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NZ and UK Sign Innovation Agreement

The UK Prime Minister signed a historic agreement with New Zealand’s Prime Minister at Downing Street earlier this month in a bid to strengthen the UK and New Zealand’s collaboration in research, science and innovation.

The Research, Science and Innovation Arrangement demonstrates a commitment to developing deeper links between the countries’ science and innovation communities, strengthening collaboration between the two nations and building on areas of shared scientific and innovative excellence.

Co-operation under the arrangement is expected to be wide-ranging, from joint research and development of new technologies to visits and exchanges of scientists, and innovation missions between businesses.

The UK is working with New Zealand’s Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to deliver the agreement, which will support the ambitions set out in the UK’s Integrated Review to develop strategic science partnerships and strengthen the UK’s presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

The UK Science Minister stated that the agreement with New Zealand represents another victory for bilateral relations in science and innovation, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. It provides the opportunity to deepen collaborations with New Zealand’s outstanding science and the research community in several areas, from space, quantum and photonics to Antarctic research and Agritech.

The combination of long-standing UK leadership in plant and animal science with New Zealand’s world-class AgriTech eco-system will also provide an exciting opportunity to build partnerships and collaborations, showcasing the best of UK innovation in efficient farming, and helping UK businesses grow and scale while enabling access to global markets.

The arrangement will support the UK’s access to New Zealand’s niche capabilities in areas such as quantum technology, enabling collaboration that will further global scientific development in these important fields. The agreement will promote joint work between our most innovative businesses and brightest researchers while supporting our ambition to become a global Science Superpower and Innovation Nation.

The UK government also announced an Innovate UK Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP) in AgriTech with New Zealand, an endeavour which will support innovative UK businesses to build high-potential connections with New Zealand’s AgriTech industry.

The programme will enable access to New Zealand businesses, universities, labs and investors, allowing innovators to work with their counterparts to develop solutions to common industry challenges, such as advancing the use of robotics and satellite data for more efficient and precise farming. British SMEs will also be supported in bringing their products and services closer to global markets. Recruitment for eligible individuals is planned to commence today.

Opportunities are already being explored with the British High Commission in Wellington to put the arrangement into action and deepen the connections between our research and innovation communities.

In their Joint Statement, titled Building a more secure, sustainable and prosperous future together, the two nation’s respective Prime Ministers noted that New Zealand and the United Kingdom are old friends and close partners. This relationship rests on a bedrock of history, shared values, and deep people-to-people links, extending across almost all domains from science and innovation, sport, trade and investment, to security and defence.

They also said that the new Science and Innovation Arrangement will facilitate stronger collaboration between the countries’ researchers and businesses and support the development of new commercial products and services in fields such as AgriTech and climate change to address shared challenges.

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