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ResourcesHuman Research Ethics‘Faustian bargain’: defence fears over Australian university’s $100m China partnership – The Guardian (Anders Furze and Louisa Lim | September 2017)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

‘Faustian bargain’: defence fears over Australian university’s $100m China partnership – The Guardian (Anders Furze and Louisa Lim | September 2017)

Published/Released on September 19, 2017 | Posted by Admin on September 19, 2017 / , , ,
 


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Reuse of data for military or terrorist ends has been termed ‘dual use’. It has become a matter of concern in health and scientific research, but has also troubled social scientists research by American military and intelligence organizations and is an area that some research organisations require research ethics committees to consider (Rodrigues, 2015).UNSW’s A$100m collaboration with the Chinese Torch innovation program has been challenged by Furze and Lim (2017) and suggests that the line between civilian and military use of research may be becoming increasingly hard to draw.

Furze, A and Lim, L (2017) ‘Faustian bargain’: defence fears over Australian university’s $100m China partnership. The Guardian 19 September. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/19/faustian-bargain-defence-fears-over-australian-universitys-100m-china-partnership

Rodrigues, R (2015) Principles and Approaches in Ethics Assessment Dual-use in research. Stakeholders Acting Together on the Ethical Impact Assessment of Research and Innovation – SATORI http://satoriproject.eu/media/1.g-Dual-use-in-research.pdf

University of New South Wales says it has conducted due diligence and concerns about research being used for military purposes are drawing ‘a very long bow’

A world-first collaboration between the University of New South Wales and the Chinese government, celebrated as a $100m innovation partnership, opens a Pandora’s box of strategic and commercial risks for Australia, according to leading analysts.

These include the potential loss of sensitive technology with military capability, an unhealthy reliance on Chinese capital and vulnerability to Beijing’s influence in Australia’s stretched research and technology sector.

The UNSW Torch Innovation precinct, the first outside China, was unveiled last year with Malcolm Turnbull present at the signing ceremony in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, alongside the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang.

Since 1988 the Torch program has brought businesses together with universities and researchers inside China to create high-tech startups. The Chinese government says it has accounted for 11% of the country’s GDP. This $100m deal included an initial $30m from eight Chinese companies to support Australian research.

Since then 29 Chinese partners and one Indian one – Adani Solar, a subsidiary of the resources giant – have signed on to the UNSW Torch project. They include at least seven firms working in industries with dual use military potential such as aerospace, GPS navigation, underwater cameras and nanotechnology. The research is not funded directly by the Chinese government but by the companies themselves.

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