There is a trillion dollars up for grabs. While we have had some success in creating high value technology based companies that earn the majority of their income from international markets (Atlassian and Freelancer come to mind, although there are others), we have a long way to go.
Information 2.0 is characterised by ubiquitous cloud, big data, artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Information 2.0 will see computing becoming not just niche parts of our life, but becoming part of everything we do.  

Globally Focussed Technology Startups

Successes like Atlassian (USD6.6B market cap) and Freelancer (AUD700M market cap) are the largest and most recent examples of locally built businesses that sell to the world. There are many more opportunities for Australians to build information technology based businesses that solve consumer and business problems at scale. The Internet and cloud computing makes this possible, it also makes competition from other countries formidable, so while the upside is large so are the competitive headwinds. Our capacity to replace the income at the scale of our current coal and iron ore exports is not likely to be matched by information technology alone, but it is an important part of the mix of export revenue in any advanced economy.

  • Project HQ: Sydney
  • How: Incubation, acceleration, collaboration and ecosystems
  • Status of the technology: Concept developed / Experimentally proven / Scale proven
  • Inputs: STEM educated workers
  • Outputs: Globally valuable IP and products and services
  • Benefits: Export incomes, tax revenue, high energy consumption global services like data centres

Tertiary STEM Education and Research

Each method in this essay requires a workforce trained in the specialisations of science, technology, engineering and maths. Investment in our schools and universities is key to the success of this plan. We must create demand for a STEM educated workforce and then deliver the education system to produce that workforce.

  • Project HQ: Canberra
  • How: Half price degrees for any STEM based higher education
  • Status of the technology: Concept developed / Experimentally proven / Scale proven
  • Inputs: STEM educated students
  • Outputs: STEM educated workers
  • Benefits: STEM educated primary and secondary teachers

Primary and Secondary STEM Education

To ensure students entering tertiary studies are prepared for STEM subjects, primary and secondary STEM education needs to be a focus for all schools in the country. 

  • Project HQ: Canberra
  • How: Migration program for STEM teachers. Dedicated STEM classes (primary) and schools (tertiary).
  • Status of the technology: Concept developed / Experimentally proven / Scale proven
  • Inputs: STEM educated teachers
  • Outputs: STEM educated students