The federal government has announced the first stage of a new online digital marketplace that will enable start-ups to access its $5 billion annual spend on ICT projects. The marketplace is part of the government $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda and is being led by the Digital Transformation Office (DTO). Minister for industry, innovation and science, Christopher Pyne, said the marketplace will be an online catalogue of services, people and technology to assist the government with service transformation. \u201cWe are keen to open this up to smaller and newly-established businesses who have traditionally found it too big a burden to prove their credentials to government. There have been too many hoops to jump through so they simply haven\u2019t bothered to apply for government ICT work,\u201d Pyne said in a statement. \u201cThat\u2019s a lost opportunity because we know lots of businesses are on the cutting edge of digital innovation and can provide exciting solutions for government to deliver better services at a lower cost.\u201d The DTO is establishing a series of targeted panels of providers while the marketplace is being built. The government has already launched digital specialists\u2019 panel \u2013 the first of three panels \u2013 for companies in this field to apply through Austender. Assistant minister for cities and digital transformation, Angus Taylor, said this panel will make it easier for government agencies to access digital expertise to supplement their teams. \u201cThese are just the first steps in a greater collaboration between government and the tech industry,\u201d he said. Over the coming months, the DTO will examine the obstacle that block ICT suppliers from providing digital products and services to government. Discovery on the digital marketplace begins next month with a public beta expected by the end of 2016.