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Australia’s Cyber and Critical Tech Cooperation Program

Australia’s Cyber and Critical Tech Cooperation Program

Deadline: Ongoing

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is pleased to invite project proposals for Australia’s Cyber and Critical Tech Cooperation Program to strengthen capacity to maximize the opportunities and mitigate the risks related to the use of cyberspace and critical technologies.

The Program expanded to include critical technology in April 2021 to reflect Australia’s interests and objectives in cyberspace and critical technology consistent with Australia’s International Cyber and Critical Tech Engagement Strategy.

Funding Information

AUD11.9 million (2020-21FY to 2023-24FY) to support critical technology standards in Southeast Asia; and
AUD8.6 million (2020-21FY to 2023-24FY) to strengthen cyber and critical technology resilience in the Mekong sub-region (through the broader AUD232 million Mekong Australia Partnership).
Program Objectives

Critical technology standards in Southeast Asia:
The objective of the critical technology standards investment is to enhance the development and implementation of internationally recognised and industry-led critical technology standards at regional and national levels in countries across Southeast Asia, positioning their economies for the future.
In support of this objective, the Open Call seeks project proposals that address one of the following intermediate outcomes:
Southeast Asian states shape and implement critical technology standards that foster interoperability, innovation, transparency, diverse markets and security by design;
Southeast Asian states’ coordination on critical technology standards is enhanced and effective; and
Government, industry and civil society representatives in Southeast Asian states have an increased awareness of the role that international standards play with respect to geopolitical change, technology trajectories and economic advantage.
Cyber and critical technology resilience in the Mekong:
The objective of the investment is to strengthen cyber and critical technology resilience in the Mekong by bolstering regional capacity, particularly in telecommunications and critical infrastructure security. This will support a stronger Mekong subregion, a more resilient Southeast Asia region, and an open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific. This will also support the objectives of the broader Mekong-Australia Partnership.
In support of this objective, the Open Call seeks project proposals that address one of the following intermediate outcomes:
Cyber and critical technology policy and legislation in targeted Mekong states is developed and strengthened;
States in the Mekong region display an effective and enhanced resistance to technology-enabled influence; and
Secure, transparent and economically viable telecommunications policy and legislation is developed and across the Mekong region.
Online Harms & Safety:
Australia seeks to enable a safe and inclusive online environment
The Open Call seeks project proposals that contribute to enabling a safe and inclusive online environment, including but not limited to:
strengthening institutional and societal capacity to identify and assess risks to counter online harms and foster a safe and inclusive online environment;
research and implementation of findings around online harms and safety, including gender-based abuse online;
considering the role of legislation and regulatory frameworks in enabling a safe and inclusive online environment; and
building capacity of partner countries to engage with international mechanisms and technology platforms and providers to notify and remove abhorrent and illegal material present on their services.
Regional Connectivity:
Australia seeks to support a connected and prosperous Indo-Pacific region comprised of independent sovereign states enabled by secure and economically viable critical technology.
The Open Call seeks project proposals that contribute to harnessing connectivity in a safe, secure and sustainable manner, including but not limited to:
building awareness and assisting in the development of policy and legal frameworks to manage security risks relevant to telecommunications infrastructure (particularly 5G);
considering regulatory reform approaches to manage telecommunications security, foreign investment, competitiveness and privacy; and
promoting accessible e-platforms for governance and education.
Disinformation & Misinformation:
Australia seeks to build international resilience to digital disinformation, misinformation and its effects.
The Open Call seeks project proposals that contribute to building international resilience to digital disinformation, misinformation and its effects, including but not limited to:
building institutional capacity for governments to mitigate the impact of, respond to and manage disinformation and/or misinformation;
research and implementation of findings around digital disinformation, misinformation and its effects, including impact on vulnerable groups; and
considering the role of disinformation and/or misinformation in democratic processes.
Geographic Focus

The program has a specific focus on Southeast Asia and the Pacific. This reflects Australia’s broader strategic policy interests and where they can best leverage resources to maximise development impact.
The Program has a specific geographic focus on ODA-eligible Southeast Asian states and Pacific island countries. Activities are focused at the bilateral level (Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Samoa) and regionally (ASEAN and Pacific). While the above-mentioned countries are prioritised, the Open Call will consider proposals for other ODA-eligible Southeast Asia or Pacific countries.
For more information, visit https://www.internationalcybertech.gov.au/apply

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