Australia’s spatial industry at risk of missing growth opportunities

By on 26 July, 2016

Image: PEASAP (CC BY 2.0)


The Australian spatial industry is at risk of missing key growth opportunities, according to an announcement by the team behind a new cross sectoral initiative. To address this, SIBA and the CRCSI are leading a team developing the 2026 Spatial Industry Transformation and Growth Agenda, which aims to transform and realise the potential of the local spatial industry and to see it recognised as an underpinning element of the Australian digital economy.

 A 2013 report by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) listed the spatial sector as one of the key industry growth sectors in which Australia has a global competitive advantage. This is thanks to Australia’s early adopter culture when it comes to spatial technologies.

However, in a rapidly changing operating environment the Australian spatial industry is at risk of missing key growth opportunities by failing to stay ahead of, or keep pace with, changes in technology, policy, governance, research and development and global investment in spatial capabilities. The PWC study estimated that there will be a 30 per cent per annum growth in geoservices globally, a level of change which is not currently refelected in the Australian spatial sector. While many individual company growth and development initiatives are taking place, national coordination is vital to ensuring that the the spatial industry’s growth opportunities are realised.

The team behind the 2026 Agenda see an opportunity for the sector to increase the Australian footprint as a global leader in spatial technologies and capabilities over the next decade. This will occur by starting a national conversation about the future growth of the industry and how all members of the sector might work together to achieve that growth, kicked off by the 2026 Agenda.

The 2026 Agenda provides the chance to engage with both the spatial industry and other key national industries to build a roadmap for the transformation and growth of the spatial industry over the next decade.

The Agenda aims to be developed in a “spirit of openness, and collaboration.” Participants will be asked to be adaptive to change, focussing on maximising the potential for growth for the whole sector, as well as to be “forward looking.”

As such, consultation will be broad, and a working group has formed to help to coordinate the activities. Current members of the group include SIBA, ANZLIC, the Australian Earth Observation Community Coordination Group, CRCSI, CSIRO (Data61), Landgate, Geoscience Australia, Queensland Government, and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Membership of this group is expected to change over time to reflect the evolving nature of the 2026 Agenda.

The 2026 Agenda team of Phil Delaney (CRCSI) and Eva Rodriguez (CRCSI and SIBA) will be undertaking targeted interviews over the next two months. This will be followed by a national series of workshops in September and October.

Delaney, who is a research program manager with CRCSI, expects that the Agenda will be continually updated and changed over this period to form a 10 year roadmap leading up to 2026.

“We will be aiming for a rapid process to create an agenda, roadmap and action plan, co-designed with the broader spatial sector, he said. “This will involve interviews, national workshops, significant engagement with other key industry sectors.”

“These will be combined in to a clear plan for growth, which will continuously evolve and change into the future.”

The first iteration of the Agenda will be delivered before the end of 2016.

If you or your organisation would like to get involved please contact Phil Delaney,, +61 3 9035 9936.


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