The Australian Academy of Science welcomes a range of Australia–US bilateral science and technology initiatives announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his meetings in Washington.

The initiatives include significant investment of $150 million into local Australian businesses, researchers and new technologies to support NASA’s mission to return to the moon and travel to Mars, representing a boost for the Australian Space Agency.

“The Government’s space investment builds on a long history of cooperation between Australia and the US in space missions and will have a lasting impact on the growing space industry and workforce in Australia,” said Professor John Shine, President of the Academy of Science.

The Academy also applauds a range of other science related initiatives announced by the Prime Minister that will boost cooperation between Australia and the US including:

  • an agreement to hold high-level discussions in Washington, DC in November to develop a critical minerals action plan and increase trade in rare earths between the US and Australia. Rare earth minerals are essential to support our high-tech future
  • an agreement to work together on reducing /eliminating marine plastic debris and to support efforts on improved waste management, recycling and innovation, which is both timely and essential
  • opportunities for Australian scientists to provide advice on lithium-ion recycling and on hydrogen safety, which build on Australia’s strengths
  • cooperation between the National Science Foundation and Australian researchers on research projects of mutual and strategic interest.

“The bilateral agreements between Australia and the US provide opportunities for Australian scientists to contribute their expertise to a number of issues of global importance, where science will be critical to finding environmental and technology solutions,” Professor Shine said.

“The announcements are a reminder of the importance science plays as a soft power asset in international engagement.”


September 22, 2019