Strengthening our international research, science and innovation relationships with Europe

Published: 04 July 2022

Aotearoa New Zealand and the United Kingdom have signed an arrangement to enhance research, science and innovation collaborations.

The arrangement provides a framework to our bilateral research, science and innovation relationship following the UK’s departure from the European Union. It will be led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern signed the arrangement on 1 July during her trip to Europe and the UK, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson signing on behalf of the United Kingdom.

The arrangement includes commitments to:

  • regular engagement between MBIE and BEIS to exchange research, science, and innovation priorities, review existing scientific collaboration and set the framework for future cooperation
  • explore opportunities to support and conduct mutually beneficial research, science, and innovation projects, including large-scale projects and major research and development initiatives.

The UK is an important research, science and innovation partner, and there are many strong relationships between New Zealand and UK researchers and organisations. This arrangement strengthens engagement at a government level.

Additionally, while in Europe the Prime Minister confirmed that informal talks have concluded between New Zealand and the European Commission regarding New Zealand becoming an Associate Member of Horizon Europe, which is the European Union’s research and innovation funding programme. The next stage in the process is to begin formal negotiations.

A treaty between New Zealand and the European Union would allow New Zealand researchers to apply directly for Horizon Europe grants as if they were in Europe, with funding going into the programme in New Zealand.

Read the Prime Minister’s press release:

Strengthening NZ-UK people, science and trade connections(external link) —

MBIE media contact