Canberra seeks out Australia’s critical technologies

The federal government has opened consultations to update the 2021 ‘List of Critical Technologies in the National Interest’.

Industry minister Ed Husic announced the consultations, saying the government was putting Australia at the forefront of critical technologies, seeking ways to best harness and manage these in our national interest.

The 2021 list featured 63 technologies across seven categories: Advanced materials and manufacturing; AI, computing and communications; Biotechnology, gene technology and vaccines; Energy and environment; Quantum; Sensing, timing and navigation; and Transportation, robotics and space.

Businesses, researchers and the broader community are encouraged to provide feedback on the list to clarify the technologies that the Government considers are vital for Australia’s interests today or have the potential to become critical for Australia within the next decade.

Husic said the government was focused on this vital task given the potential of these future technologies to accelerate Australia’s productivity growth and create well-paying jobs. This is in addition to their foundational role in national security and social cohesion.

Husic said: “We know the development of critical technologies present enormous potential opportunities as well as risks for Australians.

“It is vital we understand and send a clear signal about what technologies we should be focusing on and where our strengths lie – and that is exactly what this consultation is all about.”

Husic said that to reach our potential as a nation, we need to identify and understand what our critical technologies are, where our strengths lie and any gaps.

By identifying technologies that will play a vital role in our national industrial and scientific progress, the list provides focus and forms the basis for further discussions around investment and collaboration across all sectors of the economy.

He said: “This work is also part of our goal to reach 1.2 million tech jobs by 2030, as well as securing our supply chains and promoting Australia as a secure destination of excellence for investment, development and adoption of critical technologies.

“The government is also investing $1 billion in critical technologies as part of the National Reconstruction Fund, to build our strategic capability and power the economic growth we need to create jobs.”

The consultation will run for six weeks and close on 30 September 2022.

View the 2021 list of critical technologies in the national interest here.

Image: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

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