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NZ-UK bond reinforced as science and innovation working group established

New Zealand and the UK are forging new ground in the science and innovation sector with a new working group to be set up following the signing of an agreement yesterday.

New Zealand and the UK are forging new ground in the science and innovation sector with a new working group to be set up following the signing of an agreement yesterday.

MOU signingMinister of science and innovation Dr Wayne Mapp and UK secretary of state Jeremy Browne have given their blessing to the establishment of a New Zealand-United Kingdom Science and Innovation Working Group.

Mapp said the UK had always been one of New Zealand's most significant science and innovation partners.

"Both countries share an interest in driving economic growth through investment in science and research."

Browne said the working group would add value and structure to the UK-New Zealand relationship, and enable a stronger focus on scientific opportunities.

The Prime Minister's chief science advisor Professor Sir Peter Gluckman worked with UK high commissioner Victoria Treadell, the UK's Department of Business Innovation and Skills, New Zealand's Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to set up the group.

Mapp said about 30 percent of New Zealand researchers already have a UK partner with particularly strong cooperation in the biological sciences, biotechnology and the physical sciences.

The working group will hold up to four meetings over the coming year and will report to the respective Prime Ministers and Ministers responsible by September 2012.