Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)
The private sector will be invited to contribute innovative solutions to improve the quality and value of intelligence products, in a first-of-its-kind joint project initiated by Australia’s financial intelligence agency, AUSTRAC, and the newly formed Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).
Welcoming the project, CEO of AUSTRAC Paul Jevtovic said the ground-breaking approach by the two intelligence agencies would place Australia as a global leader in its capacity to more effectively provide criminal intelligence to trusted partners through the highest level of security.
“This challenge—announced by Greg Hunt, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science—is one of five projects approved for development under the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII), which is part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda,” Mr Jevtovic said.
“It is a striking example of the collaboration being encouraged by the government with the private sector, reaching into all areas of government activity, including the vital areas of intelligence gathering and national security.
“Most importantly, it will enable better prioritisation in relation to disrupting serious crime.”
ACIC CEO, Chris Dawson, said the project will aim to deliver a range of benefits including reduced costs through improved information gathering and dissemination, as well as further strengthening Australia’s criminal intelligence capability.
“The work of agencies like AUSTRAC and ACIC is increasingly demanding, with greater volumes of information being collected, analysed and shared with law enforcement, national security, justice sectors and industry partners, both around Australia and overseas,” Mr Dawson said.
The project will explore new technologies, such as blockchain, to sharpen the value and quality of intelligence products by capturing user feedback, sharing insights, tracking and evaluating the usage of information and enhancing security features and records management.
The project would also help improve the future design of information systems and organisational practices to ensure that agencies share the right information to enable more rapid and proactive decisions.
The CEOs said the initiative was just one part of ongoing collaboration between the national criminal intelligence and financial intelligence agencies, which is vital to delivering greater protection to the Australian community.
The $19 million BRII Challenge programme, to run between 2016 and 2018, provides grants of up to $100,000 to test the feasibility of ideas over three months. Applicants may then go onto apply for grants of up to $1 million to develop a prototype or proof-of-concept over up to 18 months.
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