On March 12th, the China-EU Research and Innovation Stakeholders Tour 2019 kicked off in Jinan, Shandong Province, a joint effort led by China Science and Technology Exchange Center (CSTEC) and the Delegation of the European Union to China. The action endeavors to promote China-EU science, technology and innovation (STI) cooperation at a higher level and gives better play to the role of STI in China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, as well as to respond to researchers’ needs on research cooperation with Europe. Mr. Nicolas Chapuis, EU Ambassador to China, Mr. Lei Fengyun, member of the Leadership Team of the Department of International Cooperation, the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, Ms. Zhuang Jia, Deputy Director General of CSTEC, and Mr. Zhang Zhuxiu, General Director, Shandong Provincial Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs attended the launching event.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Lei Fengyun pointed out that under the guidance of China-EU S&T Cooperation Agreement, both sides have fully capitalized on the energy of the Joint Steering Committee, Innovation Cooperation Dialogue and the Co-funding Mechanism for Research and Innovation. Both sides are working together on jointly drafting the China-EU Research and Innovation Cooperation Roadmap to support cooperation in conducting basic research and addressing major societal challenges across the board. Therefore, STI cooperation has become an important part of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.
During her speech, Ms. Zhuang Jia gave an overview of the progress generated in the Co-funding Mechanism which was established in 2015 and the projects for implementing the 2018-2020 flagship initiatives and shared the new opportunities in China-EU STI cooperation in the new era.
Ambassador Nicolas Chapuis noted that the bilateral STI cooperation lied at the core of China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. He named a host of world renowned Chinese research results, complimented China on the market application and development of advanced technologies, and expressed wish for a more equal and mutually beneficial China-EU research cooperation.
In his welcome remarks on behalf of the host city for the launching event, Mr. Zhang Zhuxiu gave a full picture to the research landscape in Shandong Province and its cooperation achievements with Europe.
The event also included an info session where CSTEC presented on the rules and procedures on application for the Inter-governmental STI Cooperation Special Program under the National Key R&D Program of China. Science counselors from the EU, Germany, Austria, Italy, Latvia and other foreign diplomats to China made presentations on their own research and innovation policies, funding opportunities and bilateral STI cooperation with China. The event attracted over 200 enthusiastic participants.
The Jinan event was followed immediately by a similar event in Qingdao, another active partner that worked closely with Europe. The two events are part of a national awareness raising campaign to be held in 21 cities of 19 provinces and municipalities across China throughout 2019. Through meetings and visit to local research establishments, the campaign aims to bring first-hand info on the latest STI policies and funding opportunities to researchers, local research authorities, universities, enterprises and research institutes, so as to raise their awareness on and participation in the research programs of China, the EU, and EU Member States. The end goal is to further promote the integration and cooperation of research programs of China and the EU and therefore improve the equal and reciprocal STI cooperation at a larger scale.