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World / Asia-Pacific

New Zealand to fund joint research centers with China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-02-29 14:00

WELLINGTON - The New Zealand government on Monday called for proposals and announced funding for three New Zealand-China Research Collaboration Centers to boost bilateral science cooperation.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said a total of 3.75 million NZ dollars ($2.47 million) was available for the three multi-institution centers over five years.

"This initiative will strengthen research collaboration with China in three priority areas -- water research, food safety and security, and non-communicable diseases," Joyce said in a statement.

China was a priority collaboration partner for New Zealand and the centers would deliver on a key action identified at the New ZealandChina Joint Commission Meeting on science and technology in April last year.

The centers would coordinate New Zealand's engagement with China in these mutually important areas of research and build on the existing bilateral programs leading to more enduring and more impactful collaborations, he said.

The government announced three new China-New Zealand joint research projects after the meeting in Wellington in April last year.

The new projects were to focus on:

-- Improving water use efficiency and quality in dairy farm systems, to be led by the New Zealand government's AgResearch institute and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

-- Integrating tracing technologies to give consumers and international markets confidence in the safety of dairy products, to be led by the University of Otago, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and China's Institute of Quality Standards & Testing Technology for Agro-Products.

-- Investigating nutrient cycling and grassland legumes in alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau and in New Zealand high country to improve the economic sustainability of farms, to be led by Lincoln University and Qinghai University.

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