Areas of focus include cyber security, intelligence, border
security and identity management, investigative support and forensic science, preparedness
to prevent and respond to incidents and technology foresighting.
On May 1, the Australian Government released
its new National security science and technology policy agenda aimed at
strengthening Australia’s national security.
Defence Science and Technology (DST) coordinates the
government’s science and technology program for national security.
This policy delivers on commitments in the 2016
Defence White Paper. The science and technology policy and priorities
were developed in consultation with the various national security agencies
under a high-level inter-departmental steering committee.
The paper outlines the national security science and
technology priorities, governance arrangements and engagement mechanisms as
they exist now, these will need to co-evolve as arrangements are re-defined under
the new national security architecture, with the establishment of the Home
Affairs portfolio and the Office of National Intelligence.
A National Security Science and Technology Interdepartmental
Committee (NSST IDC) established in March 2017 will review and endorse national
security science and technology policies and priorities and promote
cross-agency collaboration on science and technology, which will deliver
efficiencies and reduce duplication. NSSTC will assist national security
agencies to elucidate their science and technology requirements, and then
foster collaboration with the innovation community to address these
Currently, many of the investments in science and technology
that are being made across the national security community are by individual
agencies with individual suppliers. NSSTC will play the role of raising
collective awareness across the agencies of these investments, to potentially
enable a more collective and efficient approach, and facilitate the pooling of
resources across agencies who share common capability goals and requirements.
The agenda is focused on new
science and technology policy priorities for national security. These include:
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said,
“Australia needs to remain at the forefront of science and innovation so we can
meet any new and emerging threats to our security. This is why the Government
has released this new agenda, which replaces a decade old policy.
“We must work seamlessly across government and in
collaboration with our industry and university partners to develop the best
capabilities for protecting Australia against threats to our national security.
“This policy puts us in a strong position to harness the
expertise and resources required to address national security challenges now
and into the future,” he added.
The Chief Defence Scientist, Dr Alex Zelinsky, will address
the policy highlights at the Science and Technology Innovation for Civil and
National Security conference at CIVSEC 2018 in Melbourne.
Access the document here.
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