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Go8 Australia-United Kingdom AUKUS Pillar II and Research Engagement Roundtable

June 20, 2024

The Group of Eight will today host the Go8 Australia-United Kingdom AUKUS Pillar II and Research Engagement Roundtable in London. The roundtable will be held at the Australian High Commission, with an opening address by Australian High Commissioner, Stephen Smith.

The event will focus on the tri-lateral research and technology cooperation under AUKUS Pillar II – with an Australia/United Kingdom perspective – and how the deepening of the respective national high-tech industrial bases can underpin better collaboration on defence and security issues.

Australian and UK leading defence and security experts will explore opportunities to strengthen the partnership under the auspices of AUKUS, through research, policy and workforce collaborations between Go8 and Russell Group members.

The dialogue will focus on leveraging recent developments – including changes to Defence Trade Controls regulations, progression of research security measures in both countries and the creation of the Go8 Defence and Security Committee – to identify next steps in deepening defence collaboration, particularly with regard to AUKUS Pillar II.

The Group of Eight AUKUS Pillar II Capability Statementwhich outlines the Go8 research capability in each of the AUKUS Pillar II streams – will be launched at the roundtable.

Group of Eight Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said:

“Go8 universities are at the forefront of Australia’s defence and security research effort and are integral to bringing AUKUS to successful delivery. AUKUS, Australia’s future research capability and our national security will, in a large part, be dependent upon understanding our existing capability and how best we leverage that expertise. The foundation already exists as underscored by the variety of activity in the six main and two additional Pillar II streams across the eight universities, the global footprint of the Go8 in these streams, and the extent of collaboration in these areas with AUKUS partner institutions.

“Across our eight universities, there is the potential to drive AUKUS focused workforce development through undergraduate and postgraduate courses in related areas; capacity-building via defence institutes; and career and skill-based partnerships with industry.

Australia’s pipeline of engineers, IT specialists and world-leading researchers produced by Go8 members – that will be the backbone of the expanded AUKUS Pillar II workforce – is already highly-dependent on international talent. This is unavoidable for a nation the size of Australia to punch so far above its weight and to remain at the forefront of world class defence and security research. 

Quote from the Australian High Commissioner to the UK, Stephen Smith:

“The three AUKUS Governments value the insights and contributions Universities make to delivering advanced capabilities and see defence industry and academia as critical partners in AUKUS Pillar Two.”

“Australia and the UK’s cooperation under AUKUS Pillar Two will establish a new and enduring framework to research, innovate and rapidly develop and deliver cutting-edge technology and capabilities required to meet global security challenges and contribute to stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.”

Contact: Vicki Thomson, Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 438 047 155

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