New Zealand joins Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme

Today in Brussels, the Commission and New Zealand signed the association agreement on the participation of New Zealand to Horizon Europe, the EU’s research, and innovation programme.

This marks the first association with a close partner that is not geographically close to Europe. It marks a completely new approach whereby the EU is strengthening even more its ties with trusted partners that have a solid scientific base and a robust research track record.

Association to Horizon Europe means that researchers and organisations in New Zealand will be able to participate in Pillar II of the programme, the most relevant and biggest collaborative part that is primarily focused on shared global challenges in climate, energy, mobility, digital, industry and space, health, and more. They will collaborate in the programme on equal terms with entities from the EU Member States and will have access to Horizon Europe funding and networks of researchers in Europe and beyond aimed to tackle global challenges.

In the presence of the Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, Director-General of the Commission’s department for Research and Innovation, Marc Lemaître signed the agreement with New Zealand’s Ambassador to the EU and NATO, Carl Reaich and HE Marcos Alonso, Ambassador Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Spain to the EU.

President Ursula von der Leyen said: “I am glad that we are allowing New Zealand to participate in Horizon Europe, our flagship innovation programme. This is the first association agreement with a country that is not geographically close to Europe, but very close in so many other ways, including the capacity and willingness to innovate. We are looking forward to pooling our best minds and talents to work together on the next generation of clean tech, biotech and digital projects.”

Deeper collaboration with New Zealand contributes to Europe’s global approach to cooperation in research and innovation in an increasingly changing and volatile world. It reconfirms the EU commitment to driving excellence, pooling resources for faster scientific progress, developing vibrant innovation ecosystems and promoting global openness that is also strategic and reciprocal.

The Horizon Europe programme introduced a major redesign of the approach towards international cooperation in research and innovation, giving for the first time the possibility of association to like-minded countries with a strong science, innovation and technology profile, outside the geographic proximity of the EU. Formal negotiations to join Horizon Europe are currently ongoing with Canada and recently the Commission has launched negotiations with the Republic of KoreaExploratory talks with Japan closed in September 2022 and technical discussions are ongoing.


Formal relations between the EU and New Zealand in the field of research and innovation date back to 2009, with the signature of the Agreement on cooperation in scientific and technological cooperation. The Agreement has provided the general framework for cooperation and acted as a forum for regular discussions about research priorities and areas of common interest ever since.

Horizon Europe is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever with a budget of €95.5 billion. It is open, which means that participants from all over the world can participate in most calls.

For More Information

Horizon Europe

International cooperation with New Zealand

Europe’s Global Approach to Research and Innovation