New Zealand

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) via the International Bureau (IB) supports the establishment of new cooperation projects through joint workshops, fact-finding missions and the exchange of scientists. Usually a joint announcement will be released in spring of each year.

View on Wellington

© Hans-Jörg Stähle / DLR

Funding opportunities

Generally, financial support is granted in the context of the bilateral scientific and technological cooperation (STC) between Germany and New Zealand.

Current call: "Richtlinie zur Förderung von Vorhaben der strategischen Projektförderung mit Neuseeland"
(until 17 June 2019, text in German only)

Political framework

An intergovernmental agreement on scientific and technological cooperation (STC) has been in place with New Zealand since 1977. Federal Minister Schavan signed an agreement with the New Zealand Minister for Research, Science and Technology, Steve Maharey, in Berlin at the end of February 2007. “We want to strengthen the science and research cooperation with joint projects,” Schavan said. Minister Maharey also emphasized the importance of the agreement: “The scientific cooperation is one of the most important future areas for our partnership, which we want to expand further.”

Priorities of the cooperation

The cooperation between Germany and New Zealand continues to exist on a broad basis of different research topics. The top scientists of the two countries are particularly successful in the areas of

  • environmental sciences with particular emphasis on climate change
  • nutrition, agricultural sciences and biotechnology
  • geo, marine and polar research
  • health research

On the occasion of the visit of the BMBF delegation in December 2014, the areas ‘Production technologies’ and ‘Sustainable cities’ including renewable energies were agreed as new priority areas of the cooperation. In addition, scholarship programmes support the exchange of students and young scientists between the two countries extremely successfully.

Highlights of the bilateral cooperation

Recording the rotational speed of the Earth

The project to record the variations in the rotational speed of the Earth using laser gyroscopes - a joint project of TU Munich and the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand as well as the Oklahoma State University, Stillwater OK, USA - is one highly successful longer-term cooperation with New Zealand.

Marine research

Another example of excellent cooperation with researchers from New Zealand is marine research, particularly the joint research in the context of the trips of FS “Sonne” in 1998, 2003 and 2007. FS “Polarstern” stayed in Wellington in Januar 2010.

Inspired by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and after mutual high-ranking visits in 2004, New Zealand set up the “Julius von Haast Fellowship Fund”, a scholarship programme for German scientists which complements AvH scholarships. Discussions are currently focusing on intensifying the cooperation in nanotechnology, IT and communication technology and biotechnology/health research, including in the context of European funding programmes. New Zealand’s R&D cooperation with Europe is significantly impacted by a science posting with the New Zealand embassy in Brussels and the embassy of New Zealand in Berlin.

Special activities of the International Bureau

The International Bureau (IB) has been responsible for implementing the bilateral STC with New Zealand since 1996. Commissioned by the BMBF, the International Bureau has the objective of expanding the network of German universities, research institutions and companies with New Zealand and as such makes a contribution to implementing the international dimension of the BMBF’s specialised programmes.

The IB’s cooperation with New Zealand has the aim of

  • facilitating the establishment of connections in the field of own research priorities, particularly climate research and oceanography
  • supporting the exchange of scientists between the two countries, particularly by distributing information relating to the programmes of the DAAD, the AvH and the New Zealand Julius von Haast programme
  • granting scientists access to unique research institutions and laboratories
  • demonstrating German technology in New Zealand in order to set up economic relations based on this.

In April 2015, the BMBF published a bilateral call for funding applications together with the Federal Ministry of Nutrition, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) and the Royal Society of New Zealand in the context of the scientific and technological cooperation between Germany and New Zealand relating to the following priorities:

  • Health research
  • Production technologies
  • Environmental sciences with particular emphasis on climate change
  • Geo, marine and polar research
  • Nutrition, agricultural research and technology, biotechnology
  • Sustainable cities including renewable energies
  • Progressive production technologies
  • Additional areas of extraordinary importance for both countries

As a result, the Royal Society, the BMBF and the BMEL have jointly supported nearly 100 new projects since 2007.

Mobility projects are generally funded by both countries. The principle that the side sending their citizens will pay for all costs applies. In Germany, applications for the flight costs to the project partner location and for a daily allowance for the duration of the stay can be submitted. The projects are assessed in both countries. Funding is granted for priority projects, which both countries consider as deserving of funding. The projects and the scope of the funding are chosen taking into account the opinions of experts appointed by both countries for the priority areas.