Australia says 63 areas of technology are critical to national security

FILE IMAGE: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks when national statements are made as part of the World Leaders’ Summit at the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, UK on November 1, 2021. Ian Forsyth / via Pool REUTERS / File photo

CANBERRA, Nov 17 (Reuters) – The Australian prime minister said on Wednesday that more than 60 technology sectors are critical to the national interest and pledged millions of dollars in funding to prevent strategic competitors from dominating industries from cybersecurity to medicine.

In recent months, Australia has pledged billions of dollars to modernize its economy and reduce its dependence on China by encouraging production in areas such as natural resources and critical minerals, and supporting low-emission technology.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia has identified 63 technologies that Canberra cannot let others dominate. These include advanced cyber, genomics and new antibiotics.

“In most cases, a diverse, well-functioning market can meet our technology needs – but in some cases for critical technologies – we need to make sure we can and will use such technologies reliably and safely in good times as well as bad times,” Morrison said. speech.

“This investment will help secure the future financial opportunities for Australian businesses, create local jobs and, most importantly, help keep Australians safe.”

While Morrison highlighted 63 technologies, Australia will initially focus on supporting nine. The first is quantum technology. Morrison pledged A $ 100 million ($ 73 million) to commercialize quantum research and connect with global markets and supply chains.

“Australia is working with like-minded countries, especially liberal democracies, to ensure that global technology rules and standards reflect these values ​​- liberal democratic values.”

Australia announced in March that it would draw up a list of critical and emerging technologies that could be curtailed in terms of foreign research collaboration.

Quantum technology, based on the basic principles of physics, is still in its infancy, but has become a favorite of investors looking to revolutionize the industries from healthcare and finance to artificial intelligence and weather forecasting.

A 2020 report by the National Science Agency (CSIRO) called “Growing Australia’s Quantum Technology Industry” said it could generate more than $ 4 billion and 16,000 jobs by 2040.

The Australian IT sector welcomed the announcement.

“Quantum technology has the potential to be a multi-billion dollar industry that will create thousands of Australian jobs,” said Ron Gauci, managing director of the Australian Information Industry Association’s industry group.

($ 1 = A $ 1.3633)

Report by Colin Packham; Edited by Clarence Fernandez and Michael Perry

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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