Today, the United States of America and Australia convened virtually for the Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) on Science and Frontier Technologies Dialogue to further strengthen cooperation between our world-class scientific communities.
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Kelvin Droegemeier and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios led the American delegation, which included leaders from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy, and the National Institutes of Health. The Honorable Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, led the Australian delegation, which included leaders from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; Department of Education, Skills and Employment; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization; National Measurement Institute; and Geoscience Australia.
The Dialogue was convened under the authority of the Agreement Relating to Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the United States and the Government of Australia, signed in November 2016. The inclusion of a Frontier Technologies Dialogue follows the September 2019 Leaders’ meeting between U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, during which both leaders underscored the importance of science and technology cooperation including advancing frontier technologies.
The United States and Australia have a long and productive history of partnership in areas that are shaping the future. The strong history of science and technology collaboration between the two nations, which was first formally acknowledged in a cooperation agreement signed in 1968, is reflected in vibrant relationships at the researcher-to-researcher level, growing links at institutional levels, and a range of government-to-government activities. In particular, the planned MULTIPLIER (MULTIPlying Impact Leveraging International Expertise in Research Missions) expedition between Australia and NSF will provide a valuable way to identify follow-on research activities in areas of mutual and strategic interest.
The Dialogue undertook a meaningful exchange of views related to artificial intelligence (AI), quantum information science (QIS), and oceans exploration and mapping. Also discussed were approaches to ensure the integrity of the international research enterprise. Participants highlighted existing and new collaboration as outcomes of the Dialogue.
The United States and Australia prioritize research and development that benefits citizens and is rooted in a shared commitment to foundational scientific values and principles. This includes freedom of inquiry, merit-based competition, accountability, integrity, openness, transparency, reciprocity, and promotes protection of intellectual property, safe and inclusive research environments, rigor and integrity in research, research security, and reducing administrative workload.
The United States and Australia underscore the importance of supporting innovation and adoption of AI that fosters public trust and confidence, and protects privacy, civil liberties, human rights, and democratic values. Both sides have strategic approaches to further the state of the art in AI research and development, including opportunities for greater collaboration. Together, the United States and Australia further recognize the importance of leadership from democratic nations on the development of emerging technologies to advance innovation and promote applications consistent with our shared values.
To accelerate discovery in quantum information science, the United States and Australia are identifying opportunities to share resources and expertise, including between industry and government stakeholders, for strengthened bilateral cooperation. Further, both countries are exploring ways to leverage existing programs and opportunities to deepen cooperation, realize the transformative potential of QIS, and advance its positive impact on the national security and economic prosperity of both countries.
The United States and Australia continue to fight COVID-19 together and Australia has joined the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, which provides COVID-19 researchers worldwide with rapid access to the world’s most powerful high performance computing resources to advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the virus. Australia’s National Computational Infrastructure and Pawsey Super Computing Centre will partner with the consortium in advancing science and discovery and sharing knowledge.
The United States and Australia are committed to advancing ocean mapping and exploration through bilateral engagement and strong support for research partnerships with non-governmental entities. Both countries recognize the importance of mapping and exploration to support growth of the sustainable blue economy and stimulate economic recovery. The United States and Australia have current and planned ocean initiatives and are identifying opportunities for future collaboration, including opportunities for joint development and testing of innovative tools and systems (e.g., autonomous and robotic technologies, AI and machine learning, cloud computing) to better map, explore, and understand the regional ocean environment. The United States and Australia also recognize the importance of continued science-based coordination in the Pacific Ocean, including to underpin the administration and sustainable management of the marine environment with Pacific Island countries.
Upon its conclusion, the United States and Australia found that the Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Frontier Technologies Dialogue was highly productive and strengthens the already great partnership between the two nations. Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to continue close coordination on science and technology cooperation.