Australia aims to strengthen partnership with India, to unveil Centre of Excellence on critical technology

ET Telecom, August 17, 2022

Australia aims to strengthen its alliance with India on critical technology areas and cyberspace including cybersecurity, and in a joint initiative with India, Australia would open a Center of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy in Bengaluru soon.

“Australia is committed to deepening its relationship with India, on cyber and critical tech. And we welcome thoughts from shareholders on how we may deepen and broaden this engagement. We’ll certainly encourage Indian and Australian organizations and individuals to look for opportunities to work with each other,” Barry O’ Farrell, Australian High Commissioner to India Wednesday said.

The diplomat also said that in a joint initiative with India, Australia would unveil the Center of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy. “It’s to be established in Bengaluru, and it will work to shape technology, technology governance in support of our shared vision of open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region and enhance the already strong critical tech work being done between Australia and India.”

The center, according to him, would harness the Australian and India critical technology policy expertise from across the industry from academia, civil society, thought leaders in government to shape norms, policy frameworks and standards.

“We’ll also continue to work with India through the Quad the strategic alliances that were part of in this part of the world, which has a cyber and critical and emerging technology stream The Quad will continue to be a fertile avenue for collaboration. And it will complement the bilateral efforts that were undertaken together,” he added.

Farrell was speaking at a seminar, organised by CUTS International (Consumer Unity & Trust Society), a non-profit, non-governmental organisation working on public interest issues, and is established in 1983.

He further said that India and Australia are natural countries, and have complementary economies, and drive cooperation based on shared interests.

“One of the things that I admire about India is the depth and breadth of its civil society. And equally, I say this to one of my Australian friends in the audience, the way in which the government in this country seeks perspectives from civil society,” the high commissioner said.

The key pillar of the bilateral relationship, according to him, is the engagement on cyber and critical technologies. “This cooperation, I suppose, is underpinned by our shared values and interests. We are both committed to a shared vision of cyberspace and critical technologies.”

In 2020, Australia signed a comprehensive strategic partnership, and that has led Australia to come up with the investment of Rs 70 crore in cyber and critical technologies.

“India and Australia have important roles to play in contributing to global development of critical and targeted cyber technologies, just as we see you strategically as a leader in the region,” he said.

Farrell further said that the industry demonstrated leadership when it comes to the particular sector. “The technology partnership that we have between both countries focuses on strengthening the links between Australian and Indian partners across the board, each of the sectors by funding projects that focus on practical cooperation that will help shape the global technology environment that meets our shared vision.”

“We are pleased to be the strong partners from across the cyber and tech landscape and have been supported by the technology partnership we put in place to focus on critical technologies of importance, including blockchain, cross border data flows, women in technology, diplomacy, and quantum technology, critical supply chains, and privacy in the next generation of telecommunications that we’ll be using as much as we have been using over the past 20 or 25 years,” the diplomat said.

Lately, Australia has increased collaboration on a range of cyber and technology areas, and held the first joint working group on cybersecurity and ICT, and a fourth edition of cyber technology dialogue.

Georgina McKay, First Secretary at the Australian High Commission in India said that it is meaningful to say that Indian and Australian companies are coming together, and has strategic importance in this (next generation technology) area.

“Cyber-critical technology relationship with India is increasing rapidly, and working together to address malicious cyber activity, and next generation 5G and 6G networks. We are also a quantum computer pioneer,” she said.

McKay said that India has set a target of a $1 trillion digital economy, and that could be achieved by further strengthening cooperation between the two countries.

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