The government of Australia is to work with Brazil and China on science, technology and innovation, and to collaborate with Hong Kong on using robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to tackle an ageing society.
Australian and Brazilian scientists will now enjoy closer collaboration under an agreement signed by the Australian minister for industry, innovation and science, Arthur Sinodinos AO and Brazil’s ambassador to Australia, his excellency Manuel Innocencio de Lacerda Santos Jr. The Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation will support Brazilian researchers in collaborating with Australian partners and support institution-to-institution and researcher-to-researcher links.
Australia and Brazil have a long history of collaborating on scientific projects in areas including physical and biological sciences, clinical medicine and astronomy. In 2016 the Australian Government provided more than $17 million in funding support for collaborative projects with Brazilian research partners through the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council. Collaboration with Brazil is also supported under the National Innovation and Science Agenda’s Global Innovation Strategy.
Separately, the Xinhua news agency reports that secretary for innovation and technology of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Nicholas Yang, said during his visit to Sydney, Australia, that Hong Kong and Australia ‘will have to think about smarter ways of using robotics and artificial intelligence (AI)’ to tackle an ageing society. Yang said that the ageing population issue cannot be avoided, and that the whole world would need to consider its impact.
Nicolas Yang and Arthur Sinodinos said they would identify opportunities where the two economies can cooperate.
Yang said Hong Kong faces big challenges in terms of an aging society. “Because the birth rate can not keep up, then we will have to think about smarter ways of using robotics and artificial intelligence,” he said to Xinhua. “In terms of keeping people ageing healthily, then we have to think in terms of biotechnology and biomedicine.”
Yang believes these challenges can be overcome with collaboration and cooperation in new technology development. “Australia really has a strength in biomedicine and… strong regulatory setups,” he commented. “Hong Kong also has a strength in biomedical research. We have a bunch of biomedical and biotech entrepreneurs. So I believe this is an area where we can collaborate together and build something that is meaningful for both regions.”