European project ChinaAccess4EU

Supporting the EU access to Chinese research & innovation programmes

Having succeeded in recent decades in establishing itself as “the world’s factory” and one of the biggest recipients of foreign direct investment, China is now becoming a world-leading high-tech country and a rising Research, Technology Development and Innovation (RTDI) power. In the past few years, China has gone from having a very low level of RTDI expenditure to becoming in 2006 the second highest RTDI expenditure country in the world after the US.

Pursuing mutually advantageous agreements with China has long been a priority for the European Community (EC). In 1978 the EC and China signed trade agreements and since that time both have continued to work together to further elevate their relations. The Science & Technology Agreement between the European Union and China was signed in 1998 thereby providing a legal basis for future cooperation on science and technology (S&T). As a result, the European Union opened its Research Framework Programmes (FPs) to China. This has resulted in the Chinese research community becoming increasingly involved in EU Framework Programme activities. However, the participation of EU researchers in Chinese research funding programmes is still low.

In order to fill the existing gap in EU-China S&T cooperation, the ChinaAccess4EU project had the following objectives:

  • Increase the awareness and dissemination in the EU of access opportunities for European researchers and research organisations in Chinese national research and innovation programmes;
  • Increase S&T cooperation between Europe and China, especially effective collaborations of European researchers and research organisations in Chinese national research and innovation programmes;
  • Help develop the reciprocity aspect of EU-China S&T agreements and improve the EU’s understanding of the respective research systems in China.

To achieve the above objectives, the following activities were implemented:

  • Identify and map access opportunities for European researchers in Chinese research and innovation programmes;
  • Disseminate the results to European research organisations and multipliers,
  • Monitor the participation of European researchers in Chinese programmes;
  • Provide feedback and recommendations to the EC by way of a Strategy Paper for enhancing reciprocity in EU-China S&T Cooperation;
  • Establish at least 15 EU-China research partnerships through project dissemination & match-making events;
  • Increase EU researchers’ participation in Chinese funding programmes by 50% during the lifetime of the project.

The 11 project partners included renowned public organisations in the field of science & innovation support and technology transfer as well as research organisations from five European countries and China.

Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum was responsible for carrying out a survey of EU-China bilateral S&T cooperation agreements and programmes as well as a dialogue with selected S&T government bodies of EU Member States about existing bilateral S&T cooperation activities, and resulting from the above, drafting a Strategy Paper on how to enhance reciprocity in EU-China S&T Cooperation.

Project duration: 01/2010 - 06/2012
Countries: Belgium, China, France, Germany, Portugal, UK

Portrait Eduardo Herrmann
Eduardo Herrmann
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