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Smart Services CRC Finally Launched

Smart Services CRC Company LogoI'm happy to report that the Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre has finally been launched. It's taken far too long to get to this point (initial Australian federal government approval for the CRC application was received shortly before Christmas, 2006), but after a lengthy process of negotiations between the twenty or so universities, government bodies, and industry partners involved in the CRC, the Centre has finally been launched by the federal minister responsible, Senator Kim Carr, on 3 July 2008.

Make no mistake - with funding totalling some $120 million over its seven-year timeframe, this is a very significant development for the Australian digital services industry, as the range of partners involved in the Centre also documents. The Centre will conduct research and development across a range of domains, from financial services through education to mobile media, building on the work of its predecessor, the Smart Internet CRC.

I'm very pleased to be one of QUT's researchers working with the Centre. My own involvement will take place across two key research programmes - I'm part of a research team in the Audience and Market Foresight programme, and I'll lead a research project within the Social Media programme. (Key industry partners for both AMF and SM are Fairfax Digital and Sensis.) I'm particularly looking forward to the Social Media project, which will extend my research into produsage towards the question of how corporate partners may successfully, sustainably, and not least respectfully engage with relevant produsage communities. I'll post updates on this as time (and confidentiality agreements) permit, and at least some of the reports resulting from this research will also be published online at the CRC Website, I'm sure.

As these projects get going, and subject to internal funding arrangements, I may also be in a position to call for research assistants and/or postgraduate research students to contribute to this research. So, if anyone is interested in these opportunities, get in touch!

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