Australia and NZ sign innovation treaty

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Australia and New Zealand have signed a new treaty focussed on science and innovation.

Industry, innovation and science minister Senator Arthur Sinodinos and his New Zealand counterpart, Simon Bridges, signed the treaty-level 'Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement' at the Australia New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting in Queenstown.

Under the treaty, which is the first of its kind between Australia and New Zealand, the countries will initially work together to tackle chronic disease, advance general health care and improve the accuracy and availability of GPS signals.

"The creation of an innovation hub will have tremendous benefits for our communities, growing the economy and creating business opportunities and jobs in new and traditional sectors," said Senator Sinodinos in a statement.

He said the treaty reflects the challenges faced by both countries in transitioning their economies to more of a focus on science, research and innovation.

It was signed following a year of negotiations.