Australia’s  national ICT research centre, NICTA has unveiled three new products at the international biotechnology forum, Bio2011, in Washington.

The products include a software tool, TrackAssist, that substantially reduces the time it takes cell biologists to analyse the results of their experiments.

TrackAssist, developed at NICTA’s Victoria Research Laboratory in Melbourne, automates microscopic image data analysis and quickly extracts biologically relevant information from video sequences of live cells.

Just under $143 billion dollars worth of internet orders were received by Australian businesses in 2009-10, up 15% on the previous year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Wholesale trade and manufacturing industries continued their lead as the main businesses receiving online orders, both at over 40%. The retail industry came in at fifth place.

Nearly all (94%) of Australia's large businesses had a web presence at 30 June 2010, while micro businesses (employing up to four people) are still the least likely to, with only about one-third offering some form of web presence. Broadband dominated as the internet access method (97%), with little variation between industries.

Primary industry - agriculture, forestry and fishing - was least likely to place online orders, with just over one-quarter (26%) using the internet to make purchases.

Innovation is also on the rise, with 44% of Australian businesses undertaking some form of innovation - developing or introducing of new or significantly improved goods, services, processes or methods - in 2009-10.

Large businesses were more than twice as likely to undertake innovative activity than micro businesses (74% compared to 36%).

Wholesale trade was the most innovative, with almost 60% of businesses in the industry reporting some form of innovation. Innovation in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry was reported by about one-third of those businesses.

Further information is available in Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business

A co-operative team from RMIT University and the Australian National University (ANU) have developed a method that will allow mechanical pressure into electricity.

Telstra chief executive David Thodey has promised to push ahead with promoting his company’s wireless services despite the $11 billion deal between the telco and the National Broadband Network Co (NBN Co).

Telstra has claimed that Australians will have access to the world’s fastest 3G hotspot after the launch of the Telstra Ultimate Mobile Wi-Fi in what the telco describes as being able to deliver “blistering download speeds ranging from 1.1Mbps to 20Mbps”.

The National Broadband Network Co (NBN Co) has awarded a contract to Biarri, a commercial mathematics company, to supply network design optimisation software to support development of efficient, lower cost network construction plans.

Telstra have signed Definitive Agreements with the National Broadband Network Co (NBN Co)  and the Commonwealth for the telco’s participation in the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) and SingTel Optus have signed off on a binding agreement to migrate Optus’ subscribers to the NBN system, a deal that Optus values at an estimated $800 million in post tax value.

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and the National Broadband Network Co (NBN Co) have co-launched a guide designed to assist councils prepare for the rollout of the NBN throughout the country.

The New South Wales Government has announced plans to make the state “the nation’s leader in information communications and technology”, lifting its performance to compete with Victoria and Queensland, both of which have allocated substantial funding to create strong IT sectors.

The National Broadband Network Co (NBN Co) has denied allegations that it would pass on excessive cable-laying costs at the Kiama Downs First Release site to customers who don't sign up with an internet service provider (ISP) before the trial concludes, saying they will not charge part of the cost of laying cable to homes.

NICTA (National ICT Australia) and German IT security specialist secunet (Security Networks AG) signed a research agreement to develop high-security IT products for the defence and government sectors.

Refinements to the arrangements for the provision of fibre in new developments were announced by the Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.

Telstra has announced plans to spend $800 million in upgrading its cloud computing capacity over the next five years.

Telstra shareholders may face a second round of voting if the $11 billion deal between the telco and NBN Co isn't finalized before the company's annual general meeting on October 18

Researchers at  CQUniversity  and the University of South Queensland are  undertaking a joint study of student use of iPod Touch devices within selected nursing and education courses,

US-based security software firm, Symantec, has decided to shut one of its Australian software engineering units, with the loss of between 45 and 55 jobs in North Sydney.

NICTA has appointed senior ICT industry expert Dr Bruce McCabe to drive its cloud computing business strategy. Dr McCabe most recently served as Director, Innovation at KPMG, having previously run an industry innovation consultancy, S2 Intelligence.

The Western Australian Government is providing $15.8 million over four years to iVEC’s Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, headquartered at Technology Park, Bentley.

The National Information Communications Technology Association (NICTA) and German IT security specialist Security Networks AG have entered a strategic research collaboration to develop high-security information technology (IT) products for the defence and government sectors.

Hays has released its annual Salary Guide 2011 report into the state of the information technology sector throughout the country, providing an upbeat assessment of the industry while showing a strong increase in demand for IT professionals and expected wage increases.

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