Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Europe collaboration a win for Kiwi researchers

New Zealand and the European Union’s collaboration on research, science and innovation will mean greater access and opportunities for Kiwi researchers, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said today. 

The Prime Minister and the EU President, Ursula von der Leyen, witnessed New Zealand and the European Union signing the Horizon Europe Association agreement in Brussels overnight.

The agreement gives access for New Zealand researchers to Europe’s largest ever science collaboration platform, and creates opportunities for New Zealand’s interests and expertise to be demonstrated on the world stage,” Mr Hipkins said.

“New Zealand scientists contribute massively not only at home but internationally. This will widen the scope and allow them to work more closely with their European counterparts on some of our most pressing problems such as climate change and energy.

“Association is the closest form of cooperation with the Horizon Europe research programme available to non-EU countries. It gives our scientists the opportunity to lead major research programmes in areas of global significance.”

New Zealand has associated to Pillar Two of Horizon Europe, which has funding of €53.5 billion (approximately NZ$90 billion) over the 2021 to 2027 period. Pillar Two focuses on global challenges like climate change, energy, health and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“Our researchers already work with European counterparts regularly, but association to Horizon Europe allows them to join and lead projects on equal terms,” said Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, Ayesha Verrall.   

“Kiwi scientists have considerable research strengths in Horizon Europe priority areas. This will give them greater opportunity to build international networks and provide expertise on projects that will benefit both New Zealanders and the rest of the world.”

New Zealand is one of the first non-European countries to associate to Horizon Europe.

“We share many values and interests with the EU, so it makes sense that we are finding ways to work more closely together on research, science and innovation as well,” PM Hipkins said.

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