Advanced information and communication technologies (ICT) bring together telecommunications, computers and software. Advanced ICT systems let us process and transfer data at greater speed and volume.
This page belongs to: List of Critical Technologies in the National Interest
- Advanced data analytics
- Advanced optical communications
- Advanced radiofrequency communications, including 5G and 6G
- High-performance computing
- Protective cyber security technologies
- Virtual worlds
These technologies can be used for:
- space communications, including communicating with earth during deep-space exploration
- high-bandwidth, low-latency satellite communications
- big data modelling and analysis
- improved cyber security
- systems to manage air traffic, public transport and crowds
- faster and more resilient emergency management in remote areas
- real-time augmented and virtual reality
- automating industry and agriculture
- connecting internet of things (IoT) devices.
Global research trends
Research into advanced ICT has been growing over the past 10 years, peaking in 2019. Over 300,000 advanced ICT research publications were published around the world in 2021.
Global research rankings
China and the United States do the most research in this field.
The graph below shows the number of publications each jurisdiction published between 2018 and 2022. It also shows what proportion of each jurisdiction’s publications were ranked in the top 10% of publications worldwide. This is based on how often the jurisdiction’s publications on core advanced ICT research subjects were cited.
Patent filings are a way to measure how innovation is being commercialised. Patent data can also be used to identify potential collaborators and export markets.
The graphs below show numbers of patent families filed. A patent family is a set of patents filed in different jurisdictions for the same invention.
The Australian industry
Australia is a big user of telecommunications products and services. We are a leading adopter of IoT technologies, with the local industry worth around $30 billion. This includes some space technologies, such as the space communications that underpin IoT in regional communities.
Australia has a strong industry in photonics (a type of advanced optical communication). Our photonics industry generates around $4.3 billion every year and employs around 10,000 people.
Australia is ranked 12th in the world for research output in advanced ICT.
The jurisdictions we collaborate with most on advanced ICT research are China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and India.
Australia wants to be a leader in developing international technical standards for advanced ICT. We are supporting Australian industry to engage more effectively with standards development organisations.
Australia is well-placed to take advantage of new ICT developments such as 6G.
We need these advanced technologies to:
- develop new products and services
- improve business efficiency
- secure digital systems and networks
- help us transition to a digital economy (an economy in which most activity uses ICT in some form).
Smart technologies are already being embedded in the workforce and our physical environments. With the right infrastructure and support, these technologies can make our industries more productive and our businesses more competitive.
- The digital economy could contribute between $140 billion and $250 billion to Australia’s GDP by 2025.
- More than 15 billion IoT devices are expected to be online around in the world by 2025. This is a huge economic opportunity for our innovative ICT sector.
Publication and citation data on this page was collected from Clarivate’s Web of Science and InCites. Data analysis was performed by CSIRO.
Patent data collection and analysis was performed by IP Australia using data from the European Patent Office’s PATSTAT 2022 autumn edition.