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US Vice-President Mike Pence meets Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence

24 April 2017
Mike Pence meets Vice-Chancellor to discuss US collaborations

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence, met with the US Vice-President Mike Pence as part of a three-day visit to Australia.

The meeting, attended by ten business leaders across Australia, was to discuss solutions to barriers to US-Australia business relations.  The meeting was also attended by the Minister for Trade, Ministry for Industry Innovation and Science, the Australian Ambassador to the US and the US Consul-General.

Dr Spence had the opportunity to meet the Vice-President to discuss the broad range of work being done by the University with the United States, in particular the University’s work with Microsoft.  The Vice-Chancellor also raised the importance of an open working environment across both countries, in particular the critical need to allow the free movement of researchers between Australia and the United States. The opportunity to work collaboratively on cybersecurity was also discussed.

The University’s links with the United States are extensive and strong.
Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal

“We had more than 1,000 US students enrolled last year and more than 70 exchange agreements with US universities – the largest number we have with any single country," University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence said.  

“This year we have around 500 student exchanges with our US partners and 1,700 contactable alumni in the US, including the current Ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey.

“We are one of only three universities outside of the US to be part of Microsoft’s $1bn initiative to build the next generation of quantum computers.  Our new $150 million Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST) is a leading facility of its kind globally for nanoscale science research and education.

Sydney Uni launches the Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST)

Through the Microsoft partnership the University seeks to develop the most transformative technologies of our time - for the benefit of our two countries and the world. The US Vice-President Mike Pence agreed and said that this was also important to US technology businesses. 

The University’s research collaboration with the US is also strong.  Since 2013 alone, our researchers have co-authored some 6,500 publications with US collaborators.  Last week we successfully launched a mini-satellite (cubesat) on a rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Our satellite is now on the International Space Station, awaiting deployment on 15 May. Once in orbit the satellite will provide researchers with unique data on the Earth’s upper atmosphere, space and earth weather, and the behaviour of GPS signals.

The United States Studies Centre (established with support of the George Bush and John Howard administrations in 2008) offers education and research programs in American studies that are unparalleled in Australia and the region. 

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