Melbourne, Apr 21 (PTI) Australia on Wednesday announced three cyber projects with India as it launched its International Cyber and Critical Technology Engagement Strategy, setting the goal for a safe, secure and prosperous Australia, Indo-Pacific and the world.
'At the heart of the strategy is the prioritisation and enhancement of our cyber and critical tech diplomacy. We'll do that through our bilateral partnerships, through groupings such as the Quad, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the Pacific Islands Forum,” Foreign Minister Marise Payne said.
“We'll work globally through the United Nations, where we're already proving we can have a real effect in multilateral rules-setting and we'll support partners in our region to build capacity for cyber and critical technology resilience,' Payne said in her speech.
Based on three key pillars of values, security and prosperity, this framework will guide Australia's practical international engagement across cyber and critical technology issues, in order to create an environment that embraces the enormous opportunities of innovation while avoiding and mitigating the risks, she said.
Payne announced three projects in Round 1 of the Australia-India Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership (AICCTP) Grant Programme, a USD 12.7 million programme over four years.
'As a very positive example of deepening the bilateral cooperation on these issues, we're working more closely with India, recognising that it's both a growing market for technology and, increasingly, an innovator and regulator of digital technologies.
'Amongst other things, this programme will support both Australian and Indian researchers to enhance the ethical frameworks, the technical standards, underpinning the development of critical technology,' she said.
The grants programme exists to enhance practical cooperation and collaboration between the two countries on cyber and critical technology issues, which will help shape a global technology environment that meets Australia and India’s shared vision of an open, free, rules-based Indo-Pacific region, according to Australian government's international cyber technology website.
Australia and India, with their technical expertise and engaged user base, are key players in the global development of critical and emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), next generation telecommunications (5G/6G), Internet of Things (IoT), quantum computing, synthetic biology, blockchain and big data, she said.
Grant Round 1 prioritised proposals that focused on strengthening understanding of ethical frameworks and developing best practice on translating them into practical action and encouraging the development of technical standards on critical technologies, the minister said.
Payne said that in the first round, the programme received over 50 applications and grants have been awarded to three projects: the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney and India's Observer Research Foundation, the ORF, to develop ethical frameworks and best practices for emerging quantum technologies.
The second grant has been given to La Trobe University and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur to operationalise ethical frameworks in the critical technology supply chains of global companies.
The School of Computer Science at the University of Sydney, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Reliance Jio and the University of New South Wales, to address privacy and security challenges in next generation telecommunications networks was also awarded the grant.
'I'm very excited about the opportunities that exist under these grants and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this very important work. I know it's of great interest to our partners in India as well. And, COVID-19 allowing, I look forward to visiting India again soon to work to engage with counterparts there,' Payne said.
Payne said that Australia's shared goals with India, along with Japan and the United States, were also reflected in the recent establishment of the new critical and emerging tech working group at the first summit of the Quad leaders on that first agenda.
The Working Group's Coordinating Committee held its first meeting early in April, and it will continue to meet monthly. The committee agreed to a programme of practical outcomes, including a joint statement on technologies and a technical dialogue between national standards bodies, she said. PTI RS ZH RS