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Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn looks to increase research and innovation cooperation with New Zealand

Brussels, 9 March 2012

The European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is currently visiting New Zealand, as a formal guest of the New Zealand Government. The visit aims to strengthen EU-New Zealand cooperation in research and innovation.

EU-New Zealand cooperation in science and technology is underpinned by a bilateral Agreement dating from 2009. This Agreement has led to an increase in the level of cooperation, with New Zealand researchers working with their EU counterparts in 64 research and researcher mobility projects under the Seventh EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn is currently in Auckland where she will meet Steven Joyce, the New Zealand Minister for Science and Innovation and Tim Groser, the New Zealand Minister for Trade and Climate Change, to discuss the current excellent research cooperation in the bio-economy area and to examine the potential for new collaboration in areas for mutual interest, such as public health and sustainable cities.

Increasing cooperation with international partners in areas of common interest is a central element of Horizon 2020: the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for the period 2014-2020. Through working with international partners EU researchers will be able to tackle more effectively global research challenges, build scientific excellence and develop new and innovative industrial and enabling technologies. Horizon 2020 builds on the success of international cooperation in previous framework programmes and will be fully open for the participation of researchers and research organisations from New Zealand to work with their EU counterparts.

While in New Zealand, the Commissioner will also visit the leading research facilities at the University of Auckland Bioengineering Institute, which has excellent collaboration with the EU in the area of the 'Virtual Physiological Human': to develop a computer model of human physiology. She will also visit Auckland Uniservices company, which has developed an innovative model for the commercialisation of university-based research and give a key note address at the University of Auckland on 'EU-New Zealand cooperation in research and innovation: recent achievements and new opportunities under Horizon 2020'.

For more information on:

International science and technology cooperation, please visit:  www.ec.europa.eu/research/inco
Horizon 2020, please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm

Contacts

martin.penny@ec.europa.eu Tel: +32 2 295 4504
maria-antonia.jimenez-nevado@ec.europa.eu Tel: +32 2 2992192