Australia signs quantum technology cooperation agreement with United States

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19 November 2021

Australia and the United States have signed a joint statement to cooperate on quantum technology innovation and commercialisation.

The statement aims to enhance each country’s quantum industry capabilities through improved market access and knowledge sharing.

Read the full statement below.

Joint Statement of Australia and the United States of America on Cooperation in Quantum Science and Technology

The Government of the United States of America and the Government of Australia, (hereinafter referred to collectively as "the Participants" and singularly as "the Participant"):

We recognise the depth and strength of the economic and strategic relationship between Australia and the United States of America and note both nations’ shared commitment to our democratic institutions and to an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific region, underpinned by rules, norms and respect for sovereignty.

We recall the commitments in the Agreement Relating to Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Australia which set out a framework for the conduct of the overall science and technology relationship between our countries.

We acknowledge that science and technology (S&T) is the engine that enables transformative capabilities.  At its core, S&T research are collaborative, transnational efforts. Accordingly, working together is essential to scientific discovery and societal benefit.

We recognise that quantum technologies – broadly based on the study and application of quantum mechanics to explore new ways to acquire, transmit and process information – is a critical emerging technology that could enable more powerful computers, more capable communication networks and more precise and accurate sensors. 
We understand that the quantum ecosystem is global, interconnected and includes stakeholders from many different sectors including academia, government and the private sector.  This allows the movement and synergy of ideas, expertise and creativity to advance scientific discovery, develop new quantum-enabled technologies and apply them to the shared challenges of our time. 

We affirm our responsibility to steward a quantum ecosystem, which entails fostering broad and inclusive participation in the field and public awareness of quantum; collectively, these are essential to broadly realise the benefits of this field and achieve the future of quantum-enabled economies.

Together, we intend to advance our shared vision of a vibrant, secure, trusted and interconnected quantum ecosystem.

We have reached the following understandings:

Section 1: Purpose and Areas of Cooperation

The purpose of this Joint Statement on Cooperation in Quantum Science and Technology is to promote partnerships and enable cooperation between the Participants.  This Joint Statement underscores the intent to:

  • Explore new theoretical and practical applications of quantum technologies and collaborate to translate quantum technology research into meaningful practical applications that would be of mutual benefit to both of our nations.
  • Promote joint research, development and exchange of quantum technologies, underpinned by shared principles of research integrity, including freedom of inquiry, merit-based competition, openness and transparency, accountability and reciprocity. 
  • Build a trusted global quantum marketplace and the necessary secure supply chain through the engagement of the private sector and industry consortia.
  • Open opportunities to expand quantum industries and encourage participation in the quantum value chain.
  • Foster shared economic prosperity and security by shaping the design, development, commercialisation, and use of quantum technologies.
  • Protect sensitive technologies for which there are national security implications through shared arrangements between the two nations. 
  • Support the collaborative, mutually beneficial exchange of skills and development of a future quantum workforce.
  • Develop collaborative quantum technology standards in ways that foster interoperability, innovation, transparency, diverse markets and security by design.
  • Leverage existing bilateral and multilateral science and technology cooperation frameworks and pursue new agreements and engagements, as appropriate, to support joint research and development efforts, promote protection of intellectual property and build safe and inclusive research environments.

Section 2:  Manner of Cooperation

We intend to advance this cooperative agenda by the following means:

  1. Elevating quantum in existing bilateral engagements between the Participants;
  2. Convening regular meetings of senior government officials involved in quantum technologies (i.e., the Quantum Policy Dialogue – hereafter the “Dialogue”), co-chaired by representatives of the Participants, to exchange information, identify practical initiatives and review cooperation under this Joint Statement.
    1. Including participants in the Dialogue from relevant government departments and agencies, as determined by mutual consent of the Government of the United States and the Government of Australia; and
    2. Determining the agenda, timing, location and other relevant elements of the Dialogue through mutual consultation
  3. Convening additional working-level meetings to advance specific topics under this Joint Statement, by mutual consent.

We confirm our mutual understanding that cooperation informed and enabled by this Statement will be pursuant to the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Australia on Cooperation in Science and that the terms of the S&T Agreement and related agreements govern this cooperation, including with regard to issues relating to financial arrangements, confidentiality, and the protection and allocation of intellectual property created or furnished in the course of cooperative activities.

Elevating this cooperation across quantum scientific research, technology and innovation promises to deepen our bonds of friendship and understanding, strengthen our economies and contribute to global science and technology knowledge.

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