Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Joint Statement on the UK-Australia Strategic Innovation Dialogue [April 2024]

The press release issued by the Department for Business and Trade on 11 April 2024.

Following the inaugural Strategic Innovation Dialogue in London, the UK and Australia have issued a Joint Statement.

United Kingdom – Australia Co-chair Joint Statement

On 8-9 April 2024, Australia and the United Kingdom (UK) held the inaugural Strategic Innovation Dialogue (the Dialogue) in London. This put into practice the commitments made under the Innovation chapter of the Australia- UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the first such chapter in the world.

Dr. Carolyn Patteson, Head of International, Trade and National Security, of the Department of Industry, Science, and Resources (DISR) and Dr Gaynor Jeffery OBE, Director for Core Policy, Delivery and European Region at Department for Business and Trade (DBT) co-chaired on behalf of Australia and the UK respectively.

Discussions focused on priority areas such as future health, future power, and standards and interoperability of emerging technologies, with a view to encouraging further science, research, commercialisation and trade collaboration in these key areas.

The Dialogue supports and facilitates trade between two of the world’s most pioneering economies in innovative goods and services, encouraging the development and adoption of emerging technologies and increasing engagement in science, innovation, technology and related sectors, opening a new chapter of cooperation that will shape our economies for years to come.

It comes at a significant juncture, when both countries are looking to strengthen and diversify global supply chains, manage a transition to net zero emissions and ensure robust systems of governance to support the responsible and safe use of critical technologies including Artificial Intelligence – all in support of economic growth and job creation.

  • On Future Health, discussions focused on strategies for commercialising innovation in biotechnology, highlighting advances in complex precision medicines and materials technology. Both sides outlined their existing health research networks and agreed to explore the potential for a ‘biobridge’ between our countries to expedite new and innovative medicines, diagnostics, and therapeutics to market.
  • On Battery manufacturing, a visit to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) enabled direct learning on the opportunities and challenges in developing and trading these innovative goods. Following discussions over respective National approaches, both sides acknowledged further opportunities to deepen cooperation.
  • On Offshore Wind, after comparing strategies and new innovations in floating offshore wind technology, there was joint commitment to identify collaborative opportunities to address supply chain constraints and to continue facilitating connections between policy makers to progress development of floating offshore wind policy.
  • On standards and interoperability of emerging technologies, both countries acknowledged the importance of harmonising standards to bolster consumer trust, support sectoral growth and to facilitate trade in AI-enabled goods. Building on discussions hosted by the UK in 2023 at the AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park, Australia and the UK reaffirmed the importance of working together toward safe and responsible AI, including in key international forums, to develop the international standards necessary to secure consumer trust and industry confidence in emerging sectors.

Australia and the UK welcomed cooperation between respective standards bodies in support of trade outcomes and committed to monitor their regulatory frameworks for new technologies to ensure they do not emerge as technical barriers to trade. This includes facilitating alignment on the adoption of interoperable tools for trustworthy AI, such as assurance techniques and international technical standards.  Both countries welcomed the work already underway between respective agencies on autonomous vehicles.

Australia and the UK look forward to the opportunity to continue to strengthen the relationship between both countries by supporting trade in innovative goods and services, improving the connections between our respective systems and progressing joint work programmes catalysed by the Dialogue.

The next Strategic Innovation Dialogue will be held in Australia in 2026.