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Go8 Media Release: Go8 Hosts National Defence/Security Summit as the research and workforce leader in the nation’s security future

April 9, 2019

The Group of Eight (Go8), which represents Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, with seven of its members in the world’s top 100 universities, is today hosting some 130 of the nation’s most integral Defence, Defence Industry and Security personnel.

“The one-day closed meeting includes some of the Go8’s most senior researchers and academics and aims to expand the delivery of a wide range of synergies and defence collaborations between the Go8 and Defence,” she said.

The Go8 already accounts for $46.5 million a year – 52.5 per cent – of Defence R&D expenditure in Australia’s university sector, and it also ranks well above world standard according to the Government’s latest assessment of research quality in fields especially relevant to Defence/Security – such as astronomical and space science, quantum physics, AI and image processing and materials engineering.

Ms Thomson said that there was never a more appropriate time to host such a meeting given the geopolitical climate, and the public’s focus on national security. “Go8 guests include major Defence companies, SME’s, and Government agencies including CSIRO, DSTO and Austrade who will be joining their Defence colleagues. It is a list of delegates to ensure outcomes.

“The Go8 takes its relationships with Defence very seriously and the day will include a vital session on future workforce planning. We have a responsibility to deliver the graduates our defence industry needs, and we also must work with defence to aim to boost the career opportunities which keep our quality graduates in Australia.

“The meeting will also enable discussion on how researchers, Defence and Defence Industry can collaborate productively in a policy environment that must also ensure Australia’s national security is effectively maintained.”

The meeting is therefore expected to take a closer look at how implementation of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 may be refined in the wake of the 2018 Review, and what impact the new Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme may have on how researchers work both domestically and internationally.

Participants will also gain a more granular understanding of Defence-relevant research and innovation capability in the eight universities; including through a “Go8 Defence Capability statement” to be released on the day.

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