Australia: Released on Wednesday last week, the 2026 Spatial Industry Transformation and Growth Agenda (2026 Agenda) Action Plan represents a step change for the industry, and aims to act as a catalyst to maximise the innovation, productivity and competitiveness of the industry across Australia. Collectively created by business, government, academia and spatial-user organisations, the Action Plan is underpinned by 34 transformational initiatives, and will be delivered through a rolling 10-year roadmap.
A rapidly changing technological and operating environment is creating unprecedented global opportunities for the spatial sector to generate additional value. This is especially relevant for the Australian spatial sector, which has a global competitive advantage in this area. However, failing to stay ahead of or keep pace with changes in technology, policy, governance, research and development and global investment in spatial capabilities, puts the sector at risk of missing key growth opportunities. In order to capitalise on the upcoming opportunities, the spatial sector has created a 10-year strategic plan to grow and transform the Australian spatial industry.
Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, The Hon Angus Taylor MP, has noted “the power of location technologies is growing rapidly and they are poised to play a central role in transforming the Australian economy. By leveraging the enormous potential of spatial information, we can accelerate the growth of both traditional and emerging markets and industries.”
In a powerful call for action, Minister Taylor has issued a challenge: “I encourage the spatial sector and the broader community to take this 2026Agenda forward and become a leading example of innovation and leadership for the nation.”
An underlying theme of the Plan, built through consultation with over 500 individuals across Australia, is that the success of the spatial industry is linked to the ability to drive success in key growth sectors of the economy, such as transport, agriculture, smart cities and health. The Plan has six key pillars of transformation:
- Public Infrastructure and Analytics: accelerate the nationwide access to location-related data and analytical tools that are easy to use, and facilitate the implementation of new ideas and growth in the private sector.
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship: foster spatial innovation and entrepreneurial skills, capitalising on technological advances to evolve business models and open new markets and opportunities.
- Outreach: clearly communicating the value and contribution that location intelligent and related services bring to the industry and to Australian society.
- Research and Development: coordinate location-related R&D in Australia to collaboratively solve problems of national interest.
- Education, Training and Capacity Building: introduce location-related training and education at all levels of education, nationwide and include regional communities, to develop a well prepared and diverse workforce.
- Representation: consolidate the voice of the spatial industry and provide effective leadership and advocacy for the industry.
Co-Chairs of the working party behind this initiative, Glenn Cockerton (SIBA) and Peter Woodgate (CRCSI) formally launched the 2026Agenda Action Plan at the Locate17/Digital Earth conference in Sydney. The Chairs believe this ambitious agenda represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the sector, noting that “we have an exciting challenge ahead of us, and we want to take this opportunity to ask spatial businesses, academia and government agencies to take a leadership role in implementing this plan.”
Over the coming months, the 2026Agenda Team will be kicking off the implementation Plan for this Agenda working with forward-thinking individuals and organisations to deliver the Plan.
The full version of the 2026 Agenda Action Plan can be downloaded at the 2026Agenda website, www.2026agenda.com.