Go8 plays critical role in Australia’s national security

Group of Eight (Go8) universities are at the forefront of research, innovation and technology on the global stage, and stand ready to work with the Australian Government to protect that which must be protected.

Our geopolitical situation has changed and issues surrounding national security, sovereign capability and the protection of important supply chains are now dominating the national agenda.

Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said the Prime Minister’s Blueprint and Action Plan for critical technologies will play a key role in ensuring Australia’s security into the future.

“The Go8 welcomes the Blueprint’s Vision to maximise opportunities offered by critical technologies while minimising their risks, and in particular the goals focused on integrity of our research, science and ideas and promoting Australia as a trusted and secure partner in research and innovation.

“Over the past 12 months the Go8 has worked closely with Government to support the development of the Critical Technologies List, providing detailed advice and expertise to identify key technologies and improve understanding of their impact. We look forward to a continuing role in this important process.

“The Prime Minister has identified nine technologies critical to the nation, including quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and novel antibiotics, antivirals and vaccines. With seven of our universities ranked in the top 100 by the Aggregate Ranking of Top Universities, and all within the top 105, the Go8 will play a pivotal role in developing these, and other critical technologies, to the benefit of Australia’s economic and social prosperity.

“The Critical Technologies List will influence the future direction of university research and it will be important for Government to collaborate with universities and industry on the implementation of the List. Go8 universities can leverage our strong industry connections, both here and overseas, to help translate research gains to improve the lives of every Australian and protect our nation’s security interests.

“The Go8 welcomes the Blueprint’s explicit recognition of the value of international collaboration in research and education to capitalise critical technologies, alongside its importance in translating and commercialising ideas, building strong supply chains, improving security, and developing global standards.

“Importantly, the Go8 can build on our enduring and existing research partnerships with like-minded nations, expanding on relationships such as the Five Eyes nations and the Quad which includes India and Japan, to ensure that as we enter a new era of technological development, we are investing in research and capabilities that deliver progress and reflect our values.

“The Go8’s commitment to national security is resolute. In a rapidly changing geopolitical environment the Go8 has demonstrated this by supporting Government in a range of areas including the development of the Universities Foreign Interference Taskforce (UFIT) refreshed guidelines, also released today.

“Following the AUKUS announcement, the Go8 engaged with Government to identify areas where Australia’s research expertise can be developed and leveraged to build future independent capacity and sovereign capability.

“Australia’s world-class universities are working with government and industry to help drive our economic recovery and protect our nation,” said Ms Thomson.

The Go8 represents Australia’s leading research-intensive universities and undertakes almost 70% of Australian university research activity.

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