Australia and United Kingdom to share Defence research facilities

Aus­tralia and the Unit­ed King­dom will share defence research facil­i­ties to enhance coop­er­a­tion in sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy and reduce oper­at­ing costs, the Min­is­ter for Defence Sci­ence & Per­son­nel, War­ren Snow­don, announced today.

Australia’s Defence Sci­ence & Tech­nol­o­gy Organ­i­sa­tion (DSTO) and the UK Defence Sci­ence & Tech­nol­o­gy Lab­o­ra­to­ry (Dstl) have signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Under­stand­ing for rec­i­p­ro­cal access to each other’s sci­ence facil­i­ties and equipment. 

“The new arrange­ment will ben­e­fit both Aus­tralia and the UK by mak­ing bet­ter use of spe­cial­ist facil­i­ties and spare capac­i­ty with­out the need to invest in new infra­struc­ture,” Mr Snow­don said dur­ing a vis­it to Dstl head­quar­ters at Por­ton Down. 

“I have vis­it­ed some of the facil­i­ties in the UK and recog­nise that both Dstl and DSTO have lab­o­ra­to­ries that under­take sci­en­tif­ic inquiry with­in com­plex areas of research. 

“Joint use of these facil­i­ties will be cost-effec­tive for both countries.” 

Mr Snow­don said Aus­tralia and the UK had a long his­to­ry of col­lab­o­ra­tion in defence sci­ence and the use of shared facil­i­ties opens up new oppor­tu­ni­ties for increased bilat­er­al coop­er­a­tion and a more strate­gic part­ner­ship between the two countries. 

“Impor­tant­ly, this increased coop­er­a­tion has the poten­tial to deliv­er bet­ter sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy capa­bil­i­ty to the defence forces in both our coun­tries,” Mr Snow­don said. 

The Mem­o­ran­dum of Under­stand­ing also pro­vides for shar­ing of infor­ma­tion between DSTO and Dstl on cur­rent facil­i­ties, capa­bil­i­ties and plans for devel­op­ing future facil­i­ties for research and testing. 

“Reg­u­lar exchange of sci­en­tif­ic staff and joint tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ment have been key fea­tures of DSTO’s rela­tion­ship with Dstl,” Mr Snow­don said. 

“The new ini­tia­tive to share facil­i­ties is a wel­come addi­tion which is in keep­ing with the aims of Defence’s Strate­gic Reform Pro­gram and the Strate­gic Defence and Secu­ri­ty Review of the UK Min­istry of Defence,” Mr Snow­don added. 

Dur­ing his vis­it to the UK Mr Snow­don was also briefed by the Impe­r­i­al Col­lege Lon­don, on its sup­port to the Min­istry of Defence. The Impe­r­i­al Col­lege is one of the UK’s largest aca­d­e­m­ic research insti­tu­tions for defence and security. 

Media Con­tacts:
Alice Plate (Min­is­ter Snow­don): 0400 045 999
Defence Media Oper­a­tions: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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