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- Catalyst Fund
Catalyst: Strategic – New Zealand-China joint research partnerships 2019/2020
MBIE has announced the two successful proposals for the 2019/20 Catalyst: Strategic investment under the New Zealand – China Strategic Research Alliance (SRA).
About this programme
The New Zealand – China SRA is an annual funding programme that helps to facilitate bilateral science, research and innovation collaborations between New Zealand and Chinese research organisations. It is a bilateral initiative with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).
MBIE supports two joint research projects each year, one each in the bilateral priority areas of Food Science and Environmental Science. New Zealand research teams were able to apply for up to $300,000 (excluding GST) over three years, with their Chinese partners applying for their own funding through MOST.
|Lead NZ organisation||Project title|
|Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited||Rapid Detection and Control of Pathogens in Food Supply Chains|
|AgResearch Limited||Environmental assessment of agricultural production and implications of trade between New Zealand and China|
The Health Research Council administers a separate Call for Proposals under the New Zealand-China SRA, on behalf of MBIE, in the third priority area of Health and Biomedical Science. The successful project has been announced on their website:
Public Statements of funded projects (MBIE-administered)
Rapid Detection and Control of Pathogens in Food Supply Chains
China is the number one export destination for New Zealand foods and China is placing increasing emphasis on food safety. A step-change in the speed of detection and control of bacterial pathogens in the New Zealand food industry will realise significant benefits in cost and time savings, supporting and accelerating our export-driven trade with China and other high growth markets. To meet this need, we will develop two new innovative technologies which (i) enable rapid and sensitive detection of pathogens on-site at food processing premises and (ii) rapidly kill bacterial pathogens in processing environments using biodegradable compounds.
Current pathogen testing regimes used by the New Zealand food industry are costly and time consuming, often taking days. We will initiate the development of rapid, easy to use, sensors for detection of pathogenic bacteria on-site at food production premises. This technology will dramatically reduce the time to receive pathogen testing results from days to hours, expediting risk management and product release.
Food safety assurance is fundamental to ensuring the high reputation of New Zealand exported foods in overseas markets. We will develop green biotechnologies based-upon microbes and their products for rapidly eliminating bacterial pathogens in food processing premises. These products will both protect export markets and ensure the environmental sustainability of pathogen control measures in the New Zealand food industry.
ESR and Plant & Food Research will form a strategic alliance with the leading Institutes for foodborne pathogen detection and control technologies in China - Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Jiangnan University. Partnering with China-based organisations will significantly accelerate the speed and scale of technology development beyond that possible by the New Zealand organisations alone.
The novel technologies developed will, within 2 years, begin to result in a measurable reduction in compliance test result times, increased compliance rates, and improved hygiene and food safety in NZ food businesses. Economic benefits to NZ will be delivered through lower compliance costs for food businesses and increased shelf life for exported perishable foods. The technologies will provide increased risk assurance to premium international export markets and help grow the biotechnology industry in New Zealand. Māori as significant stakeholders in food export enterprises will benefit from implementing these technologies. Public health benefits for NZ will be realised over time by reducing incidences of foodborne disease.
For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental assessment of agricultural production and implications of trade
This proposed research in NZ will focus on integrating life cycle assessment (LCA) with a Chinese land use modelling tool to explore future sustainable pathways for agricultural production systems with minimum environmental pollution and maximum agricultural potential at country or regional level. A key benefit of including LCA is that it fully accounts for resource use and environmental emissions from alternative systems and practices, ensuring that any trade-offs, externalities (e.g. from production of key inputs) and ‘costs’ of transport to the China market are recognised.
An integrated model framework will be developed and used to analyse effects of changes in agricultural production systems in NZ and China, demand from China and land use changes. Surplus or shortage of agricultural products and demand from the key global market of China are important factors for exploring solutions to achieve domestic (NZ and China) and global sustainable development targets.
Research will apply environmental impact assessment (using LCA) to evaluate future agricultural systems with increased global demand (organics, pasture-fed, carbon-neutral) and implications for meeting Chinese product demand. Chinese researchers (from Hebei Agricultural University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hebei and Hebei University) bring expertise in assessing direct environmental impacts of multiple land-use systems at catchment and regional scales, while NZ expertise in environmental assessment methodologies using LCA brings integration at wider product and sector level. Research will include evaluation of large catchment-scale changes in China for urbanisation of the new spill-over city from Beijing in a key agricultural catchment.
|November 2020||Projects begin|
|November 2023||Projects conclude|
For more information, email email@example.com.