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EU-Australia Trade Agreement is a Research Opportunity

19 Jun 2017
By Peter Varghese AO FAIIA

Australia and the European Union are set to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement later this year. Looking beyond trade and business links, what impact would such an FTA have on research and innovation?

The EU and Australia have a long and robust history of collaboration in the fields of research and innovation. With negotiations expected to be announced soon on a formalised EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement, University of Queensland Chancellor Peter Varghese sees opportunities for Australia.

Varghese shared his thoughts on the implications the proposed FTA would have on the research field with AIIA National Executive Director Melissa Conley Tyler at the EU-Australia Senior and Emerging Leaders’ Forum in Sydney. He said Australian researchers are less connected with industry than their EU counterparts and can learn from Europe’s success in product commercialisation. 

The former secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also spoke about ways in which an FTA could lower the barriers which inhibit research collaboration, focusing on mobility, which he sees as crucial to maintaining a fertile research environment.

Peter Varghese AO FAIIA is the chancellor of the University of Queensland and was secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 2012-2015. 

Interviewed by Melissa Conley Tyler, national executive director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and team leader for the EU-Australia Leadership Forum.

Filmed by Rory MacNeil

Edited by Edwina Blackburn