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The Government is committing $4.46 million for three new New Zealand-Australia research projects that will support high-quality research in areas delivering wide-ranging benefits to New Zealand, Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith says.

“New Zealand’s collaboration with Australia in science and innovation is both extensive and constructive. These new partnerships will achieve greater impact and provide better outcomes for both countries than either New Zealand or Australia could accomplish alone,” says Mr Goldsmith.

The funding of these partnerships through the Catalyst Fund, which supports international research partnerships and scientific cooperation, reinforces the Government’s support for collaboration across the Tasman through the New Zealand – Australia Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement, signed in February 2017.

The successful projects are:

New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research in collaboration with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries will undertake research on key New Zealand plant species’ susceptibility to Myrtle Rust. The University of Auckland in collaboration with Murdoch Children’s Research Institute will investigate links between genes, environment, molecular physiology and health through early- and mid-life to improve the health of our children. Massey University in collaboration with CSIRO will explore turning metal-organic frameworks into disruptive technologies and applications including new catalysts for eliminating nitrous oxide greenhouse gas emissions.

“These projects reflect the fact that Australia and New Zealand face many of the same issues and opportunities that can be addressed through high-quality complementary research,” says Mr Goldsmith.

“In particular, the research into Myrtle Rust will be important for our ongoing efforts to control the spread of the disease, and manage its impacts on native species such as Manuka, with its importance to the honey industry.

“International partnerships are fundamental for New Zealand’s science and innovation system as they bring new knowledge, ideas, people, technology and investment into our system.

“These new partnerships will contribute to the unique research and innovation we generate here in New Zealand, which is valued by our international partners and provides opportunities for our biosecurity, health, and environment,” says Mr Goldsmith.

More information on the successful Catalyst Fund projects can be found HERE, and the New Zealand – Australia Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement can be found HERE.

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