Pacts signed to boost cooperation in cyber security, scientific research

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong toasting to the enduring friendship between their countries at the Istana, where Mr Lee hosted a lunch for Mr Turnbull. The Australian leader is in Singapore on a three-day
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong toasting to the enduring friendship between their countries at the Istana, where Mr Lee hosted a lunch for Mr Turnbull. The Australian leader is in Singapore on a three-day official visit.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Singapore and Australia will intensify their cooperation in cyber security and scientific research, under two agreements inked yesterday.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who began his three-day official visit here yesterday.

The first agreement will see Singapore and Australia regularly exchange information on cyber-security incidents and threats.

The countries will work together to build up cyber-security resources and know-how in the region. They will also hold joint cyber-security exercises aimed at protecting critical information infrastructure.

Cyber security is a vital priority on the national security agenda of both countries, Mr Turnbull said at a joint press conference with Mr Lee.

Mr Turnbull said: "The digital age produces enormous opportunities, and few countries have progressed to the platform of the smartphone as quickly or as effectively as Singapore. But it brings with it great risks."

Singapore has also signed cyber- security cooperation agreements with the United States, France, India, the Netherlands and Britain.

In another agreement, Singapore and Australia will provide matching funds of up to $1 million for data science research in urban mobility, and health and ageing.

The funds will be given by Australia's national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and Singapore's data science consortium.

Similar matching funds will be given by CSIRO and Nanyang Technological University for joint research projects on advanced manufacturing, health and biosecurity.

These joint funds will help address the challenges of future economies, said Mr Lee.

Charissa Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2017, with the headline 'Pacts signed to boost cooperation in cyber security, scientific research'. Print Edition | Subscribe