Defence is contributing to a review of the government-maintained critical technologies list by exploring ways to better analyse or measure “gaps or opportunities” for improvement in emerging technology domains.
The government said it would review the scope of the critical technologies list late last month, less than a year after the list was put together by the previous federal government.
The review may see additions made to the list of technologies deemed to be of national interest.
Critical technologies each have publicly-accessible and referenceable “tech cards” that describe the technology domain, but also offer some statistics on how well Australia matches up internationally in the domain, with respect to patents, venture capital investment, research impact, and on other measures.
These benchmarking standards and metrics are also up for review, with the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) handling this aspect of the review.
While the DSTG’s consultation isn’t public, a Defence spokesperson told iTnews that DSTG intends “to identify opportunities to broaden the type of metrics collected, or enhance analysis techniques, so that we can provide a richer picture of critical technologies and Australia’s relative position in the world.”
“This may include indicators to enhance our understanding of global strategic competition, leading nations, research gaps or opportunities, investment gaps or opportunities, barriers to commercialisation, access to intellectual property, the relationships between and across technologies (e.g. convergence), and the relationships between technologies, capabilities and Australia’s national interest (e.g. a functional map),” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said that DSTG also has an interest in tracking emerging trends.
It currently uses analytics and metrics “to identify and understand technologies with the capacity to significantly enhance, or pose risk to, Australia’s national interest (i.e. economic prosperity, social cohesion and national security).”
“In addition, we use advanced analytics to capture and process hundreds of thousands of science news articles generated around the world each year to discover early warning signs of new and emerging technologies,” the spokesperson said.