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Computer hardware, software and related service industries

Industry Commission inquiry report

Signed 30 / 06 / 1996

The report contains the findings of the Industry Commission public inquiry on Australia’s computer hardware, software and related service industries, emerging trends in local and global markets for the computer hardware, software and related service industries, including trends in technology convergence and protection of intellectual property and the role of government purchasing policies.

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  • Contents

Cover, Copyright, Signing Page, Contents, Abbreviations, Terms of Reference, Overview, Key Findings and Recommendations

1 The Inquiry
1.1 Scope of the inquiry
1.2 Key inquiry issues
1.3 Relationship with other inquiries
1.4 Report structure

2 Industry Structure
2.1 Industry data
2.2 The global industries
2.3 The Australian industries
2.4 Strengths and weaknesses
2.5 Participants' views on the industries' potential

3 Markets
3.1 Information technology use in Australia
3.2 Global information technology markets
3.3 Asia-Pacific information technology markets
3.4 Australian information technology markets
3.5 Australia's international trade in information technology

4 Trends in Technology
4.1 From calculators to the personal computer and beyond
4.2 The plunging costs of computer power
4.3 The changing nature of computing
4.4 Convergence
4.5 Future directions in technology

5 Effects of Government Purchasing Arrangements
5.1 The procurement process
5.2 Using government purchasing for industry development
5.3 Evolution of the Partnerships for Development approach
5.4 State/Territory purchasing
5.5 Recent Commonwealth changes

6 Research and Development
6.1 R&D and the IT industries
6.2 The 150 per cent tax concession
6.3 Access to R&D grants
6.4 Options for generalising R&D support
6.5 Concessional Loans for Commercialisation of Technological Innovation
6.6 Computer bounty

7 Tariff and Bounty Arrangements
7.1 Key features of the computer bounty
7.2 The bounty within the assistance framework
7.3 Trends in bounty payments
7.4 Bountiable activity
7.5 Use of the bounty
7.6 Bounty administration
7.7 The computer bounty and the GATT
7.8 The bounty-tariff nexus and its consequences
7.9 Resource allocation issues
7.10 Assessment of the bounty
7.11 Implications of the Commission's recommendations

8 Standards and Conformance
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Setting technical standards in the IT industries
8.3 Assessing conformance with AUSTEL regulations
8.4 International developments
8.5 Quality assurance standards

9 Access to Finance
9.1 Stages of capital requirements
9.2 Issues relating to risk
9.3 Valuing intellectual property
9.4 Business skills
9.5 Government intervention in Australia's venture capital market
9.6 Availability of finance
9.7 Conclusions

10 Intellectual Property
10.1 Patent protection
10.2 Copyright protection
10.3 Extent of copyright protection
10.4 Enforcement of copyright protection
10.5 Other issues

11 Taxation and other Matters
11.1 Taxation issues
11.2 Labour market issues
11.3 Export assistance
11.4 Overlapping programs
11.5 Environmental issues


A Inquiry participants and visits

B Recent reviews

C State/Territory policies and programs

D Government programs affecting the IT industries

E The computer bounty

F Letter to the Assistant Treasurer

G International limitations on Australian copyright law


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