Posted: Friday 30 October 2015

Internet of Things Think Tank research points to potential $116 billion positive impact on the Australian economy

Sydney, 30 October 2015  – The Federal Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects, the Hon. Paul Fletcher, today launched a major research report from the Communications Alliance Internet of Things (IoT) Think Tank, which outlines a pathway to ensuring that Australia can harness the benefits of the ‘next great disruptor’.

The Report: “Enabling the Internet of Things for Australia” warns that while Australia’s fundamental IoT capabilities are good, our lack of industry and Government focus risks denying Australia the opportunity for IoT competitive advantage and global market leadership.

At stake is a potential upside impact worth up to $116 billion to the Australian economy by 2025, the report notes.

It is estimated that there were 10 billion internet-connected devices in 2014 – a number that is expected to grow to between 30 and 50 billion by 2020.

The Report makes 12 core recommendations (see attachment) for regulatory and policy changes, combined with industry initiatives. The recommended package of measures is designed to avoid the risks inherent in the development of the IoT and facilitate its development in Australia in ways that will drive economic growth and competitiveness.

The Report singles out the industry verticals of Mining, Agriculture, Transport and Telecommunications as sectors where IoT-based development can have greatest impact and where Australia has an opportunity to develop world-leading expertise.  The launch of the Report was accompanied by an announcement by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, the Hon. Victor Dominello, that the Knowledge Economy Institute (KEi) – an IoT innovation hub, established by Sirca, will be hosted at UTS as the national focal point for IoT innovation and the start-up community (UTS press release).  The CEO of the KEi, Mike Briers, will be appointed as Australia’s first Professor of IoT at UTS. Plans are underway to establish other IoT implantation hubs in other capital cities.

The IoT Think Tank and KEi will work closely together to provide data and commercial grade IoT technology to support proof of concept projects that bring together business, Government and researchers to solve problems.

The Think Tank research, undertaken by consulting firm Creator Tech, drew on international experience in the IoT field, the outputs of a series of industry workshops, a survey, desk research and interviews with more than 35 IoT experts from Australia and abroad.

Communications Alliance CEO and Chair of the Think Tank Executive Council, John Stanton, applauded the strong and constructive involvement of the Federal Department of Communications and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

“We have a who’s-who of global and leading local industry players on the Think Tank, but the direct engagement with Government, regulators and consumer groups has strengthened the outputs and created the broad coalition of stakeholders needed to produce national action.” 
The Report called for the creation of six Work Streams to carry forward the recommendations. To facilitate this, a number of additional entities have been invited to join the Executive Council. A list of current Executive Council members is available here.

The IoT Think Tank is keen to continue active industry participation in its activities and is calling for participants in the work streams. The work streams now being created are:

1: Collaborative Australian IoT Industry – Develop a coherent, collaborative and globally-aware Australian IoT community with industry, Government and other key stakeholders to foster innovation and inform appropriate policy and regulatory settings.
2: Sectoral engagement – Develop sectoral IoT advancement and alignment with key sectors, including through Government Industry Growth Centre Activities, Infrastructure Australia and key sectoral bodies – with an initial focus on Mining, Agriculture, Transport and Telecommunications.
3: Open Data – Develop IoT open data and data sharing principles and guidelines – with possible sectoral focus. In conjunction, data privacy – develop privacy guidelines for use of IoT data.
4: Spectrum availability – working party including the ACMA and broader stakeholders to address the spectrum settings and licencing needs for low-bit rate wireless services, such as LPWA.
5: Security – develop security guidelines for IoT services and service elements, including data protection.
6: IoT Start-up innovation – develop policy and IoT eco-system frameworks in support of a national IoT program, which is linked to Industry Growth Centres.
Launching the report, Minister Fletcher congratulated the many contributors to the project to date and noted that there was no shortage of complex issues on the agenda for the work streams.
“Meeting the need for open data and data sharing while successfully addressing the resulting privacy implications will be no mean feat,” Mr Fletcher said.
“Similarly, ensuring that robust and workable security guidelines are in place for IoT services is both necessary and complicated.
“I am pleased to note that work stream 6 will focus on the development of a framework to foster start-up enterprises in the IoT space – an objective absolutely in keeping with the Turnbull Government’s drive to create a faster, more agile and innovative Australian economy.”
Companies, associations or individuals interested in contributing to work stream activity should email


Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see

Media information contacts:

Communications Alliance
Hannah Ritchie
0452 404 303