Digital agriculture, precision healthcare, cyber-physical security and legal informatics could all be among Australia’s next billion-dollar industries.

Launched by CSIRO’s Data61 in Brisbane on Tuesday, the Digital Innovation report outlines the $315 billion gross economic value digital innovation can deliver to the Australian economy over the next decade.

“Every sector of the global economy has been re-defined as a result of digital science and technology and the extensive use of data,” said CEO at CSIRO's Data61, Adrian Turner.

"This next digital wave to revolutionise existing industries and create entirely new ones is ours to capture. But the opportunity is perishable if we don't collectively take action now.”

The report defines digital innovation as the innovative new ways of doing business that digital technologies and services enable.

“Digital innovation adds economic value by improving the productivity of existing industries and by creating revenue from new industries, products and services,” it explains.

The report identifies eight areas that can each deliver Australia billions of dollars in export opportunities by 2028.

They are:

· Precision healthcare

· Digital agriculture

· Data-driven urban management

· Cyber-physical security

· Supply chain integrity

· Proactive government

· Legal informatics

· Smart exploration & production

Topping the list, the use of healthcare data to enable personalised monitoring and treatment of illness was predicted to generate between $30-50 billion in annual revenues by 2028.

“Australian firms could build on the country’s research strength in biotechnology and genomics and use data from Australia’s strong public healthcare system to become significant providers of precision healthcare products and services,” it states.

Compiled by AlphaBeta Advisors, the report also highlights Australia’s slow uptake of digital innovation compared to global peers.

“The Australian digital industry’s share of economic output over the past two decades has lagged other advanced economies by one-third,” it states.

“Our digital sector mainly creates value in niche areas. For example, Australia is a leading global provider of software solutions for the mining and resources industry.”

It suggests Australia bolster its research capacity in order to catch up with global competitors, pointing to the lowly 1.2% of business expenditure on R&D.

“Unlike academics, businesses often know exactly which innovations will find enough customer demand,” it explains. “They can also strengthen the power of R&D by injecting private-sector funding.”

It also shows that in regard to specific ICT-related research, ICT only makes up 11% of business expenditure on R&D, compared to countries such as Finland (51%), Israel (45%), Ireland (42%), USA (35%) and New Zealand (25%).