National Security Science And Technology

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Unclassified – for public release. 2018 Commonwealth of Australia.Defence Science and TechnologyDavid Warren Building24 Scherger Drive, Canberra Airport ACT work is copyright. Apart from any use as permittedunder the Copyright Act 1968 no part may be reproducedby any process without prior written permission fromDefence Science and Technology.

AIM AND PURPOSEScience and technology innovation plays a core role in our nation’s security. As access toscience and technological developments and ideas move from the realms of specialistsin laboratories and on to the internet for public view, there is an increase in our nation’svulnerability to technology-based threats.The National Security Science and Technology Centre(NSSTC) was created to help Australia’s national securityagencies collectively understand and prioritise their scienceand technology requirements, and to coordinate researchand development to address these priorities by fosteringpartnerships between Australia’s national security agenciesand academics, industry and other potential science andtechnology providers.The aim of this document is to outline Australia’s currentnational security science and technology priorities andcoordination of efforts, to best take advantage of investmentin science and technology and address gaps in immediateand future national security capability.POLICY CONTEXTThe Defence White Paper 2016 endorsed Defence Science and Technology’s responsibilityfor leading and coordinating the delivery of science and technology to support nationalsecurity agencies. DST has held a similar role in support of Defence for over 100 years.The NSSTC within DST is responsible for undertaking this function.The Defence Industry Policy Statement also noted that DefenceInnovation Forums will “provide a venue for communicatingnational security science and innovation priorities.”Intelligence Capability Investment Plan also attest to the needfor a more coordinated approach to capability developmentacross the community.Recent policy reviews have further articulated the need toensure that Australia’s science and innovation capabilitiesare best utilised for our current and future national securitycapabilities. These include the recent review of the NationalCounter-Terrorism Plan1 and the the 2017 IndependentIntelligence Review (June 20172). The Intelligence Reviewspecifically recommended the establishment of a NationalIntelligence Community (NIC) Science and TechnologyAdvisory Board, to provide a more structured response totechnological change and the need to coordinate science andtechnology across the expanded NIC. The recommendationsto establish a Joint Capability Fund and a forward lookingIn addition, the establishment of the Home Affairs portfolioand the Office of National Intelligence will ensure moreenduring and better integrated intelligence and domesticsecurity arrangements3. While this paper outlines thenational security science and technology priorities,governance arrangements and engagement mechanisms asthey exist now, these will need to co-evolve as arrangementsare re-defined under the new national security architecture.1. See unter-Terrorism-Plan.pdf2. See ty/report-2017-independent-intelligence-review3. See raliaPOLICY AND PRIORITIES1

GOVERNANCEA National Security Science and Technology Interdepartmental Committee (NSST IDC) wasestablished in March 2017 to provide a cross-agency governance mechanism. This NSST IDCwill review and endorse national security science and technology policies and prioritiesand promote cross-agency collaboration on science and technology, which will deliverefficiencies and reduce duplication.The NSST IDC is co-chaired by Deputy Secretary NationalSecurity (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet)and the Chief Defence Scientist (Department of Defence),with senior members drawn from across Australian BorderProtection, law enforcement, intelligence, Defence andpolicy agencies.It is the role of the NSSTC to work with all agencies to collateand prioritise their national security science and technologypriorities. NSSTC also works to ensure that these prioritiesreflect guidance from the Australia and New Zealand CounterTerrorism Committee (ANZCTC) and its subcommittees.SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PRIORITIESAs endorsed by the NSST IDC in March 2017, the currentsix national security science and technology prioritiesare the following:2 Cyber security Intelligence Border security and ID management Investigative support and forensic science Preparedness, protection, prevention andincident response Technology foresightingNATIONAL SECURITY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGYThese six priority themes are expanded in Annex A.Given the changing nature of both the threat to Australiaand the resulting science and technology challenges andopportunities, these statements of science and technologypriorities will be reviewed and updated annually.

ENGAGEMENT MECHANISMSNSSTC will assist national security agencies to elucidate their science and technologyrequirements, and then foster collaboration with the innovation community to addressthese requirements.There are multiple engagement mechanisms that NSSTC usesto implement these two roles.Government agenciesThere are two key fora for high-level engagement acrossnational security agencies for science and technology.These are:1. The National Security Science and TechnologyInterdepartmental Committee (as described onpage 2), providing an engagement mechanismacross the key federal agencies. This Band 2/3committee is supported by a Band 1 Roundtablewith representation from the same agencies.2. The ANZCTC and its sub-committees, providinga mechanism to engage the jurisdictions andfirst responder community.In addition, two-way staff exchanges are encouraged betweenthe national security agencies and the NSSTC. For example,the NSSTC includes a Science Counsellor role intended tofunction on a full or part-time basis within another agency.NSSTC will also facilitate in-depth workshops on commonlyidentified science and technology themes. This brings usersand technology experts together to discuss particular needsand then define a collaboratively-funded cross-agencyprogram of research and development activities.Industry, academia and otherpublically funded research agenciesAn informed and engaged national security science andinnovation community in Australia is key to driving the stateof the art and delivering capability to the national securityagencies. The NSSTC will create a “National Security Scienceand Technology Research Forum” to facilitate engagementwith the national security innovation community. ThisForum will outline research and development opportunities,bring together communities of interest for conferencesor workshops, announce upcoming events and advertiseother news.Engagement with industry, publically funded researchagencies, and academia will also be fostered via mechanismssuch as the Innovation Portal managed by the Centre forDefence Innovation Capability, and through engagementwith domain-specific hubs.The Defence Innovation Portal is a website that links tothe Defence Innovation Hub and the Next GenerationTechnologies Fund, allowing the innovation communityaccess to opportunities in science and technology thataddress Defence-specific priorities. In line with the DefenceIndustry Policy Statement, the “National Security Scienceand Technology Research Forum” will be linked to this Portal.International partnersIn meeting the challenge of delivering the science andtechnology outcomes that are required, NSSTC will leveragethe science and technology programs being undertakeninternationally. The NSSTC has existing arrangementswith the United States, Canada and the United Kingdomto share resources and collaborate on activities of mutualbenefit, as follows: US Department of Homeland Security(Treaty arrangements) US Combating Terrorism TechnicalSupport Office (MOU) Canadian Defence, Centre forSecurity Science (MOU) UK Home Office (MOU)The NSSTC will establish additional arrangements withother nations, particularly within our South East Asianregional environment.NSSTC will continue to work closely with the nationalsecurity agencies to shape the science and technologyprograms pursued with our international partners.POLICY AND PRIORITIES3

TRANSLATION TO CAPABILITYAn informed and systematic identification of science and technology priorities and a researchand development program to address these is an essential starting point to address gaps incapability. Eventually, this work is required to be translated into resourced programs of workto deliver actual capability.Capability enablersFundingScience and technology alone will not produce or impactcapability without technology transfer being undertakencollaboratively by the national security user community.There are a number of capability enablers which need to beidentified and collective actions considered. Training is onesuch enabler, both to allow existing staff to be re-trainedon new capabilities and new staff to become proficient withthe capabilities they will be using. A collective approach totraining on new capabilities with cross-agency applicabilityis more efficient than individual agencies undertaking theirown bespoke training. Other capability enablers include ICTarchitectures, facilities, support/maintenance, workforce andintegration with existing systems so that they are aligned andable to receive and utilise the science and technology support.While a discussion of all the capability enablers is beyondthe scope of this document, they will need to be consideredalthough their provision is not within the scopeof the NSSTC’s role.Currently, many of the investments in science and technologythat are being made across the national security communityare by individual agencies with individual suppliers. Thesame is also true for the capability enablers discussed earlier.NSSTC’s role is to raise collective awareness across theagencies of these investments, to potentially enable a morecollective and efficient approach, and facilitate the poolingof resources across agencies who share common capabilitygoals and requirements. The Government will expect agenciesthat have common interests to share, coordinate and leverageeach other as much as possible. This approach also alignswell with the recommendations from the Intelligence Review,particularly those around a more collective approach tocapability planning and investments across the NationalIntelligence Community.4NATIONAL SECURITY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

BENEFITS OF A COORDINATED APPROACHTO SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FORNATIONAL SECURITYThe NSSTC will drive Australia’s national security community to a more collaborativeco-investment approach.The NSSTC will drive Australia’s National Security communityto a more collaborative co-investment approach betweengovernment, academia and industry that effectively andefficiently delivers innovative science and technologysolutions in the agreed priority areas. Maximising leverageinternationally and building capability nationally, throughengagement with industry, academia and publically fundedresearch agencies will ensure Australia remains on theforefront of science and technology in order to remain agileand anticipative of new and emerging threats.

ANNEX A: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PRIORITIESCyber securityIntelligenceTo anticipate vulnerabilities, strengthen cyber systems andcritical infrastructure, and enhance national capacity torespond to and recover from cyber-attack, investment inscience and technology is crucial to ensure we remain alertand responsive to evolving threats.Systems delivering timely and accurate information intelligenceare critical for national security, not only for intelligenceand law enforcement agencies but also border protectionand health authorities. Rapidly changing and advancingtechnologies are transforming how information is collected,integrated and exploited. The ability to automate data fusion,data integration and data analysis is a common need acrossagencies and requires a coordinated effort. It is worth notingthat these efforts would need to operate within current policyboundaries, ensuring that the privacy of Australians is met.Many of the agencies consulted noted the need for research tosupport the continued and growing requirement for scalablehigh assurance, resilient computing for multilevel security,secure gateways allowing agencies to have connectivitybetween the internet facing elements of their role and thesensitive information held within the agencies, as wellas secure cloud based storage. Secure communications,enabling agencies to undertake their mission successfullyare also critical and were highlighted as a requirement bysome agencies.Other requirements highlighted in this priority area by a fewof the agencies consulted include the need to develop scienceand technology programs to strengthen cyber systems toensure our agencies remain alert and responsive toevolving threats.As highlighted by many of the agencies consulted, theinformation rich age brings with it a suite of new challenges.Common amongst many in the community is the enduringneed for data analytics across a range of classificationsincluding social media and open source exploitation. Manyof the agencies noted the need for greater automation withsome highlighting that this should occur as close to the pointof collection as possible. Further to this, the systems andservices enabling intelligence exploitation need to be trustedby the user, with high integrity and reliability, underpinnedby a quality assurance framework. Critical supportingelements in this priority area were highlighted by some andinclude the specific requirement for data analytics including;image processing, speech and text language processing andphysiological analysis.The need for smart buyer advice and access to other scienceand technology subject matter expertise was highlightedby some of the agencies. A few agencies highlighted therequirement for products to be machine readable.6NATIONAL SECURITY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Border security and identitymanagementInvestigative support andforensic scienceScience and technology can enhance the capability to trackand identify objects or people and monitor or screenfor hazardous materials or threats. This can involve theobservation and assessment of explosives, chemical, biologicalor radiological agents, disease, drugs and other contraband.In tracking objects, tools can detect and trace movementand authenticate identity.The ability to use information to deliver forensic andinvestigative support to our national security and lawenforcement agencies is essential in ensuring effectiveprosecutions or the disruption of terrorist and trans-nationalcriminal activities. New technologies are needed to enablethe ‘in-field’ screening and analysis of items to provide timely,accurate, scientific information to support investigations.The key theme to emerge in this priority area was thecapability to identify objects. Many of the agencies consultedhighlighted the continued need for science and technologyto support development in biometrics broadly. This includesthe need for the development of methods to enable both fielddeployable and scalable stand-off biometric capabilities.Challenges including the ability to compare biometric datafrom different quality data sets, as well as the need forsecure real time linkages to internet facing capabilities (seeCyber Security) were identified as an important aspect ofthis challenge by some agencies. Many agencies also raisedthe requirement for the development multimodal biometrictechniques. The requirement for the development of remotesensors to track things was raised by a few agencies.Research programs advancing the state of the art intraditional forensic science and technology, includingthat related to fingerprints, genetic material, illicit drugs,explosives and other trace and physical evidence are ongoingin academic, industry and government facilities.A few agencies also had requirements for support tobehaviour analysis.With the increase in the use of digital technologies someagencies identified a requirement for more advanced digitalforensic tools to support investigations.The forensic science community continues to enhancecapabilities to detect, record, collect and analyse physical,biological and digital traces. There is a requirement to evolvethese capabilities through research to ensure the capabilitiesare effective in the changing environment. Regardless ofthe change, the common goal is to answer the followingquestions in a timely and accurate manner: who, what,where, why, how and when.The expanding role for forensic science and other technicalcapabilities in the national security environment seesthese specialist capabilities at the centre of supportingcommunity safety and security through disruption activitiesand also justice through traditional support to prosecutions.These capabilities are increasingly informing policy andcapability enhancements through technical assessment ofemerging threats. The relationship between intelligenceand science is essential to ensure forensic science and othertechnical capabilities evolve to be agile to the threat in thedynamic operational environment and lead times for theoperationalisation of new capabilities are minimised.POLICY AND PRIORITIES7

Preparedness, protection,prevention and incident responseAustralian agencies need to be appropriately equipped andprepared to effectively and safely respond to events of nationalsecurity significance. This requires a range of responses thatspan the Prepare – Prevent – Respond – Recover spectrum.This includes: physical resilience; social and culturalresilience; forecasting, modelling and risk assessment; firstresponder capabilities; and information management.Not unexpectedly, this priority area covers the broadestrange of topics. Important aspects identified by some of theagencies consulted within this priority include the enduringability to prepare for, protect against, prevent and respondto CBRNE events with an emphasis on remote means. Recentevents highlight the need for continued improvements innon-intrusive inspection techniques as well as explosive tracedetection which were requirements for some agencies.Science and technology to support activities to counterviolent extremism was highlighted as a need by someagencies.Methods and techniques to identify a threat from and tocounter uncrewed aerial systems/vehicles is a commonrequirement, as well as using these uncrewed devicesto provide tactical capabilities such as surveillance andcommunications.Support to understand the requirements for criticalinfrastructure and physical resilience as well as the protectionof crowded places were identified by some agencies, as wasmodelling support broadly. Plume and blast models, aswell as tools to enable forecasting and risk assessment werehighlighted as requirements by a few.First responder capabilities, including requirements forsecure communications on the move and power generation inremote locations were raised as important by a few agencies.8NATIONAL SECURITY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGYTechnology foresightingAustralian agencies need to position themselves to minimisestrategic surprise. Technology foresighting will monitorglobal technology trends and developments in emergingscience to forecast future challenges and opportunities toachieve this goal.DST has a cell which maintains a science and technologyhorizon scanning capability in partnership with internationalagencies. This horizon scanning provides a broad perspectiveon potential game-changing threats and opportunities.Technologies which are identified as having potential fordisruptive impact are then examined in more depth. Emergingand Disruptive Technologies Assessment Symposia (EDTAS)are now a biannual event co-hosted by DST, with the focuson a new ‘disruptive’ or ‘game changing’ technology ateach event. Recent symposia have looked at the themes ofTrusted Autonomous Systems and Digital Disruption. Futuresymposia will explore themes of advanced sensors, materialsscience/advanced manufacturing and quantum technologies.We would welcome ideas from the science, technology andinnovation community on possible future challenges andopportunities for national security science and technology.

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A National Security Science and Technology Interdepartmental Committee (NSST IDC) was established in March 2017 to provide a cross-agency governance mechanism. This NSST IDC will review and endorse national security science and technology policies and priorities and promote cross-agency collaboration on science and technology, which will deliver

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