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New Zealand And France Sign Agreement

Ministry of Research, Science and Technology

22 November 2005

New Zealand And France Sign Agreement Supporting Science And Technology Collaboration

New Zealand and French officials have signed an agreement to promote scientific and technological co-operation between New Zealand and French researchers.

The agreement is to be known as the Dumont d’Urville Collaborative Science and Technology Support Programme.

The agreement was signed in Wellington today by the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology, Dr Helen Anderson and the Ambassador of France to New Zealand, His Excellency Jean-Michel Marlaud on behalf of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Dr Anderson says New Zealand scientists are already collaborating with French researchers in a variety of ways, but the new agreement will mean a more integrated and planned approach.

“A survey by the Ministry in 2001 showed that 7% of New Zealand researchers had an active collaboration with a French colleague and many French undergraduate and postgraduate students study here,” Dr Anderson says. “This agreement will formalise that process, will actively promote opportunities for New Zealand research organisations to work with their counterparts in France and, through regular workshops, will ensure scientific knowledge is shared between the two countries.”

The programme will be open to all French and New Zealand researchers, whether they work in the public, the private or the non-governmental sectors with funding provided by the French and New Zealand governments. Initially, the emphasis will be on projects in the areas of biotechnology and nanosciences.

Dr Anderson says the agreement is also significant for New Zealand because of France’s links into European Union research.

“More than 50% of non-military global research is undertaken within the EU and that represents considerable opportunities for New Zealand.”

The programme is named in honour of the French explorer, Dumont d’Urville who made several expeditions to New Zealand in the 1820s and 1830s to map parts of the New Zealand coastline.

ENDS

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