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Australian Strategic Research Agency



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Australian Strategic Research Agency alp.org.au/policies/australian-strategic-research-agency

An Albanese Labor Government will create the Advanced Strategic Research Agency (ASRA).

ASRA will bring Australia into line with our key allies by creating a new research and development agency established within Defence to fund pivotal research in breakthrough technologies for national security.

ASRA would be modelled after the United States Government’s groundbreaking Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

ASRA will boost Australia’s involvement in technology sharing and research and development through the new AUKUS partnership, working closely with its counterparts the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the newly created UK Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA).

It will be a premier avenue for linking Australian industry and universities with our AUKUS allies.

Why we need this

The AUKUS partnership with the United States and United Kingdom is primarily a cooperation and exchange framework for strategic technology.

However, after almost a decade of neglect under the current Liberal Government, there has been a lack of strategic defence and national security focused sovereign research, funding and projects.

This is leaving Australia vulnerable to strategic technological surprises.

R&D spending continues to fall under Scott Morrison’s watch, with Australia’s overall spending as a percentage of GDP falling dramatically from 2.11 per cent in 2011-12 to 1.79 per cent in 2019-20.

Further, the current Government tried to cut over $2 billion from the Research and Development Tax Incentive.

Australia needs to rapidly establish a strategic research agency modelled on the highly successful DARPA in the US.

DARPA’s recent work includes unmanned anti-submarine vessels, sixth generation jet fighter technologies, atmospheric water extraction, reusable robotic spacecraft, hypersonics, and media forensics (identifying deepfakes).

No publication date: received by Parl Library 17/05/2022

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Famous commercialised projects from DARPA include the internet, the computer mouse, GPS, and Siri.

The UK has just created its version, the Advanced Research and Invention Agency.

The details

Labor will create the Advanced Strategic Research Agency.

ASRA will fund and coordinate pivotal research in breakthrough next-generation technologies for national security.

ASRA would ensure cutting-edge research from public sources, such as universities and industry, and classified research from industry and other government agencies (such as CSIRO), are supported and co-ordinated.

It is modelled on the US Government’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.

ASRA will boost Australia’s involvement in technology sharing, and research and development through the new AUKUS partnership.

It will work closely with its counterparts the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and newly created UK Advanced Research and Invention Agency, and involve Australian industry and universities.