth 02 6277 7480 or 0439 425 373 Website: www.richardalston.dcita.gov.au

48/03 16 April 2003