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A meeting of minds

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16 Feb 2011

New technologies and the way they can improve our lives will be at the heart of discussions when top researchers from Europe and the Asia-Pacific meet in Canberra today.

Opening the CSIRO-hosted EURASIAPAC Workshop, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said developing new technologies would help ensure a productive, skilled and sustainable Australia.

“Part of Australia’s beauty and appeal comes from its vast, rugged and remote terrain,” Senator Carr said.

“But as we move through the digital age, we must find ways to connect the nation and ensure all Australians have access to quality healthcare, education and business support. New technologies are part of the answer.

“The Gillard Labor Government has made it a priority to overcome the tyranny of distance in Australia and ensure Australians can work and live in remote locations.”

Senator Carr said the National Broadband Network, investment in ICT research, and greater collaboration with international partners were necessary for Australia to remain at the cutting edge of global research.

“Time and time again we have proved that some of our best research is done in partnership with our international friends. For example, the new technologies for the Square Kilometre Array telescope were produced in Canada, the Netherlands, South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom.

“Australia has a very significant number of research partnerships with Europe and it is important that we continue to build and maintain them so that we can solve national and international problems.”

The director of CSIRO’s ICT Centre, Dr Ian Oppermann, said Europe has a great reputation for delivering results from large-scale R&D activities, such as the development of the GSM and UMTS mobile phone standards, now used globally and generating trillions of dollars of value.

For more information on the EURASIAPAC Workshop and the CSIRO, visit

For more information on the government’s support for science and research, visit