U.S., U.K. agree to international science collaboration

Defense ministers for the U.S. and the U.K. signed a formal science agreement on Wednesday to enhance collaboration on cybersecurity, space research and energy use.

Philip Dunne, the U.K. minister of defense, and Frank Kendall, the U.S. undersecretary of defense, agreed to the collaboration on energy use and consumption, space research, knowledge and capabilities and cybersecurity. The two countries also agreed to build upon existing science and technology projects related to chemical and biological defense, counterterrorism, force protection and next-generation aircraft.

"There is no doubt that science and technology will matter even more in the future than it has in the past," Dunne said. "Technological innovation is vital if we are to protect our battle-winning edge - which is why the U.K. has protected annual investment in science and technology at a minimum of 1.2 percent of the defense budget. This enhanced collaboration will ensure that our work is smarter and delivers more effectively for both nations."

The agreements include three strategic priorities for cooperation to maintain capability advantage and interoperability, support economic growth through innovation and improve mutual financial benefits through burden sharing.

The work will be progressed by the chief scientific advisors for both countries. The U.S. and U.K. are each other's largest international research partner.