The NSW Government has launched Digital Sydney in a bid to promote the state as the leading digital economy in the Asia Pacific, with a particular focus on electronic games.
Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said the $500,000 program is designed to market NSW as a hub for digital companies and promote digital collaborations between the ICT and creative sectors.
As part of the program, the Government has given its support to 20 digital media projects, honing in on innovation in electronic games.
Stoner said NSW needs to build its share of this high value sector, hoping to see further developments not only in entertainment but in eHealth and education.
“One of the projects we are supporting is Hear Right Now, an online serious game which detects hearing loss in children,” Stoner said in a statement.
“Another project supported by the NSW Government is Terminus, a game to be produced by Queanbeyan-based start-up company Uppercut Games.”
Stoner also announced the winner of a $10,000 public design competition to develop the visual identity for Digital Sydney. Ascender Design used a multi-coloured pixilated ribbon to capture the essence of NSW’s creative digital economy.
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Hael Kobayashi, Digital Sydney advisory team leader, says the program extends beyond these announcements to future industry growth.
“A Digital Sydney website has been promoted virally through social media to encourage the digital and creative communities to get on board,” Kobayashi says.
“The website will highlight NSW’s strengths by profiling successful entrepreneurs, leaders, innovators and artists who have chosen this state as their base.”
Kobayashi says the site will also promote digital industry events and serve as a platform to build new collaborations.
“The Digital Sydney website includes an interactive map that geographically plots our digital business hotspots to raise awareness and encourage cluster investment,” he says.
Anthony Reed, chief executive of the Games Developers Association of Australia, welcomes the move to position NSW as the country leader of digital media enterprises.
“There is no doubt NSW will see exponential growth in the sector in the years to come. I also believe that there will be increased investment interest in NSW as a result of this initiative,” Reed says.
Speaking at the CeBIT Sydney conference yesterday, Stoner announced another incentive for digital enterprises: Collaborative Solutions’ Mobile Concierge initiative.
Mobile Concierge will develop innovative and new-to-market mobile solutions for the tourism and retail sectors, with the Government awarding 11 consortium grants to a host of high profiles companies.
“The 11 successful consortiums to receive funding… include some of the biggest names in technology development – multinationals like Google, Microsoft, Nokia and Singtel Optus – who will team with technology start-ups and retail, tourism and cultural organisations in exciting cross-sector collaborations,” Stoner said.
“Each consortium will be led by a NSW ICT company, which will develop and pilot the new solutions in this state.”