AFOSR and Australia partner to enhance global enabling technologies

  • Published
  • By AFOSR Staff
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research
The Air Force Research Laboratory's basic research directorate, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) hosted the Enabling Technologies Technical Exchange Meeting from May 11-14, 2015 at the Basic Research Innovation and Collaboration Center, Arlington, Va.
Jointly organized with the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF), the Australian government, and with the collaboration of the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, the purpose of the meeting was to explore and build basic research collaborations between the United States (U.S.) and Australia in the major areas of Materials Science, Physics and Human Performance/Biomedical Sciences.

The Exchange Meeting was an action item of the Enabling Technologies Working Group chaired by AFOSR Program Officer, Dr. Sofi Bin-Salamon and ANFF Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Rosie Hicks. The organizing committee included representatives from the Embassy of Australia in Washington, D.C., Mr. Michael Schwager, Minister-Counsellor for Education, Science and Technology; and Ms. Laura Rahn, Deputy Director for Science and Technology.  The effort was held under the auspices of the 2015 US-Australia Joint Commission on S&T (JCM) that serves as the major biennial civil science dialogue between the two nations. The Enabling Technologies Meeting included participation by representatives from federal agencies, U.S. universities, and Australian scientific institutions.

As the United States Air Force (USAF) basic research manager, AFOSR strategically develops relationships around the world to discover, shape and champion basic science that can profoundly impact the future USAF while in the same vein increase global reach of the U.S. research enterprise.   The U.S. and Australia have a long and productive history of working in partnership to address global challenges.

"Australia is one of the leading science and technology research nations in the world and we enjoy a strong partnership together," said Dr. Thomas F. Christian, Director, AFOSR.  Dr. Christian added, "We were honored to have the Australian Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable Kim Beazley, join us.  He is a strong supporter of science and technology and a statesman who understands the need for scientific partnership in today's technological world.  We look forward to a continued strong partnership with Australia and its world class researchers."

Since the Inaugural 2011 US-Australia JCM, the USAF successfully leveraged the Australian National Collaborative Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) under the AFOSR international initiative on "Smart Sensing" in order to discover, build and nurture collaborative basic research partnerships with Australia. As part of the Enabling Technologies Working Group, AFOSR and its partners have amassed many accomplishments including site visits, program reviews, collaborative projects, and other activities.

The Honorable Kim Beazley remarked, "This is a testament to the two countries' scientific capabilities that such a large group could come together for the meeting." 

Seventeen Australian universities, four Australian publically funded research agencies, eleven U.S. universities and eight U.S. Government science and research agencies were represented.

"This is the third meeting of its type, bringing together more researchers than before from the U.S. and Australia to have the opportunity to present on their ground breaking research and to pursue potential research collaboration in areas of fundamental science," said Beazley.

Dr. Bin-Salamon was delighted with the success of the event and looks forward to more collaboration in the future.  "This outstanding effort is the result of the exceptional resourcefulness and teamwork by everyone involved to build enduring scientific partnerships between the U.S. and Australia. As the relationships seed and grow, the importance of working together shines as the foundation to success," said Bin-Salamon.

ABOUT AFOSR: The Air Force Office of Scientific Research, located in Arlington, Virginia, continues to expand the horizon of scientific knowledge through its leadership and management of the Air Force's basic research program. As a vital component of the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFOSR's mission is to discover, shape and champion basic science that profoundly impacts the future Air Force. Through its international enterprise AFOSR supports the Air Force science and technology community by identifying foreign technological capabilities and accomplishments that can be applied to Air Force needs.   To stay up-to-date on the latest AFOSR happenings, please join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.