New NSW Premier, Mike Baird, used one of his first large-scale public appearances to tell attendees at CeBIT 2014 he is proud of NSW's innovation heritage and wants to see technology 'transform the state' as the mining boom winds down.
"We need new approaches and new business models to drive innovation and growth in our economy," Baird said.
Baird was the treasurer under the now disgraced former premier, Barry O'Farrell, who resigned following allegations of corruption on April 16. As well as ascending to premier and leader of NSW Liberal party, Baird has also appointed himself minister for infrastructure and minister for Western Sydney.
He boasted of NSW's heavy focus on state infrastructure, including building two of Australia's largest ever infrastructure projects, the Westlink motorway and the Northwest Rail Link. He wants to take some of this grand ambition to the tech and start up sector.
Baird told attendees that he wants to see a 'sharper, brighter economy' in NSW, and as part of his government's overarching ICT strategy it will be working to reduce the barrier to entry for ICT procurement.
He claimed Sydney is a hotbed of innovation, quoting a Google and PWC survey which claimed that 64 per cent of Australia's startups are based in NSW, and that he is already working to ensure 60-70 start ups get the opportunity to share their ideas and passions - particularly at the SME end of the market.
The NSW government is helping host CeBIT 2014. Baird cut the ribbon to open the event with Federal Attorney General George Brandis.