Australian government signs technology and science agreement with Brazil

The cooperation agreement will allow researchers from both countries to work together more closely on technology and science innovation projects.

The Australian and Brazilian governments have signed an agreement that will enable researchers from both countries to collaborate more closely on technology, innovation, and science projects.

The agreement -- signed by Australian Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Arthur Sinodinos and Brazil's Ambassador to Australia Manuel Innocencio de Lacerda Santos Jr -- builds on Australia's long-standing relationship with Brazil, and will support "institution-to-institution and researcher-to-researcher links".

"Both our countries understand that science, technology, and innovation are vital for economic growth and job creation," Sinodinos said in a statement. "Science has helped make lives longer and healthier across the world, and this agreement will only make collaboration between our two nations easier."

The countries have previously worked on scientific projects in areas such as physical and biological sciences, clinical medicine, and astronomy.

Last year, the Australian government provided more than AU$17 million for joint 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. The Australian government had pledged a total of AU$36 million over five years to improve international innovation and science collaboration.

In February, Australia and Israel similarly signed an agreement on bilateral cooperation in technological innovation, research, and development, enabling Australian companies to take advantage of opportunities in Israel's biotechnology, IT, and research and development sectors.

At the time, Sinodinos said the agreement would help Australia learn from Israel's success at translating publicly funded research into commercial outcomes -- an area in which Australia is considered to be lagging.

Another cooperation agreement had been signed the same month to enable Australia and New Zealand to work together on tackling chronic disease, advancing general healthcare, and improving the accuracy and availability of GPS signals.

A month later, the Australian and Chinese governments then signed an agreement to allow government representatives, businesses, and researchers from both countries to exchange ideas.

The agreement stipulates that both countries contribute up to AU$6 million over three years to the next round of the Joint Research Centres, under the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF), which supports strategic science, technology, and innovation collaboration considered of mutual benefit to both countries.

Sinodinos at the time said the partnership with China would focus on advanced manufacturing, medical technologies and pharmaceuticals, and resources and energy.

Australia and China had also signed a memorandum of understanding on intellectual property, which Sinodinos said would help Australian businesses better navigate the Chinese intellectual property system.