$160b Horizon Europe fund has potential to open doors for iwi aquaculture

Horizon Europe – a €95.5 billion (NZ$160 billion) funding programme – is open for applications and presents exciting opportunities for Ngā Iwi i Te Rohe o Te Waiariki and its science research partners to progress its world-class aquaculture mahi

European Union Ambassador for New Zealand, her Excellency Nina Obermaier, joined the collective today via Zoom to talk about Horizon Europe and how iwi could utilise the programme.

The funding power of Horizon Europe, which runs until 2027, makes it the most ambitious research programme in the world.

Aquaculture has been specifically identified in the programme as a key industry that can contribute to the global recovery from COVID-19 and climate change efforts.

In order to submit an application for Horizon Europe funding, New Zealand must enter into a science partnership with the European Union. Therefore, the immediate next steps for Ngā Iwi i Te Rohe o Te Waiariki will be writing to ministers to encourage the development of that partnership.

European Union Ambassador for New Zealand, her Excellency, Nina Obermaier

BOP Iwi Aquaculture Chairman, Chris Karamea Insley, says he applauds the European Union for establishing a fund of this size and opening it up for international applications.

“From an iwi Māori perspective, we are always looking to grow our rangatahi in the sciences and the scholarship components to this programme are hugely attractive for us.

“We are also encouraged by the programme’s acknowledgement of matauranga Māori as a legitimate knowledge system.

“Sustainability and clean technology developments are major drivers for Māori so the core focus of Horizon Europe aligns well with our values and, in particular, our aquaculture kaupapa.”

Mr Insley says gaining access to the Sonne ship (pictured above), which can be used for mapping of marine environments, is just one example of the kind of collaboration iwi will want to pursue through a partnership with Europe.

“We are determined to have world-class science underpinning our collective efforts locally as our economic forecasting shows investment in aquaculture has the potential to create $1.5 billion worth of new wealth across the Waiariki rohe, as well as 2000 jobs. 

“Ngā Iwi i Te Rohe o Te Waiariki understands that securing funding from Horizon Europe will be a long-term process.

“However, we – and our partners at Otago University, Waikato University, Plant & Food Research, Cawthron Institute, and NIWA – are excited to get that process started so we are in the best position to deliver results for our rohe and the wider motu.”

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