Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed the confirmation of three research collaborations with China.
He said China is an important and growing science and innovation partner for New Zealand, and President Xi Jinping’s visit this week highlights the strong science and innovation ties between our countries.
“I am pleased to be able to today announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Lincoln University and Yili Industrial Group Ltd, the establishment of a research collaboration agreement between Auckland UniServices Ltd and Yashili International Company Ltd, plus the opening of a kiwifruit virtual laboratory that will build knowledge in new areas such as diseases and physiology.
“These three programmes have the potential to drive economic growth through the development of new technologies and strengthened links to expanding markets.”
The Lincoln/Yili MOU will focus on technological innovations in dairy, and specifically on improving the production and processing of dairy products in both countries.
The UniServices/Yashili collaboration agreement will see foodstuffs company Yashili contract UniServices to conduct strategic industry research via post-graduate and post-doctorate projects. Yashili is also considering co-locating its New Zealand-based research and development function at the University of Auckland’s specially purposed Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology.
The virtual kiwifruit laboratory is a collaboration between Plant and Food Research and the Sichuan Provincial Academy of Natural Resources Sciences, which will allow scientists to work more closely and share resources.
Research collaboration between New Zealand and China is growing rapidly, Mr Joyce said, with deep partnerships being created through the Strategic Research Alliance projects and the Scientist Exchange Programme.
The Alliance was established in 2010 and leverages science and research investment from both countries for collaborative work programmes. The Exchange Programme annually provides for 10 scientists each from New Zealand and China to travel to each others’ countries for study visits.
In addition, the Joint Commission on Science and Technology meets every three years and is hosted alternately by New Zealand and China. The next meeting of the Commission will be in Wellington in 2015.