Wellington, Jan 22 NZPA - American scientists, including those who advise the United States government will visit New Zealand for a meeting with their counterparts here next week.
The New Zealand-US Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) for Science and Technology Co-operation meeting will be held on January 25-26 in Wellington, Rotorua and Hamilton. About 30 US scientists were expected to attend.
Minister of Research, Science and Technology Wayne Mapp said the two countries had strong science ties.
"(The meeting) will give us the platform to take those ties to the next level. The US is already New Zealand's largest scientific partner. Nearly half our researchers have active links with their US colleagues," Dr Mapp said.
"The US economy is founded on research and the application of technology. The majority of the world's leading scientific institutions and the most research-intensive companies are based in the US. Expanding the two countries' links is vital to New Zealand's growth."
Dr Mapp said scientific cooperation was increasingly important in facing global problems such as climate change and biosecurity.
"This meeting will establish which scientific areas the two nations will be focusing on in the next few years," he said.
The US delegation will be led by Dr Arden Bement, director of the National Science Foundation. Dr Nina Fedoroff, science and technology adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Dr Steven Koonin, undersecretary for science at the Department of Energy are also attending.
Key New Zealand participants include Dr Ian Ferguson, the chief scientist at Plant and Food Research, Professor Tim Naish, the principal scientist at GNS Science, and Niwa principal scientist Dr Malcolm Clark.
The JCM will feature six workshops covering bioenergy, electrical grids, Antarctic science, agriculture and food Innovation, ocean and marine sciences, and climate and the Pacific.