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