PALAMIR was interviewed by Thomas Luke of TheLeadSouthAustralia.com on Adelaide as a Smart City, its challenges and advantages. This is PART IV, the final part in a four part series below:
Another key point in the plan is the idea of smart policy which is attractive to investors and supports businesses. How well would you say Adelaide does this at the moment, at both a local and state government level?
We are not doing this as well as we could. There are Adelaide companies crying out for assistance for doors to open but instead we get international companies getting better treatment.
I believe that Minister Maher and Premier Weatherill strategy around supporting local businesses is sound practice, however it needs more cohesion, support and communication from the business community.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
There are a lot of companies not just in the tech space that have great capability by themselves or as a collective. i believe e need a method within government that when you talk to someone that message is shared so all relevant departments know the local businesses exist. Also we need to take an approach that supports local companies over and above external so long as the local companies can deliver as good or better solutions. That can be in the form of direct engagement or via other prime companies, but in a method that helps to grow more local capability.
We need to look at the whole lifecycle of business from seed idea to startup to a growing mature business. This has been discussed before under ShapingSA years ago and recently again in another form. We need a forum that is consistent on a regular basis to share ideas so we are aware of local capability that can be supported.
Finally, part of this smart policy initiative is a push towards greater energy efficiency. How well would you say Adelaide is doing in this regard, given its push towards becoming carbon neutral?
We are far off the mark. The technology and capability is there however it's not interconnected to provide a smart city. We've just had major price issues with energy and. We need load balancing energy supply that is not just provided by the supplier but also by micro-grid communities who can feed back into the system and use technologies like RedFlow or Tesla battery systems to store and share later.
Are there any major areas of improvement you feel should be noted from what we've discussed?
Yes. People need to get out of the fishbowl of Adelaide and see that the world is advanced in some areas not necessarily all areas. We have capability and some leading tech in Adelaide but we need that confidence of knowing that our solutions can actually match or exceed other global soltuions. The main thing is get on with it. Don't wait for the right time because now is that right time. Talk to people. Tell them the good ideas you have, because you never know that they may just open a door for you or validate your idea.
JUST DO IT.