[LINK] Firms to promote public sector IP

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Tue Jun 23 15:20:44 EST 2009

Firms to promote public sector IP
Mahesh Sharma
June 23, 2009
The Australian

GLOBAL technology companies could be used to commercialise intellectual 
property sitting inside government agencies following discussions 
between Australian public sector technology chiefs, industry players and 
a British technology expert.

The plan to commercialise government intellectual property is among the 
first detail to trickle out of a gathering in Canberra a fortnight ago 
that attracted more than 20 senior executives from industry and a 
similar number of government officials.

The industry party featured multinational bosses including Microsoft 
Australia managing director Tracey Fellows, Hewlett-Packard South 
Pacific managing director Paul Brandling and Intel Australia and New 
Zealand general manager Philip Cronin.

The public sector contingent was led by Australian Government 
Information Management Office (AGIMO) chief information officer Ann 
Steward and included many agency chief information officers, including 
Centrelink's John Wadeson and the Department of Immigration and 
Citizenship's Bob Correll.

The meeting was also attended by Intellect director-general John 
Higgins, who leads the industry's representative body in Britain.

Mr Correll said a meeting between Mr Higgins and participants focused on 
how the government could use the marketing firepower of the technology 
sector to commercialise government intellectual property.

"Government agencies can tend to be strong warehouses of some of that 
knowledge capital and have the ability to convert it into value-adding 
products, but maybe they don't have the strength in the marketing of 
those products," Mr Correll said. "That's where industry can add the 
value in that area."

He also said there was a push to involve the technology industry at 
earlier stages in the tender process so the final product or service 
could solve a problem that existed in agencies.

"In the past the government has gone out for information or seeking 
broad expressions of interest, but this could really put problems out 
into the marketplace and get ideas in.

"The approach in the UK is a bit more orchestrated than that and can 
involve workshops being conducted with a select group of potential 
suppliers who have come off a nominated panel and want to participate.

"It's a bit early to say. There's certainly interest in seeing whether 
that sort of an approach can work sensibly with commonwealth procurement 

Immigration is in the final stages of a multi-million-dollar technology 
transformation project and Mr Correll says there is an opportunity to 
spin off some intellectual property within his own department in the 
area of visa processing.

"Visas are processed all around the world," he said. "What we're using 
here is not just something that can be produced in Australia but 
anywhere around the world.

"We're developing a key product with significant value that can then be 
potentially sold more widely. That takes you into the intellectual 
property area.

"That doesn't have to be a software product, it could be things drawing 
into research material or drawing solutions to problems."


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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