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Government’s Digital Marketplace offers boost to smart city projects

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The Digital Marketplace run by the federal government’s Digital Transformation Agency will now offer local councils an opportunity to collaborate on smart city projects, according to assistant minister for cities and digital transformation Angus Taylor.

The marketplace will allow councils to post details of smart city projects they are working on, including ones that are being trialed or yet to make it to a pilot.

Around a quarter of buyers on the marketplace are local government organisations.

“There is a great appetite for innovation within local councils, who are at the forefront of smart city initiatives,” said Taylor said in a statement.

“Local councils are already working together to deliver services,” Taylor said. “But they were struggling to find a way to collaborate when a project is still just an idea, or a pilot, or a lesson they have learned that would benefit other councils.”“In terms of the delivery work, the Digital Marketplace is continuing to grow and now has nearly 500 buyers, about 250 sellers and 133 contract opportunities on sale,” the DTA’s CEO, Gavin Slater, told a Senate Estimates hearing earlier this month.

“Small-to-medium enterprises are benefiting, having picked up 82 per cent of the $15.3 million worth of contracts to date.”

Slater joined the DTA in April.

The Digital Marketplace was announced in late 2015 as part of the government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda. The government has said the aim is to make it easier for departments and agencies to purchase offerings from innovative small and medium enterprises.A beta of the service launched in August 2016.

Taylor in March this year launched the government’s $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. Grants for the first round of the program close on 30 June.

The size of grants available under the program range from $100,000 to $5 million and fall under four categories: Smart infrastructure, smart precincts, smart services and communities, and smart planning and design

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