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Science Minister Talks Fourth Industrial Revolution

John Gertsakis
Manager - Communications and Outreach


The new Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO, has acknowledged the Fourth Industrial  Revolution (4IR) and its importance to Australia.

At his National Press Club (NPC) address on 22 March 2017, the Minister talked about science and innovation as essential in changing our lives for the better and crucial to shaping Australia’s destiny.

He also noted that ‘disruption’ is now the constant in society and that Government, scientists and innovators must collaborate closely in order to solve seemingly intractable economic and social problems.

Citing Donald Horne’s book - ‘The Lucky Country’, the Minister placed emphasis on the need for transition and structural shifts in order to address and exploit new economic challenges. Inherent in the process is that all sectors work toward a more diversified and flexible economy that brings new prosperity. Specifically, he lists the new challenges:

  • Managing the transition from the resources boom to more balanced, broad-based growth;
  • Accelerating productivity growth, if we’re to match the income growth of recent decades;
  • Facilitating structural change engendered by new technologies, globalisation and trade;
  • And all this against the backdrop of mediocre global growth and heightened uncertainty.

His NPC address reflected an optimistic and planned approach to developing science and innovation in Australia. He emphasised its social value of by way of a community that is enriched and engaged by the pursuit of new knowledge and its widespread application.

The address coincided with the release of Australia’s National Science Statement, which further elaborates the Government’s efforts to provides “an enduring framework to guide our decisions on what we need and what we want from science”, said the Minister.

So what did Minister Sinodinos cover:

  • Why innovation and science are relevant
  • The economic challenges
  • The value of collaboration
  • Government as an exemplar
  • Supporting science infrastructure
  • Commercialisation solutions
  • Building capability

All of these imperatives have direct relevance to the mobile telecommunications industry, and provide various opportunities for AMTA to pursue it vision and mission, especially with regard to our 5G trajectory and the critical role to be played by cutting edge technology.

As the Minister noted, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring challenges and opportunities, including new jobs, different jobs and a transformative process that will maximise the use of Australia’s brightest minds, businesses and institutions.

The Minister’s full NPC address can be found here

Details of the newly release National Science Statement can be found here






AMTA welcomes deployment regulation amendments

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) welcomes the announcement today from the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield, regarding the progression of 10 reforms to the regulations governing the deployment of wireless and mobile networks in Australia; as well as further consultation on 11 other proposed reforms. In welcoming the announcement, AMTA Chief Executive, Chris Althaus noted the Government’s reform package will go some way towards enabling the deployment of the next generation 5G mobile networks which are expected to bring significant improvements in speed, quality and capacity for Australia’s data hungry consumers.  But he also noted there was still more to do. “This is a welcome and very important first step - in what we hope will be an ongoing engagement with government and stakeholders to develop a dynamic regulatory framework to meet the deployment challenges of next generation networks.


Final NTP results cannot confirm mobile phone cause cancer in humans

The long awaited final results of the decade-spanning US National Toxicology Program on radiofrequency energy exposure has found no consistent effects in male and female mice and rats exposed to mobile phone signals for their whole life (2 years). However, in a sub-section of the study, researchers found that at the highest doses for the longest periods of time, cellphone radiation might cause a rare cancer in male rats. “High exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in rodents resulted in tumours in tissues surrounding nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats or any mice, according to draft studies from the National Toxicology Program (NTP),” said a press release from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences where the program is headquartered.

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AMTA Annual Report 2017

In 2017, the strong demand for mobile services continues to have an impact on our economy and society as the industry shifts its focus in preparation for 5G, the next generation of mobile technology. AMTA’s latest Annual Report includes the following highlights: As industry prepares for 5G the need for regulatory reform in spectrum management and network infrastructure deployment is increasingly urgent. 5G Mobile – Enabling Businesses and Economic Growth Report by Deloitte Access Economics found that 5G is expected to further drive Australia’s digital economy. It will add to the already significant (and growing) $34 billion in long-term productivity benefits from mobile; and annual network spend from mobile providers is expected to reach $5.7 billion in FY2017-18. The MCF has focused on an agenda of legislative reform to support the efficient and flexible deployment of network infrastructure.


How will 5G improve network performance

While the technical standards for 5G are still being developed, experts agree that 5G will offer: Latency of less than 1ms; Ability to deliver speeds of up to 10 Gbps and beyond; Energy efficiency in running 1000s of devices; and Improved network capacity by enabling millions of low bandwidth devices to connect simultaneously. Where 4G focussed on providing improved speed and capacity for individual mobile phone users, 5G will enable more industrial applications, and could be a major technological driver in industrial digitalisation. For more information about 5G read our latest report from Deloitte Access Economics. Download the complete report.