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Defence science battling university bureaucrats

University legal reviews and red tape are frustrating plans to develop closer research ties between academics and Australia’s defence scientists, according to a report by the federal auditor-general.

A review by the Australian National Audit Office has found the federal Defence Science Partnerships Programme is struggling with the administrative paperwork and legal scrutiny required by universities to approve the proposed partnerships.

In a report published on 2 February, the ANAO says some universities are undertaking “extensive legal reviews” of the research agreements, causing delays ranging from six weeks to three months.

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