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The British Prime Minister signed a historic agreement with the New Zealand Prime Minister in Downing Street earlier this month with the aim of strengthening collaboration between the UK and New Zealand in research, science and innovation.

The research, science and innovation arrangement demonstrates a commitment to developing deeper ties between the countries’ science and innovation communities, strengthening collaboration between the two nations and building on areas of shared scientific and innovative excellence.

Cooperation under the arrangement is expected to be broad, ranging from joint research and development of new technologies to visits and exchanges of scientists, and business-to-business innovation missions.

The UK is working with the New Zealand Department of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to implement the agreement, which will support the ambitions set out in the UK’s Integrated Review to develop strategic scientific partnerships and strengthening the UK’s presence in the Indo-Pacific region. .

Britain’s science minister said the deal with New Zealand represents another win for bilateral science and innovation relations, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. It offers the opportunity to deepen collaborations with New Zealand’s outstanding science and research community in several areas, from space, quantum and photonics to Antarctic research and Agritech.

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

The agreement will support UK access to New Zealand’s niche capabilities in areas such as quantum technology, enabling collaboration that will foster global scientific development in these important areas. The agreement will foster joint work between our most innovative companies and the brightest researchers while supporting our ambition to become a global science superpower and innovation nation.

The UK government has also announced an Innovate UK Global Business Innovation Program (GBIP) in AgriTech with New Zealand, an initiative that will help innovative UK companies establish high-potential links with New Zealand’s agritech industry.

The program will provide access to New Zealand companies, universities, laboratories 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 accurate farming. UK SMEs will also be supported to bring their products and services closer to global markets. Recruitment of eligible individuals is expected to begin today.

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

In their joint statement, titled Building a more secure, sustainable and prosperous future together, the respective Prime Ministers of the two countries noted that New Zealand and the UK are old friends and close partners. This relationship is built on a bedrock of history, shared values ​​and deep people-to-people ties, spanning almost every field, from science and innovation, sport, trade and investment to security. and defense.

They also said the new science and innovation agreement will facilitate closer collaboration between researchers and companies in the countries and support the development of new commercial products and services in areas such as AgriTech and climate change. to address common challenges.

Abdul J. Gaspar