By Miriam Bell…

On 5 March 2020, the Embassy of Israel in New Zealand announced that the Government of the State of Israel and the Government of New Zealand have signed a historic Agreement on Cooperation in Technological Innovation, Research and Development.

“We look forward to enhancing the relationship between our two countries through the promotion of innovation, research and development, technological and economic cooperation,” the Embassy said.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) also announced the signing of the innovation and R&D agreement with Israel this week.

MBIE’s international science partnerships manager Simon Rae said the Agreement will provide opportunities for both countries’ knowledge intensive firms to share technologies and know-how, and to improve commercialisation pathways for their products.

“The Agreement will allow us to forge a partnership with Israel that will connect New Zealand firms with world-leading technologies. The resulting innovation will bring New Zealand towards the goal of achieving a diverse, sustainable, productive economy.

“Israel is, like New Zealand, a small economy but has a highly-developed technology sector which is very well-connected to international markets and capital.”

Israel has key capabilities in agritech, water management and other areas of interest to New Zealand. A closer partnership with Israel will provide real opportunities for New Zealand firms, Rae said.

Under the Agreement, Callaghan Innovation and the Israel Innovation Authority will develop and run business matching services, and joint calls for business research and development cooperation.

Funding for New Zealand firms will be drawn from Research and Development Project Grants administered by Callaghan Innovation. More information will be available on Callaghan Innovation’s website at a later date.

The Agreement has been in the works for several years now and Israel’s Ambassador to New Zealand, Dr Itzhak Gerberg, recently talked to the Australia Israel Review about his hopes for the Agreement. It is possible to read what Dr Gerberg had to say here.