On April 9, 2018, Minister Wang Zhigang of Science and Technology met with an Austrian delegation headed by Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology Nobert Hofer. The two sides exchanged views in an in-depth manner on jointly pushing forward China-Austria cooperation in science and technology innovation (STI) and supporting and implementing the important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries through STI.
Wang Zhigang pointed out that Austria is one of China‘s important partners for science and technology cooperation and that the two countries have established a sound cooperative relationship and stable cooperation mechanisms with a series of accomplishments. The Joint Statement on Deepening Cooperation in the Fields of Applied Research and Innovation signed by the two ministries on April 8 under the witness of the heads of state of the two countries is a top-level plan for bilateral cooperation in science and technology innovation formulated at a new historical juncture. In the future, the two sides can strengthen their cooperation in areas of scientific research, technology innovation, commercialization of R&D results, innovation environment optimization and people-to-people exchange in science and technology. Based on jointly sponsored projects and in relation to the strategic economic, scientific and technological needs of both countries, the two sides should work together to strengthen cooperation between their universities, research institutions and enterprises, encourage exchanges and cooperation between researchers and maximize innovation potentials of all innovation entities under the framework of China-Austria STI cooperation.
Minister Wang Zhigang introduced new plans of the Nineteenth Party Congress for building China into an innovative country and speeding up the implementation of an innovation-driven development strategy in the new era, the role of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and China’s considerations for international cooperation in STI. He pointed out that China now puts STI in a more important position and sees innovation as the primary driving force in development, a strategic support for the construction of a modern economic system, and an important factor in serving the transition of the Chinese economy from high-speed to high-quality growth. The Nineteenth Party Congress called for strengthening open cooperation in innovation capacity. This is a strategy for China to carry out international cooperation in science and technology in the new era. Wang Zhigang said that the Ministry of Science and Technology is willing to work with the Austrian side to carry out practical cooperation in STI, serve the overall bilateral diplomacy, support the economic and social development of both sides, contribute more to the development of the world economy, and generate more cooperation results to improve people’s livelihood.
Minister Hofer responded positively to Minister Wang Zhigang‘s views and suggestions. He pointed out that Austria identified with the idea of“high quality development”proposed by the Nineteen Congress of the Communist Party of China and congratulated China on its STI achievements in recent years. He introduced the status quo of STI in Austria and the functions of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology and said that the Austrian side is willing to engage in joint research, commercialization of research results, pilot application and various other forms of cooperation with the Chinese side in smart city, environmental protection and transport technology and other fields of common interest, and achieve connectivity between the development strategies of the two countries.
After the meeting, Minister Wang Zhigang and Minister Hofer signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Research Personnel Exchanges between China and Austria.