International science partnerships

International science and innovation links are a key part of the Government’s plan to improve economic performance and increase New Zealanders’ wealth and wellbeing. MBIE takes a leadership role in establishing and maintaining key bilateral and multilateral science and innovation partnerships to better connect New Zealand’s science system to the rest of the world.

MBIE supports these bilateral and multilateral partnerships in a variety of ways. One key tool is the Catalyst Fund. The Catalyst Fund supports activities that initiate, develop and foster collaborations leveraging international science and innovation for New Zealand’s benefit. Visit our Catalyst Fund page for more information on the fund and current funding opportunities

The Australia – New Zealand Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement

New Zealand and Australia signed on 17 February 2017 a ground breaking bilateral international science treaty, aimed at delivering important collaboration across the innovation and science systems and between researchers and innovative companies on both sides of the Tasman.

The Agreement sets out a work programme that will provide a valuable focus-point for collaboration which is vital to both Australia and New Zealand economic growth.


Other international agreements

MBIE also works with international partners to co-ordinate and support science and innovation collaborations. The European Commission, China and the United States are examples of major partners. Our current agreed cooperation frameworks are provided below:

MBIE also strengthens New Zealand's science and innovation links at the multilateral level through participation in the following international organisations and groups.

In addition, the Royal Society of New Zealand manages the country’s representation in and membership of more than thirty international scientific unions, supported with funding from MBIE’s Catalyst: Leaders Fund. These memberships facilitate the sharing of New Zealand’s expertise worldwide.

Further information about the scientific unions to which New Zealand belongs can be found on the Royal Society’s website.

Overseas representatives

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has three science and innovation representatives based overseas. They are responsible for fostering collaborations between New Zealand and their regions of responsibility – the European Union, China and North America (USA and Canada).


Currently vacant

Counsellor, European Union New Zealand Mission to the European Union Brussels, Belgium

Marta Mager

Counsellor, USA and Canada

New Zealand Embassy, Washington DC, USA

[image] Marta Mager.

Al Ross

Counsellor, Science and Innovation, China

New Zealand Embassy, Beijing, China

Al Ross

What they do

Our overseas science and innovation representatives are responsible for making an important contribution to advancing the internationalisation of New Zealand’s science and innovation by supporting the implementation of key projects on the work programme of the Science, Innovation & International Branch.

As part of the International Science Partnerships Team within MBIE, they are responsible for developing connections with governments, science and policy organisations as well as businesses to advance opportunities for New Zealand’s science and innovation.

Further information

To find out more about New Zealand’s International Science Partnerships or to get in touch with one of our counsellors, please contact us by email at