It has been years in the making and last week it was signed. The ‘Agreement between the Government of the State of Israel and the Government of New Zealand on Cooperation in Technological Innovation, Research and Development’ is designed to promote innovation, research and development, technological and economic cooperation between Israel and New Zealand.

Under the Agreement, Callaghan Innovation and the Israel Innovation Authority will develop and run business matching services, and joint calls for business research and development cooperation. Funding for New Zealand firms will be drawn from Research and Development Project Grants administered by Callaghan Innovation.

The recent $108m deal between LIC and Afimilk is an example of what might be encouraged with this agreement. The innovation agreement that Australia has with Israel is estimated to foster $2b worth of bilateral trade annually.

While the commemorations of ANZAC troops fighting to help liberate Israel are important, the deal that was signed by Dr Megan Woods and Dr Itzhak Gerberg is a positive reinforcement of the current and future bonds between the two countries.

Part of the delay was surely the political unrest in Israel. It is a small miracle that the agreement was signed now due to a confirmed Israeli government still proving elusive. Well done to all involved – it is a great step.

Let’s all hope that there will be plenty of companies seeking to make good use of the agreement and funding available.