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MITRE Australia opens Canberra office, signs four collaboration agreements

American not-for-profit R&D company MITRE has opened a headquarters office and advanced systems engineering centre in the Brindabella Business Park in Canberra. This will support growing engagement with Australian government, business, and research institutions, the company says. MITRE operates six of the US government’s 42 Federally Funded R&D Centres (FFRDC) and aims to work in the public interest without competing with industry.

Building on AUKUS and bi-lateral Australian–US accords, MITRE Australia has signed agreements with four new collaboration partners to foster development of whole-of-nation solutions that strengthen the defence of Australia, as well as security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

The new agreements include the Australian National University, University of New South Wales (UNSW), University of Adelaide, and Flinders University. Building on the goals of the AUKUS agreement, these technology collaborations focus on enhancing cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, maritime autonomy, quantum, and other technology innovations to advance whole-of-nation solutions.

“These partnerships accelerate Australia’s sovereign capabilities in defence, cybersecurity, and space as well as strengthen Australia’s technology leadership and coalition partnerships,” said Keoki Jackson, senior vice president and general manager, MITRE National Security Sector. “Australia plays a critical role in the Pacific. We are committed to help accelerate the implementation of the AUKUS agreement and promote stability, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Julie Bowen, MITRE’s senior vice president for operations and outreach, and chief legal officer, added, “MITRE has more than 60 years of history bridging government, industry, and academia to foster transformational innovation. We’re bringing that experience to the Australian government and partners to accelerate game-changing, real-world results. These whole-of-nation collaborations will catalyse solutions to some of the world’s most complex challenges.”

Vice Admiral Paul Maddison (ret’d), director of UNSW’s Defence Research Institute, said, “UNSW is thrilled to be partnering with MITRE and applauds the strategic vision behind the decision to incorporate in Australia. As a defence research and education intensive university with a decades-long formal relationship with the Department of Defence at the Australian Defence Force Academy, UNSW is committed to accelerating the defence concept to capability cycle, especially in the priority capability areas highlighted by the AUKUS agreement.”

Keith Nugent, deputy vice-chancellor, research & innovation, The Australian National University, said, “We … look forward to working together to forge new engagements with the US as partners under the AUKUS agreement. Through the ANU-MITRE MOU, the Australian National University will work with MITRE to increase our engagement with defence industries to ensure our nation’s security.”

Simon Lucey, director of the University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute for Machine Learning, said, “Building Australia’s sovereign capability in artificial intelligence is vital for our future security and prosperity. This new partnership between MITRE and the University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute for Machine Learning will see our leading AI research help support greater regional stability for Australia and its global allies.”

Flinders University’s Defence Partnerships Director Tony Kyraciou, said: “This new Flinders University and MITRE agreement will enable further development of our research strengths in marine autonomy, cybersecurity, and other scientific fields to ensure its effective application in Australia’s national security with our trusted US partners. We look forward to working with MITRE in accelerating our ground-breaking research initiatives in priority areas highlighted by the AUKUS agreement and engaging with defence industries supporting areas of mutual interest.”

MITRE also has a Sponsoring and Collaboration Agreement with the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) to serve as the conduit between Australia and partners to facilitate interoperability and the integration of joint forces and weapon systems. In addition, MITRE is an active member of the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre (AC3). In March 2022, MITRE established its first international applied research centre—The MITRE Centre for Information Integrity & Defence—within Lot Fourteen in Adelaide.

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