New Zealand furthers international research collaboration

April 11, 2005

Brussels, 08 Apr 2005

A new fund in New Zealand aimed at increasing the country's participation in international projects appears to have had the desired effect. Six projects have been selected for funding under the International Investment Opportunities Fund (IIOF), and all but one involve at least one European partner.

The total value of the proposals submitted far exceeded the available budget of 1.4 million NZ dollars (0.77 million euro). Impressed with the quality of the bids and satisfied that there is indeed a demand for the fund, the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology will expand the types of initiatives to be supported under the IIOF, and is also hoping to be able to increase the funding available, according to Roger Ridley, General Manager for Investment and Performance at the ministry. The principal aim of the fund is to mitigate possible clashes in funding cycles, which have led to New Zealand researchers missing out in the past.

Among the research to receive funding is a project to develop cost-effective tools for risk management and traceability systems for marine biotoxins in seafood. This EU project, known as BIOTOX, also brings together Norway, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and France.

Eight European countries will also join New Zealand in a project on future options for roadworthiness enforcement.

Other projects will address the internal signals that drive a cell, neutron studies, and signal transduction through melanocortin receptors. New Zealand will also join Germany, the US and Australia in the newly established Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON).

By measuring the density of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, the scientists hope to gain a better understanding of the net flux of these gases from the Earth's surface. This will allow predictions of future greenhouse gas concentrations, and ultimately, a better understanding of the timing and severity of climate warming.

For further information on the IIOF, please visit:
http:///www.frst.govt.nz/research/interna tionalfunds.cfm

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities
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