New Zealand and France Renew Science Ties
After five successful years, the programme has been extended indefinitely. The renewal agreement was signed by Acting Chief Executive of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology Lesley Middleton and French Ambassador Francis Etienne. Minister Wayne Mapp was also present and spoke at the ceremony.
The programme is named after French explorer Dumont d’Urville, who made a huge scientific contribution to New Zealand through his expeditions during the 1820’s and 1830’s, where he mapped out parts of New Zealand’s coastline.
The agreement promotes and supports scientific and technological co-operation between New Zealand and French researchers in the public and private sectors, funding the researchers’ travels between the two countries to work on projects in mutually important areas. ‘The arrangement is of real value to both countries’ Minister Wayne Mapp said at the signing of the programme, also stressing the positive contribution it has made to building research collaborations.
The 2010-11 priority research fields for the Dumont d’Urville programme are food, agriculture, fisheries and biotechnology, renewable energy and energy efficiency, biodiversity, and nano-science. "Research collaboration between France and New Zealand is flourishing," the Minister said at the ceremony, "and by making a further commitment to this scheme, the two Governments will ensure scientific knowledge in important fields is shared between our two countries."