20 June 2013
The New Zealand-EC Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee
The meeting was held in Brussels on 20 June. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Member of the European Commission in charge of Research, Innovation and Science, received Steven Joyce, New Zealander Minister for Economic Development, for Science and Innovation, and for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. They discussed about strengthening the links between the EU and New Zealand in the areas of science, innovation and education.
Steven Joyce, Rudolf Strohmeier, Deputy Director General of the "Research and Innovation" of the EC, Ruxandra Drãghia-Akli, Director the "Research and Innovation" of the EC, Prue Williams, New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment General Manager for Science Investments and Vangelis Vitalis, Head of the Mission of New Zealand to the EU and all other Members of the two Delegations participated in the plenary meeting of the joint committee, which aims to identify shared research priorities and plan future joint work.
Read the Joint Communique .
See more pictures of the event
In the context of a long and successful bilateral cooperation between the European Union and New Zealand (NZ), the structured bilateral cooperation in science and technology is fast developing. The New Zealand - EU relationship began more than 52 years ago on specific issues such as Agriculture and Trade, but has now expanded into a larger number of areas. The Joint Declaration on Relations and Cooperation signed in 2007 between the European Union and New Zealand set goals and drew up a joint work programme, which includes issues of global and regional security, such as promoting sustainable development and the protection of the global environment, in particular the need to address the issue of climate change and encourage innovation, increased productivity and competitiveness.
The Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement between the EU and New Zealand entered into force in 2009 for an un limited period of time. Europe is New Zealand's most important regional partner in research and innovation and also has strong research links with EU Member States.
The on-going EU-New Zealand Science and Technology and Innovation Cooperation Roadmap (2010-2013) reflects the main actions that both parties must take to strengthen their cooperation such as the identification of mutual priorities, an increase in both the volume and quality of research cooperation and dialogue, and establishing appropriate channels of information and mechanisms for cooperation at bilateral and regional level. Both parties agreed to deepen cooperation in targeted areas (People, FAB, ICT, Health and Industrial Technologies progammes) and to ensure a continual dialogue with other thematic areas (Environment, Energy and SSH). They also agreed to support enabling measures for an enhanced New Zealand-EU research collaboration, through strengthened researcher mobility (Marie Curie, IRSES and COST), dialogue platforms and information portals.
A review of EU-New Zealand cooperation 1.1 MB in the field of research, assessing in particular the implementation and impact of the 'Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community Union and the Government of New Zealand ' was performed from March to September 2013.The review was carried out by two independent experts, Dr Chantal Khan-Malek and Dr Malcolm Windsor, both appointed by the European Commission.
The number of New Zealand participations in the 7th Framework Programme has significantly increased since the signing of the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement in 2009.
By October 2012, a total of 263 eligible proposals involving 280 applicants from New Zealand had been submitted in response to 355 FP7 calls for proposals.
At the same date, New Zealand was participating in 30 signed grant agreements involving 503 participants, of which 33 (6.56%) were from New Zealand.
The FRENZ project (2010-2012) - Facilitating Research Cooperation between Europe and New Zealand contributed to establishing a bilateral dialogue platform to support the engagement of New Zealand researchers in the Framework Programme, and provided an implementing mechanism for the EC-NZ science and technology (S&T) Agreement. The overall objective of FRENZ was to enhance the quality, quantity, impact and profile of research cooperation between NZ and Europe.
- Through the provision of traditional National Contact Point (NCP) activities - website, help-desk, info-days, training, etc., FRENZ has ensured that the NZ research community has a better awareness of opportunities to connect their world class research with European counterparts through the various FP7 instruments. This can be demonstrated by the substantial increase in NZ participation in FP7 proposals, whilst maintaining a higher than average rate of engagement in successful FP7 projects.
- FRENZ has represented NZ in European fora, including participation in National Contact Point meetings and networking projects, allowing the development of deeper relationships bilaterally with various European Member States and a sharing of knowledge and expertise regarding third country engagement in FP7.
- A diaspora database has been constructed, allowing contact with European researchers in NZ and NZ researchers in Europe, to both promote research and collaboration opportunities and identify the motivations and ideal conditions for researcher mobility.
- Three multidisciplinary, thematic 'sandpit' workshops, in topics of mutual interest identified by the EU-NZ Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee, brought together European and NZ researchers. In addition to the development of new researcher-researcher relationships, collaborative EU-NZ research and mobility proposals have been developed and submitted to agencies in both Europe and New Zealand. Successful proposals so far include NZ-funded research projects in the area of freshwater characterisation and monitoring, and mobility grants to further develop research projects in the fields of obesity and diabetes.
Based on reciprocity, the ACCESS4EU-NZ project supporting EU access to New Zealand Research Programmes aimed to balance this relationship by increasing collaborations with European researchers in the NZ research and innovation system. It also enriched EU-NZ policy dialogue in jointly defined areas of strategic EU-NZ research importance.
Furthermore, a new bilateral dialogue platform facilitating research and innovation cooperation between Europe and New Zealand - the FRIENZ project launched in November 2012 for a three-year period up to August 2015 aims at:
- Supporting the institutional dialogue under the bilateral S&T agreement between the EU and NZ;
- Promoting bilateral cooperation between research and innovation actors;
- Monitoring progress in the bilateral S&T cooperation.
DG Research and Innovation
Policy Officer - R&I Relations with New Zealand
Unit RTD D 1 - Policy Coordination, EFTA and Enlargement countries, Russia, Asia and Pacific
Telephone: (+32) 229 65170