ACS and CSIRO’s Data61 have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, pledging the pursuit of shared objectives in Australia’s transition to the digital economy.

The agreement focuses on providing thought leadership through identifying emerging trends while ensuring the Australian workforce is adequately trained to navigate these new areas.

Mega trends such as data science, automation and AI emerged from the agreement as areas of interest, particularly regarding their impact on national productivity.

The agreement serves as a step toward helping Australia capitalise on the opportunities such trends present.

Data61 was officially launched by the CSIRO in 2016 as an integration of the Digital Productivity flagship and National ICT Ltd (NICTA).

It works with industry on a range of large scale, multi-disciplinary projects in fields such as cyber security, future cities, food provenance and personalised health.

While it is a significant step forward for each association, the MOU is not the first time the two parties have worked together.

Representatives from Data61 have assisted in ACS’ Data Taskforce and contributed to the recent Data Sharing Frameworks technical white paper.

The 2016 keynote report Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce also saw collaboration between the two.

ACS joined Data61 in compiling the report – which identified the importance of digital literacy to the future job prospects of Australian workers.

The report also highlighted the mega trends that are shaping the jobs of the future, including automated systems raising the complexity of tasks and increasing employment opportunities in the service sector.

It found that STEM knowledge is now associated with 75% of the fastest growing industries, further emphasising the importance of ICT education.

The recent agreement between ACS and Data61 will see both organisations work specifically on ways to improve the quality of ICT education and training in Australia.