International science partnerships

This page outlines the major bilateral and multilateral science and innovation partnerships we support to better connect New Zealand’s science system to the rest of the world.

We support these bilateral and multilateral partnerships in a variety of ways. One significant tool is the Catalyst Fund. The 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. 

Memorandum of arrangement relating to science and research cooperation between MBIE and the Chinese Academy of Sciences

MBIE and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) signed a Memorandum of Arrangement (MoA) to enable greater science and research collaboration between New Zealand and China on 1 April 2019. Through the Arrangement, MBIE and CAS will support jointly beneficial research cooperation, and encourage the participation of researchers from across New Zealand’s science system and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in relevant cooperative projects.

CAS is the world’s largest research organisation, comprising around 60,000 researchers working in over 100 affiliated research institutes and centres, and three universities. China is rapidly becoming a major contributor to global science and the MoA is an important step in further deepening New Zealand’s science relationship with China.

Memorandum of arrangement relating to science and research cooperation between MBIE and the Chinese Academy of Sciences [PDF, 273 KB]

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

On 17 February 2017 New Zealand and Australia signed a groundbreaking bilateral international science treaty: The Australia–New Zealand Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement.

The Agreement aims to deliver collaboration across the innovation and science systems and between researchers and innovative companies on both sides of the Tasman. It will provide a valuable focal point for collaboration which is vital to both Australia and New Zealand economic growth.

The Australia–New Zealand Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement [PDF, 52 KB] 

Summary of Inital Work Programme supporting the Agreement [PDF, 102 KB]

Other international agreements

We also work with international partners to coordinate 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:

US-NZ Statement of Principles for Cooperation on Geothermal Research and Development [PDF, 100 KB] 

China-New Zealand 5-Year Roadmap 2018-2022 [PDF, 299 KB] 

NZ-Europe Commission 2014-16 Science And Technology Cooperation Roadmap [PDF, 431 KB] 

China-NZ SRA Arrangement [PDF, 1.2 MB] 

DHS S&T Arrangement [PDF, 124 KB] 

US-NZ JCM Roadmap 2010 [PDF, 48 KB] 

US-NZ JCM Action Plan 2012-2014 [PDF, 114 KB] 

International organisations we participate in

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

  • Commonwealth State and Territories Advisory Council on Innovation (CSTACI)
  • Global Research Council
  • The Human Frontiers Science Programme
  • OECD Global Science Forum
  • OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP)
  • Research Programme on Biological Resources in Agriculture of the OECD
  • Small Advanced Economies 
  • APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation.

In addition, the Royal Society of New Zealand manages the country’s representation in and membership of more than 30 international scientific unions, supported with funding from our 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(external link).

Overseas representatives

We have 3 science and innovation representatives based overseas. They are responsible for fostering collaborations between New Zealand and their regions of responsibility – Europe, China and North America (USA and Canada).



Isaac Holliss

Counsellor, Science and Innovation, Europe

New Zealand Mission to the European Union, Brussels, Belgium


Marta Mager

Counsellor, Science and Innovation, USA and Canada

New Zealand Embassy, Washington D.C. USA


Dr Ron Xavier

Counsellor, Science and Innovation, China

New Zealand Embassy, Beijing, China


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 major projects on the work programme of the Science, Innovation & International Branch.

As part of our International Science Partnerships Team, 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

Last updated: 28 September 2022