The AUKUS Industry Forum


Time for the UK to Lift Ambitions on AUKUS  

The AUKUS agreement between the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States is a trilateral pact seeking to deliver mutual defence industrial capacity uplift, and accelerate the development of the most critical tech for our resilience and prosperity. It contains two crucial pillars, which will support British deterrence objectives and advance our security and prosperity in a sharpening global environment. 

While the delivery of a nuclear submarine capability to our Australian allies is an undoubtedly important task, AUKUS is not only about hard power capabilities. If properly harnessed, it will be the vehicle for the development of a major new era of British technological excellence and economic competitiveness. AUKUS’s lesser-known second pillar will allow us to work with our closest two allies to carve years off the research commercialisation of the most critical technologies of the future. 

The UK Government has recognised that the nation’s science and technological expertise is the best route through which to secure future growth and our geopolitical interests. Many British companies large and small are recognised global specialists in the critical technology priorities that will be addressed in AUKUS. The opportunities are profound. 

AUKUS is a disruptive project that will require the creation of a new enabling environment to deliver successful defence and technology outcomes in the national interest. It needs to be supported by strong political and policy leadership within Government, and a resilient and integrated stakeholder ecosystem across Parliament, industry, academia, and civil society. There is also an urgency to build trilateral resilience into such a vital and long-term endeavour. 

The AUKUS Industry Forum will play a crucial role in supporting education across sectors about AUKUS, and identifying actionable policy solutions for Government to support the project’s successful delivery. It will also act as hub and the connective tissue for a dynamic new AUKUS community here in the UK, integrated with our indispensable partners in Canberra and Washington. 

Sophia Gaston is the Head of Foreign Policy and UK Resilience at Policy Exchange, and the Lead of the AUKUS Industry Forum. 

If you are interested to learn more about the Forum or discuss engagement, please contact

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