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The NSST Branch is currently responsible for two agreements with the United States – a Treaty on cooperation in science and technology for domestic security and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the United States Technical Support Working Group (TSWG).
Australia and the United States of America signed a treaty on cooperation in science and technology for domestic security on 21 December 2005. The agreement was signed in Washington by the Australian Ambassador to the United States of America, Mr Dennis Richardson, and the Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, Mr Michael Chertoff. The agreement established a formal arrangement to facilitate scientific and technological exchange and interaction on counter-terrorism. The agreement is available on the Australian Legal Information Institute website.
The agreement facilitates cooperative activities such as collaborative research, staff visits and information and material exchange that will contribute to the enhancement of domestic security capabilities of both nations. The agreement allows both nations to share advancements in innovative science and technology ideas and capabilities. The implementation of this agreement is coordinated in Australia by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet through the NSST Branch and in the United States by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate.
On 17 May 2006, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Australian Government Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the United States Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) housed in the Department of Defense. The TSWG is a US forum that identifies, prioritises, and coordinates interagency and international research and development requirements for combating terrorism. The TSWG rapidly develops technologies and equipment to meet the high priority needs of the community working on combating terrorism, and addresses joint international operational requirements through cooperative R&D with major allies. For more information, see the TSWG website.
Through both the Treaty and the Memorandum of Understanding, the NSST Branch organises and oversees the establishment of international collaborative projects between Australian and United States organisations. The NSST Branch facilitates arrangements, monitors ongoing projects and provides co-funding on occasion to support high-priority projects of value to the Australian Government.
The NSST Branch identifies Australian organisations and projects which may be suitable for international partnership through its research community engagement strategies. As such, it does not typically openly call for applications for involvement in this program. Organisations interested in applying for co-funding of research and development projects should instead investigate the opportunities available through the Research Support for Counter-Terrorism program.
However, organisations currently engaged with the US Department of Homeland Security, the Technical Support Working Group or other US government agencies, or those seeking to access programs run by these agencies, may wish to contact the NSST Branch, either by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on (02) 6271 5111.
The NSST Branch welcomes approaches from interested countries via their relevant Australian Embassy or High Commission.Top