The Australian Industry & Defence Network Incorporated (AIDN) and Australian Industry Group (AI Group) have both signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Italian Industries Federation for Aerospace, Defence and Security AIAD.
In the presence of Italian Minister of Defense, Sen. Roberta Pinotti, Italian Ambassador in Australia H.E. Pier Francesco Zazo and the Italian Navy Chief of Staff, Adm. Valter Girardelli, the President of AIAD, Hon. Guido Crosetto, the President of AIDN, Alan Rankins and Peter Burn, Head of Influence and Policy of AI Group, committed to collaborate in the realisation of the program, project and common interest activities related to the industry, as well as organising activities in Italy and Australia.
This MoU further advances the existing collaborative relationship between the two countries and supports the previously signed national MoUs covering science and technology cooperation, defence materiel, defence industry and trade co-operation.
It will also provide a platform for university and research institutions to engage with the industrial sector.
Speaking at the signing event on Sunday night, Alan Rankins highlighted Australia and Italy's strong ties and partnerships.
"The Australian defence and industry network represents a significant percentage of the Australian companies seeking to partner and support Italian supply chains to transfer technology and ensure, as well as insure, that Australia’s maritime sovereign industry base is protected and growing," Rankins said.
"No less than the security and the safety of our people and our maritime defence depends on the outcome of the Frigate Program.
"We at AIDN are excited to be part of this endeavour and look forward to the weeks, months and years that a program such as this will allow us to forge new relationships."
The signing took place on the FREMM frigate Carabiniere as the vessel tours around Australia.
The Carabiniere is one of the three options being considered by the federal government for the $35 billion Future Frigates program.
The frigate, built by Fincantiere, is one of three options being considered by the Australian government for the $35 billion Future Frigates deal, a deal that will create thousands of jobs for Australians and will indirectly support the jobs of many thousands more, according to Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.
The $35 billion deal is part of the government's plans to construct nine anti-submarine warfare frigates in Adelaide by 2020.
The Fincantieri vessels are competing against designs from BAE Systems and Navantia to secure the building contract.