By Angela Dorizas
The Federal Government has launched the Australian Smart Infrastructure Awards to recognise innovative solutions to infrastructure bottlenecks and urban congestion.
The inaugural awards were announced by Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese at the ThinkFuture Smart Infrastructure Conference held at Parliament House today.
In his keynote address, Mr Albanese said the awards recognised project excellence in design, delivery and use of infrastructure in any of the priority areas of Infrastructure Australia (IA).
“The major award will be the Australian Smart Infrastructure Award for an infrastructure project that embeds innovative technology solutions in one of Infrastructure Australia’s seven priority areas,” Mr Albanese said.
“The second award will be the Smart infrastructure Research Award, with a research grant of $25,000 for a smart infrastructure research proposal – again in one of IA’s priority fields.”
The Think Future conference was held as part of an inquiry into smart infrastructure by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.
Committee chair Catherine King said the conference would identify areas for further investigation under its smart infrastructure inquiry.
“A significant challenge facing Australia in terms of productivity and sustainability is the more efficient use of existing infrastructure,” Ms King said.
“The development of enabled infrastructure using technologies such as remote sensors, GPS, wireless and broadband communications is a key pathway towards a stronger economy and a better quality of life for all Australians.”
Mr Albanese encouraged conference delegates to go beyond discussion of individual infrastructure applications and focus on the system as a whole.
“It is an opportunity to examine our infrastructure systems with fresh eyes and to develop a forward looking agenda for smart infrastructure,” Mr Albanese said.
“It is an opportunity to consider smart infrastructure across transport, energy, water and communications.”
Applications for the Australian Smart Infrastructure Awards close Friday 14 May 2010. For more information visit www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au.
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