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Exciting Alignment Of NZ Research With EU Horizons Pillar II Missions

New Zealand Association of Scientists co-President Prof Troy Baisden comments on the agreement just finalised between New Zealand and the European Union (EU) Horizons funding framework Pillar II, but no agreement for New Zealand access to Pillar I or III.

“New Zealand’s deal to join Horizons Europe’s second pillar must be seen as good news – we all benefit from improved connectivity. Linking with mission-oriented funding in Horizons Pillar II is an obvious starting point where New Zealand has clear research strengths and can achieve national benefit. These include climate change, biodiversity, health and research valued to support the Antarctic Treaty.

We're concerned about the lack of access to Pillar I and its support for fundamental research and connectivity, which is the foundation of excellence and highly transportable across the borders of nations that may have different applied goals. We wonder why it is left out, and suspect it reflects New Zealand’s unusually high overheads associated with ‘full cost’ funding and a lack of institutional support and collaboration.

Similarly, support for innovation in Pillar III would have usefully connected New Zealand to a much larger innovation ecosystem. Research reforms underway in New Zealand – Te Ara Paerangi Future Pathways – are expected to clarify and address the issues that limit connectivity and collaboration within New Zealand and internationally.

We hope New Zealand's alignment with missions in Horizons Europe Pillar II serves as a pathway for better funding and connectivity with the other Pillars and additional international collaboration agreements."

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