Catalyst: Strategic – NZ-Korea joint research partnerships

MBIE is inviting proposals for joint research projects with the Republic of Korea under the triennial New Zealand – Korea Joint Research Partnerships programme.

This Catalyst: Strategic Call for Proposals is for joint research partnerships between New Zealand and the Republic of Korea.

The New Zealand – Korea Joint Research Partnership programme was established in 2014 to support collaborative research activities in areas of mutual interest. Projects selected for funding will demonstrate the ability to develop enduring science and innovation partnerships with world-class Korean counterparts.

MBIE will fund up to three proposals with up to $450,000 (GST excluded) each over three years. Proposed research projects must be in one of the three bilateral priority areas:

  1. Artificial Intelligence including Machine learning, Computer vision and imaging, and Robotics
  2. New Materials including Nanomaterials, Biomaterials, Metallurgy and ceramics
  3. Health Technologies including Digital Health, Regenerative Medicine, and Biotechnology

This Call for Proposals is a bilateral initiative with the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). Applicants’ Korean counterparts must apply for their own funding through the NRF’s parallel Call for Proposals. Please check the NRF's application dates carefully as these may vary from the New Zealand Call.

Please read the investment priorities and assessment criteria in the Call for Proposal carefully. This investment will support joint research projects in the bilateral priority areas, with the overarching objective of developing enduring science and innovation collaboration partnerships with world-class Korean counterparts.

Catalyst: Strategic is one of the four funding streams within the Catalyst Fund. The Catalyst Fund supports activities that initiate, develop and foster collaborations building on international science and innovation for New Zealand’s benefit.

Who can apply

This Call is open to public research organisations. For the purposes of this investment, a research organisation is defined as an organisation that has internal capability for carrying out research, science or technology, or related activities.

You are welcome to contact MBIE at if you have any questions about eligibility or the Call for Proposals more generally.

The application and assessment process

Download the Catalyst: Strategic Call for Proposals for full details on the application, assessment and contracting process.

You must meet the deadlines for registration and for submitting your proposal. Applications that were not registered prior to the due date will not be accepted. Late proposals will not be considered except in exceptional circumstances beyond the applicant’s control.

Important dates

Date Catalyst: Strategic activity
14 April 2021 Registrations open
Noon, 5 May 2021 Closing date for registrations
Noon, 27 May 2021 Closing date for proposals
September 2021 (TBC) Investment funding decision(s) announced
October 2021 (TBC) Contracts expected to begin

Essential documents

Catalyst: Strategic Call for Proposals: New Zealand-Republic of Korea Joint Research Partnerships [PDF, 824 KB] The information required to prepare and submit a funding proposal
National Statement of Science Investment: 2015-2025(external link) The New Zealand Government’s science investment strategy
Vision Mātauranga Policy [PDF, 359 KB](external link)  The policy framework for unlocking the innovation potential of Māori knowledge, resources, and people for the benefit of New Zealand
Catalyst Fund Contract [PDF, 131 KB](external link)  The Investment Contract template sets the terms and conditions under which we provide funding to the contracting organisation

Contact us

For more information, email

Results from the 2018 Call for Proposals

Three projects commenced in 2018, in the bilateral priority areas of ICT and Digital Technologies, Health Technologies, and Biotechnology. The NZ research teams have each received $450,000 (GST excl.) over three years to collaborate with their counterparts from the Republic of Korea.

The projects were:

Project New Zealand partners Korean partners
Advanced security technologies for the Internet of Things University of Canterbury, AUT, Massey University, Victoria University Sungkyunkwan University, Korea University
Unlocking therapeutic potential of brain cells for treating traumatic brain injuries with digital human brain Auckland Bioengineering Institute (UoA) Seoul National University
Targeted evaluation of new micro-electronic monitoring devices for intelligent farming and smart harvesting in New Zealand and Korean horticulture Plant and Food Research, University of Waikato Seoul National University, National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science, Korea National Open University
Last updated: 01 October 2020