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Media release: Go8 Supports ARC in Developing a Counter Foreign Interference Framework

May 17, 2023

The Group of Eight (Go8) – representing Australia’s leading research-intensive universities – welcomes the significant announcement by the Australian Research Council (ARC) that they will develop and publish a detailed Countering Foreign Interference Framework.

“Research is fundamental to Australia’s ability to remain competitive in a world increasingly driven by knowledge and technology,” said Chief Executive, Vicki Thomson. “This will only increase as we work towards delivering on national priority initiatives such as AUKUS Pillar 2, which will require us to advance our capabilities in areas such as AI and Autonomy, Quantum Computing and Advanced Cyber.

“The Australian National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP) – administered through the ARC and distributing over $800 million in research funding annually – is a cornerstone of Australia’s research system and that is why it is important that the ARC has accepted a recommendation from an internal audit to create and publish a detailed Countering Foreign Interference Framework for the NCGP.

“This has been the ‘missing piece’ in countering foreign interference in the university research system and as the major stakeholder in the NCGP and conducting 70 per cent of the nation’s university-based research the Go8 is committed to working with the ARC to develop the framework.

“The Go8 is a founding member of the University Foreign Interference Taskforce (UFIT) which has been recognised as an international exemplar of a collaborative approach between universities, government, and security agencies to protect research from foreign interference.

“In collaboratively developing a Countering Foreign Interference Framework with the Go8, UFIT and other stakeholders, the ARC will ensure that Australia that stays ahead of the curve in protecting our national interest,” said Ms Thomson.

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