ACS Foundation set to open Queensland chapter

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) Foundation, which raises funds for scholarships and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) research, will launch a chapter in Queensland this Wednesday, February 21, 2007.

The launch will take place at Queensland's parliament house and will be officially launched by the Queensland Minister for Public Works and ICT, Robert Schwarten, and the inaugural chair of the chapter, Dr. Prins Ralston.

As a former ACS president, Ralston is ideally placed to take on this new role and to identify funding sources to support local scholarships.

The ACS established the Foundation in August, 2001, to promote ICT careers and research. Since its inception, more than A$9 million (US$7.08 million) has been raised and students have received over 600 scholarships. ACS Foundation executive director, John Ridge, said the Queensland chapter will focus on addressing skills shortages and increasing the uptake of ICT careers.

The Queensland chapter of the Foundation will focus on addressing industry skills shortages an increasing the uptake of ICT careers. "Queensland's contribution to the success and prosperity of Australia's ICT industry is crucial because the state produces seven percent of the nation's ICT exports," Ridge said.

According to the ACS's annual Australian ICT Trade Update 2006, Queensland exported A$115 million worth of locally produced ICT equipment in 2005, well up from the A$40 million exported a decade earlier. The state's communications services exports were worth A$129 million in 2004-05. "The launch of the Queensland chapter is a necessary and an exciting development for the Smart State," he sad.