Technology is now the defining element of US-China strategic competition. Australia preserves a deep enmeshment with the United States’ scientific infrastructure, at the same time that it maintains a geopolitical and economic relationship with China. The US-China competition will leave Australia increasingly vulnerable as the US Congress and the Trump administration move to protect Washington’s technological advantage over Beijing. The more the United States pulls away, the more Australia will be pressured to limit its science and technological interaction with China. How does Washington view the technology competition with Beijing? What does this mean for the future of the R&D industry in Australia, including in universities and technology start-ups? How can Australia and the United States work together to avoid some of these potentially unintended consequences? Does Canberra need to boost R&D and cybersecurity investments to build its own technological ‘weight?’
To discuss these issues, USSC hosted a webinar event featuring Senior Fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security William Greenwalt, CEO of the Cyber Institute at Australian National University Professor Lesley Seebeck, and US Studies Centre Research Fellow and author of the report Tech wars: US-China technology competition and what it means for Australia, Brendan Thomas-Noone in conversation with US Studies Centre Director of Foreign Policy and Defence Ashley Townshend.
Dr William Greenwalt
Non-Resident Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Dr William C. Greenwalt is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where he focuses on the expansion of America’s defence industrial base, technology-transfer reform, defence acquisition and procurement reform, technology policy and innovation, and the civil-military integration of US and allied commercial and defence industrial bases.
Professor Lesley Seebeck
CEO of the Cyber Institute, Australian National University
Lesley Seebeck is a Professor of Practice in Cyber Security and CEO of the Cyber Institute, Australian National University. She started as the CEO of the Institute in July 2018. Most recently, she was Chief Investment and Advisory Officer at the Digital Transformation Agency, arriving there from the Bureau of Meteorology where she served as Chief Information Officer from mid-2014 to late 2017.
Brendan was formerly a Research Fellow in the Foreign Policy and Defence Program at the United States Studies Centre.
Non-Resident Senior Fellow, United States Studies Centre
Ashley Townshend is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the United States Studies Centre and Senior Fellow for Indo-Pacific Security at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the founding co-chair of the annual US-Australia Indo-Pacific Deterrence Dialogue and was the Director of Foreign Policy and Defence at the United States Studies Centre from June 2017 to June 2022.