Scientific collaboration was front and centre as Captain James Borghardt, commanding officer for ONR Global, officially inaugurated a new location for the Office of Naval Research Global (ONR Global) in Melbourne last week.
ONR Global provides international science and technology (S&T) solutions for current and future naval challenges—actively engages with the international S&T community around the world. Officials noted that the new office in Australia will be critical to the advancement of US Naval Research Enterprise’s S&T partnerships with research communities in Australia, as well as in other partner nations in the region.
“The opening of the Melbourne office reflects the strong, longstanding S&T relationships ONR Global has with the international community,” Borghardt noted. “This office will serve as a regional hub for collaboration with researchers in Australia as well as across the Indo-Pacific region, to share discovery and innovation, which are the essence of scientific advancement.”
Recent collaborative research between Australia and US Naval Research Enterprise scientists have included research projects in quantum technology, nanotechnology, human systems and machine learning.
Borghardt also added that the new Australia hub is expected to deliver significant positive impacts for basic research and collaboration.
“The global science and technology ecosystem has changed, and there’s top-notch research in diverse countries around the globe,” he said. “Therefore, it is key to search the world for promising, emerging scientific research and advanced technologies to effectively address current needs of the fleet and force, and to investigate and assess revolutionary, high-payoff technologies for future naval maritime security.”
The new office, located at the US Consulate in Melbourne, will initially be comprised of a full-time science director who will coordinate activities across the vast continent and throughout the region. The new director’s work will complement efforts of ONR Global's existing offices in Tokyo, Japan and Singapore, supervised by the regional director of ONR Global Asia, Cmdr Steve Ansuini.
“The opening of a new field office in Australia is an important development that emphases breakthrough science is realized through collaboration and based upon trusted partnerships,” CMDR Ansuini said.
ONR Global has offices in Asia, Europe (London and Prague), North America (Arlington, Virginia) and South America (Chile and Brazil). Its commanding officer and technical director are based in London, and an instrumental part of the command's collaborative efforts around the globe are performed by its science directors, who promote cooperation with international scientists; and science advisors, who identify fleet needs.