The Labor opposition has pledged to launch a new defence research agency to drive the development of advanced capabilities, with the agency expected to absorb the Defence Innovation Hub.
Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese, shadow minister for defence Brendan O’Connor and shadow minister for defence industry Matt Keogh have jointly announced plans to establish the Advanced Strategic Research Projects Agency (ASRA) if elected to government.
The proposed research and development (R&D) body – an Australian equivalent of the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – would be established within the Department of Defence, responsible for funding research into breakthrough technologies.
ASRA would also be tasked with facilitating technology sharing and collaboration between Australia and its AUKUS partners (the United Kingdom and the United States) by linking local industry and academia with DARPA and the UK’s newly established Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA).
According to a statement from the opposition, the Defence Innovation Hub would be amalgamated into the ASRA.