There is a long history of cooperation between researchers from Europe and NZ, and Europe remains NZ’s most important regional partner for research and innovation. The significant government-level agreements that provide a framework for NZ’s research relations with Europe are the The European Community – New Zealand Science & Technology Cooperation Agreement (STCA) which came into force in 2009, and provides an overarching framework for NZ research collaboration with all EU Member States, and, more explicitly, allows the New Zealand research community to partner with European colleagues in FP7.
FRIENZ builds on the EU projects Access4EU-NZ and FRENZ, which contributed to the S&T collaboration between New Zealand and Europe.
The project specifically targets to enhance science and technology collaborations between SMEs and researchers that identified in the EU-NZ Science, Technology & Innovation Roadmap, including:
- Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology
- Information and communication technologies
- Industrial Technologies
- Environment [including climate change]
Three strategies are pursued:
- Improved communication and connection between New Zealand and European actors in research and innovation;
- Focus on joint priority topics;
- Continuation of the measures of the ACCESS4EU-NZ und FRENZ projects.
- Support to JSTCC activities: To support and inform the activities detailed in the EU-NZ JSTCC roadmap; to ensure that project outputs support implementation of the EU-NZ JSTCC roadmap; to identify a framework for evaluation of international cooperation mechanisms.
- Innovation policy and evaluation: Identifying the optimal policy mix and conditions to stimulate innovation; stimulating engagement of private enterprise and commercial partners in collaborative research and innovation programmes; stimulating innovation through demand-side policies and non R&D-based support mechanisms, including strengthening knowledge transfer links throughout the innovation chain; to ensure that project outputs support implementation of the EU-NZ JSTCC roadmap; to identify a framework for evaluation of international cooperation mechanisms.
- Relationship building: To nurture new strategic alliances between NZ policy, funding, research and innovation organisations and those of Europe and its Member States; to develop relationships from the top-down, focused on seeding new thematic/challenge based relationships between research/innovation organisations/groups with an eye toward future collaboration.
- Programme development: To strengthen existing relationships – both with Member States and research/innovation organisations/groups – by building on projects and programmes that are currently underway; to consider the use of ERA-nets as a mechanism to scoping opportunities for bi/multi-lateral collaboration in priority fields; to identify and develop opportunities for joint programming initiatives; to explore the possibility of a joint liaison office in NZ.
- NCP support for research excellence: To deliver an effective NCP service to provide information, support and training on opportunities available to strengthen cooperation between Europe and NZ; To create a community of research and innovation actors in Europe and NZ, well informed of opportunities for mobility and collaboration afforded by the EU, and NZ and Member State agencies.
- Communication activities: To maximise opportunities to showcase the Europe-NZ research and innovation relationship, and the FRIENZ bilateral support mechanism; to highlight opportunities for Europe-NZ collaboration in research, innovation and mobility programmes offered by NZ, the EC, and European Member State partners using multiple electronic tools.
The project website disseminates information about the New Zealand and EU research and innovation relationship and bilateral activities. This activity is supported by further information events in New Zealand and Europe.
Partners in this project include leading organisations with relationships to New Zealand and Europe:
- Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ), New Zealand
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), New Zealand
- Euro Research Support Ltd. (ERSL), New Zealand
- Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Germany
- Centre National de La Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France
- Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus (VTT), Finland.