Innovation funding agreement underway for New Zealand and Israel

October 7, 2017 by Keren Cook
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A new innovation agreement is currently being forged between the New Zealand and Israeli governments.

Paul Goldsmith

This agreement would see technology firms from both countries “fast-tracked” to receive funding from their respective government grants agencies.

Simon Rae, relationships manager for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) confirmed the deal was close to being done.

Rae says that the agreement would encourage companies and universities from New Zealand and Israel to share research, information and join ventures that both governments would potentially fund.

“The agreement would support cooperation on innovation and research and development between firms in New Zealand and Israel.

“This could mean funding through existing New Zealand Government grant mechanisms,” Rae said.

The terms of the agreement are still to be defined but no extra taxpayer money would be set aside for the deal.

The current processes in place to get funding from grants agency Callaghan Innovation would apply for New Zealand companies or entrepreneurs working with Israeli counterparts, he said.

New Zealand companies working with Israel would be given priority to access government funding under this agreement.

Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith supports the agreement and said this deal would enable a “range of cooperative activities” between New Zealand and Israel.

Goldsmith says the main purpose of the deal was to “facilitate research and development collaboration” between the two countries.

The agreement was birthed by a visit to Israel by 50 New Zealand business leaders in 2016. Another New Zealand business delegation is set to visit Israel this month.

Rae confirms that officials from New Zealand and Israel had “made substantial progress in negotiating the text of the agreement “ since 2016, but the deal was not yet finalised.


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