Traditionally seen as an organisation representing legacy technology enterprises, the Australian Computer Society (ACS) is doubling its efforts in the startup space, announcing it is set to launch an accelerator program and “collaborative workspaces” for members.
In an address this afternoon at the ACS Thought Leaders’ Summit, Reimagination, the organisation’s president, Anthony Wong said while the ACS has “been inspiring success for 50 years”, its focus must be on the future in order to Australia claim its place in the global digital economy.
As it looks to do this, Wong unveiled a new five year strategy for the ACS, built on three Cs: capacity, focused on providing sufficient resources; capability, looking at building the skills of Australians; and catalyst, looking at sparking innovation.
Part of all this is a strong startup sector.
“We understand that jobs growth, in an economy transitioning to digital and knowledge services, will be driven from within the innovation and startup community,” Wong said.
Having identified the role of digital ecosystems and networks to “enable digitally driven collaboration and innovation” in its 2017 Digital Pulse report, the ACS is now looking to play a role in and embed itself within the ecosystem, stating that key to the success of these digital ecosystems is “a strong ICT core” or “ICT skills and workers that will provide the foundations on which growth and innovation can be built”.
In looking to play a role in and embed itself within the digital ecosystem, Wong highlighted the move of the Tasmanian branch of the ACS to new offices in Hobart and Launceston in partnership with startup hub Enterprize.
Beyond Tasmania, the organisation’s NSW branch and national secretariat will be moving to “modern, collaborative” workspaces in Barangaroo, due to open early next year, which will include spaces within which members can “demonstrate new products, crowdsource new ideas or pop in for meetings”.
“They’re fitted out with the latest audio-visual technology and have been designed to foster a sense of community among members and staff,” he said.
With the move will come the establishing of an “accelerator hub” to help support local tech startups and entrepreneurs, as well as small businesses looking to scale, Wong said.
“The focus for ACS will be to demonstrate domestic job creation both within the accelerator, and importantly, in the broader digital economy.”
Image: ACS president Anthony Wong and Reimagination speaker, Jane McGonigal. Source: ACS.