Tuesday, March 5, 2024

MBIE strengthens ties with Chinese science agencies

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials met with two major Chinese science agencies in Wellington recently to formally recognise a continued commitment to collaborative research and innovation between New Zealand and China.

As China’s leading research organisation, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) plays a pivotal role in advancing scientific knowledge and technological innovation both within China and globally.

Meetings between MBIE officials and a delegation led by CAS Vice President Professor Yaping Zhang included the renewal of a MBIE-CAS Memorandum of Arrangement for another five years and discussion of possible future collaboration on climate change research. 

The arrangement between MBIE and CAS was first signed in 2019. Its achievements include New Zealand Government investment in the University of Auckland-based Maurice Wilkins Centre, which has a programme of collaborative biomedical research with the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, the Ministry said in a statement.

This programme focuses on the discovery and development of effective therapies for cancer, metabolic and degenerative disease, and infectious diseases.

MBIE officials also met with a senior delegation from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), led by the organisation’s Vice President Professor Jihong Yu. NSFC is a key funding agency, supporting fundamental research across various scientific disciplines in China.

The meeting with NSFC culminated in the signing of a new MBIE-NSFC arrangement, formalising the relationship and paving the way for potential joint research programmes.

Officials discussed initial steps towards collaboration, with an agreed focus on fostering early career researchers working in the bilateral priority areas of food science, environment science, and health and biomedical sciences.

MBIE Deputy Secretary Labour Science and Enterprise Nic Blakeley and NSFC Vice President Jihong Yu shake hands following the signing the arrangement.

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