The growing opportunity for Finnish providers of IoT technologies in the Australian smart cities sectoriot smart cities
Perry Le Dain
The IoT market in Australia is expanding rapidly and is expected to contribute over A$ 120 billion (~EUR 76 billion) to the Australian economy by 2025.
There is strong evidence suggesting growing opportunities for Finnish IoT technology providers in the Australian smart cities sector. Australia’s infrastructure maturity, digitally aware skills base and overall level of innovation indicates that the Australian market is capable and prepared for sustained IoT adoption.
A growing number of Australian organisations are investigating IoT devices and strategies, and there is a significant number of international companies active in the Australian IoT and smart cities sectors. Several Australian organisations are working on IoT programs, and there is growing evidence of smart city initiatives that leverage IoT sensors/devices/systems as part of solutions targeted at enhancing the liveability, productivity and sustainability of Australian cities.
Public actors driving the market
The demand for IoT products, platforms and services that contribute to the development of smart cities across Australia is driven primarily by local governments. There is evidence of several Australian councils proactively developing smart city plans and embracing new IoT technologies through trials, pilot programs, and project rollouts.
Funding provided by the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (under the A$50 million (€32 million) Smart Cities and Suburbs Program) is creating demand for IoT. Local governments awarded funding under this program have the financial capacity to engage with both local and international companies offering IoT products and services in order to implement smart city initiatives addressing a range of urban issues.
Interviews conducted with Australian industry experts concludes that there is a general interest to learn more about the capabilities of Finnish IoT offerings. The Australian companies advised that they would be open to receiving information on specific IoT solutions offered by Finnish companies. Australian councils are open to sharing knowledge and experience with international counterparts and are interested to gain the expertise of countries with more advanced IoT sectors that have successfully implemented proven solutions as part of their smart city programs and initiatives.
To capitalise on interest from potential Australian clients, Finnish companies must first consider the best business model that enables them to develop an in-country presence in Australia. This could be in the form of a local subsidiary, partnerships with Australian councils/universities, or by appointing an Australian distributor or representative. Australian councils generally lack the technical capability to install and maintain IoT solutions. Councils also prefer to work with local system integrators and technology suppliers instead of international technology providers directly.
There are a number of Australian research centres and universities working in collaboration with both private sector technology companies and local government to develop IoT platforms, solutions and services. These technologies provide public sector clients with customised smart city solutions that can then be commercialised, therefore assisting with the overall development of the Australian IoT and Smart Cities sectors.
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Perry Le Dain