This is the first time a “highly industrialised” country outside of Europe has joined the EU’s flagship research and innovation program, the European Commission said following the conclusion of negotiations earlier this week.
Researchers in New Zealand will be limited to participating in Pillar II of Horizon, which focuses on shared global challenges, including climate, energy and health.
We have redesigned our approach towards international cooperation in research and innovation”
“We have redesigned our approach towards international cooperation in research and innovation, strengthening even more our ties with countries outside the geographical proximity of the EU that have a robust scientific and research track-record,” said Mariya Gabriel, EU commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth.
“With a solid scientific base and more than half of New Zealand’s researchers having an active collaboration with a European partner, the country has been a trusted EU partner for many years now.”
New Zealand’s universities welcomed the news, with Chris Whelan, chief executive of Universities New Zealand, describing it as a “milestone agreement”.
“It shows the esteem in which our researchers are held internationally and is an opportunity for them to build on the many collaborations they already have with European counterparts,” Whelan added.
Meanwhile, the UK continues to negotiate its association to Horizon following Brexit. The British government has further extended the safety net for researchers, which ensures that UK Horizon applicants will be guaranteed funding, regardless of the outcome of talks with the EU.
“We hope the EU will acknowledge that this latest 3-month extension shows the UK government and science community remain committed to full association and the benefits it will unlock for all parties,” said Joanna Burton, policy manager at the Russell Group, which represents the UK’s leading research universities.
The guarantee will cover all Horizon Europe calls that close on or before 31 March 2023.