A delegation from the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (STCSM) visited Dunedin in November 2016 as a mark of the vibrant sister-city relationship between the two cities. A key outcome of the visit was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the STCSM and Enterprise Dunedin to encourage greater scientific cooperation in a number of areas, including non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Whilst in Dunedin, the STCSM delegation held discussions with the New Zealand-China NCD Research Collaboration Centre (NCD CRCC) to explore opportunities to further develop NCD research collaborations.
As a direct result of these discussions, a small team of cardiovascular researchers from the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge is planning to head to Shanghai in January 2017, and plans are also in train for researchers from Brain NZ, the Ageing Well National Science Challenge and the NZ Brain Bank to visit later in the year. It is hoped that both visits will lead to concrete outcomes.
Shanghai is a vast city with a population more than 5 times greater than that of New Zealand but its special relationship with Dunedin continues to offer advantages to both partners.