Cash available for NZ-China dairy research

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

The New Zealand dairy industry is at the heart of proposals for research collaborations between China and New Zealand.Photo: iStock - Ruskpp
The New Zealand dairy industry is at the heart of proposals for research collaborations between China and New Zealand.Photo: iStock - Ruskpp

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New Zealand Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has announced a call for proposals for three multi-institution New Zealand-China Research Collaboration Centres to be supported as part of the new Catalyst Fund international research program.

In April 2015, the New Zealand–China Joint Commission Meeting on science and technology outlined three key areas the new projects at the centers will focus on – two of them dairy related.

The first will study improving water use efficiency and quality, while reducing the water footprint of dairy farm systems in China and New Zealand. This project will be led by AgResearch and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The other is integrating tracing technologies for dairy products to give consumers and international markets confidence in the safety of dairy foods.

This project will be led by University of Otago, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the Institute of Quality Standards & Testing Technology for Agro-Products (China).

Strengthening research opportunities

“This initiative will strengthen research collaboration with China in three priority areas – water research, food safety and security, and non-communicable diseases,”​ Joyce said.

“International science and innovation connectivity supports the vision of the National Statement of Science Investment, allowing us to continually build on the excellence of our scientific outputs and their potential for impact.”

Funding over five years

The Catalyst Fund, worth $6.1m (NZ$9.3m) annually and administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, supports initiatives  to strengthen international research collaboration and link New Zealand with world-class research projects, groups and infrastructure.

A total of up to $2.4m (NZ$3.75m) in funding is available for the three centers over five years.

At the meeting in Wellington last year, Joyce said, “China is an important and growing science and innovation partner for New Zealand.

“[The projects] will bring together top international researchers with the potential to drive economic growth through the development of new technologies and strengthened links to expanding markets. They will also help to shape our increasingly innovation-led economy.”

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