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Secrets of ICT competition putting Australian innovation on the map.



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Secrets of ICT competition putting Australian innovation on the map

A national competition which last year helped Australian information and communications technology (ICT) firms generate almost $8 million in new business and a host of business leads has attracted 78 ICT companies from across the country to its 2003 short-list.

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, said the winners of the second Secrets of Australian ICT Innovation competition will get the opportunity to participate in major ICT events both nationally and internationally.

The 2003 Secrets competition was launched by Senator Alston at CeBIT Australia in Sydney in May and follows on the presentation by 35 innovative Australian ICT companies (the 2002 Secrets winners) of their ideas and products to international delegates attending the World Congress on IT (WCIT) in Adelaide last year.

A survey conducted only two months after the inaugural Secrets competition showed companies who presented at WCIT2002 had managed to generate $7.45 million of new business as well as a significant number of additional business leads.

This year, a total of 197 entries from all states and territories have been short-listed across eight categories including e-Commerce, e-Security, communications applications, e-Learning, e-Health, entertainment and business/industrial software solutions and tertiary.

The Secrets competition opens up many exciting marketing and networking opportunities for local ICT companies, while recognising the achievements and innovations of the Australian industry both here and overseas.

Austrade's ICT Global Team Leader, Sally-Ann Watts, said a significant number of new companies were short-listed for the competition in 2003 compared to last year.

Ms Watts said many of these companies have a good chance of securing international success. For example, Austrade actually assisted more Australian ICT companies win business overseas last year despite the global ICT slump.

Austrade has found that there are always opportunities for the best and brightest and for those who persevere - with overseas companies hungry for new leading-edge solutions, which is where Australian companies excel.

The Australian Government's status as a world leader in implementing online solutions means that many Australian companies that supply products and services for government projects are in demand overseas.

Short-listed companies will demonstrate their innovations to a panel of judges drawn from leading research institutions, media, market research organisations and major overseas corporations, with final judging to take place on 27 August 2003.

The competition is supported by the Innovation Access Program, part of the Government's Innovation Action Plan Backing Australia's Ability. Funding has been provided jointly by the Department of Education, Science and Training and the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources.

The competition is also supported by all States and Territories, Austrade, Invest Australia and the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts and a number of corporate sponsors including Sun Microsystems, Trade Partners UK, Gilbert and Tobin, Icon Recruitment, The Solution Finder, Nokia and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The list of short-listed companies is available from the IT Secrets competition website at www.itsecrets.com.au

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

147/03 21 August 2003