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Australia strengthens science and innovation ties with Italy

22 May 2017

Australia and Italy have signed an agreement that will further strengthen scientific, technological and innovation co-operation between both nations.

The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos AO, and the Italian Ambassador to Australia, H.E. Pier Francesco Zazo, today in Canberra signed a treaty-level Agreement on Scientific, Technological and Innovation Cooperation.

The agreement builds on the strong collaborative relationship that Australia and Italy already enjoy when it comes to science, research and technology.

Italy is one of Australia’s top ten scientific publication partners, ranking eighth.

The agreement replaces the existing Memorandum of Understanding for Co-operation in Scientific Research and Technology.

Senator Sinodinos said: “Such alliances provide a valuable framework to help promote strategic science and innovation outcomes of national interest to both of our countries.”

Italy is an important strategic partner for Australia’s international co-operation in science and innovation, and possesses considerable strengths in the physical sciences, particularly astronomy and astrophysics, and is a key partner in the Square Kilometre Array Project.

Australia recently welcomed a high-level delegation of Italian research agency heads to build on the existing strong links across a range of shared priorities, including in astronomy, astrophysics and space.

The Australian Government has also committed in the 2017-18 Budget to entering into a strategic partnership with the European Southern Observatory, of which Italy is a member.

In addition, Italian researchers and small-to-medium enterprises are partnering with Australians through grants supported under the Global Connections Fund, an initiative under our Global Innovation Strategy.

Alliances between countries will help to promote strategic science and innovation outcomes of national interest to both countries, delivering on the ambitions outlined in Australia’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

It recognises the strength of our relationship and the advantages of sharing our resources, assets and knowledge, and reinforces the important role scientific, technological and innovation co-operation plays in the ambitions of both nations.

Media contact: Minister Sinodinos' office 6277 7070