The Hon Stuart Robert MP, Assistant Minister for Defence is championing the development of a new framework for achieving a whole-of-government approach to national security science and technology (S&T). The framework will comprise a national security S&T policy statement and supporting Program. The intention is to transition from poorly coordinated and under-resourced S&T effort to a collaborative co-investment approach between government, academia and industry that effectively and efficiently delivers innovative S&T solutions in priority national security areas for Australia.
The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) is responsible for leading and coordinating national security S&T, a role transferred from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to the Department of Defence in February 2012. As part of that role, DSTO is leading the development of a new policy and supporting program in consultation with the national security S&T communities, for consideration and endorsement by Government in 2014.
The national security S&T policy will:
- enunciate the Government’s priorities for national security S&T,
- provide a means by which S&T investment can be balanced to support short-term national security operational needs in addition to enduring security challenges,
- establish an efficient management and governance framework that delivers S&T outcomes to national security agencies, and
- encourage shared public and private investment in national security S&T, and facilitate commercialisation of research outcomes for national benefit.
The policy will be delivered through a coherent and coordinated national security S&T program that address national security S&T priorities and delivers real tangible outcomes for national security users.
The national security S&T policy and supporting program will harness S&T providers, including publicly funded research agencies (PFRAs), universities and industry to benefit national security ‘user’ agencies, including policy agencies, regulators, emergency response agencies, policing and law enforcement agencies, border protection agencies and the intelligence community.
This paper aims to promote discussion and elicit input from government agencies and the S&T community that will assist in developing a national security S&T policy and program that will improve the delivery and application of S&T to address Australia’s national security challenges now and into the future.