A strong ICT industry is critical to the growth of New Zealand’s economy says Paul Swain. The Minister for Information Technology made this comment after announcing the formation of an ICT (information and communication technology) taskforce to look at ICT can boost the economy.
The taskforce's strategy for the ICT sector includes ascertaining New Zealand’s current ICT capability: identifying barriers to growth and how to overcome them; identifying international ICT opportunities and trends; developing branding for the ICT sector; developing an export strategy and identifying how ICT can help other industries grow.
Meetings will be held over the next two months. The results will be reported back before the end of July. An ICT forum may be held later in the year to bring the industry together to formalise the group’s strategy.
Mr Swain, who is co-chairing the group, says the 11 taskforce members were selected from their track record in ICT business development, international and export experience. Members include Jenny Morel the founder and director of venture capital fund No. 8 Ventures and Ian Taylor, a former Spot On TV presenter and now managing director of the Dunedin-based multimedia company Taylormade Media.
The taskforce is one of three. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced biotech and creative industries taskforces, as part of the government’s Innovation Framework.