Enlarged China flagAgeing Well National Science Challenge has joined with Healthier Lives, and A Better Start to lead a new research venture with China. The collaboration will focus on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and is called the New Zealand-China Non-Communicable Diseases Collaboration Centre.

A grant of $1.25 million has been made by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Catalyst Fund to establish this research collaboration centre. The Fund supports activities that leverage international science and innovation for New Zealand’s benefit.

The Centre will focus on six themes:

  • Diabetes and obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Rare inherited diseases
  • Big health data
  • Gene-environment factors

China’s large population and comprehensive health data can help progress research into risk, prevention, and treatment of NCDs. New Zealand’s public health and ethics expertise, and innovative research techniques, will provide insight into cost-effective approaches to manage the rapidly increasing medical burden in China.

Ageing Well Director, Professor Dave Baxter, commented that the collaboration brings another strength to achieving the Ageing Well vision to add life to years for all older New Zealanders.

“The scale of China offers many opportunities to assess strategies to reduce the degree of disability that NCDs contribute to, and to enhance the independence, engagement and living environment of our older people.”

The collaboration currently encompasses 219 researchers in 26 institutions and expects to provide opportunities for researchers from across New Zealand.