EU and China launch new Co-Funding Mechanism for research and innovation

Submitted by Lucia Seel on 06 September 2015

EU and China launch new Co-Funding Mechanism for research and innovation

Beijing, 7 September 2015

Today's high level "Joint Conference in Promoting Excellence through Enhanced EU-China Researcher's Mobility and Cooperation" promoted a new Co-funding mechanism for research and innovation. The conference was attended by European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Mr. Carlos Moedas who is visiting China accompanied by Mr. Jean Pierre Bourguignon, President of the European Research Council, and Ms. Nuria Sebastian Galles, Vice President of the European Research Council.

The co-funding mechanism is established by the Ministry of Science and Technology on the Chinese side and the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation on the EU side with funding resources on each side. To implement the co-funding mechanism (CFM) highlighted in the Joint Statement of the 17th EU-China Summit , building on Horizon 2020 on the EU side and relevant research and innovation programmes on the Chinese side, during the period from 2016 to 2020, the European Commission expects to continue spending over 100 million Euros per year for the benefit of Europe-based entities in joint projects under H2020 with Chinese participants. China will match corresponding resources and expects to spend 200 million RMB per year for the benefit of Chinese based entities that will participate in joint projects with European ones under Horizon 2020.

The co-funding mechanism aims to support joint research and innovation activities  on topics in strategic areas of common interest and mutual benefit, such as food, agriculture, biotechnology, green transport – including aviation –, sustainable urbanisation, information and communication technologies, energy, health and mobility of young researchers.

In their bilateral meeting on 7 September in Beijing, Commissioner Moedas and his Chinese counterpart Mr. Wan Gang, Minister for Science and Technology, expressed their strong commitment to the strategic importance of deepened cooperation to address global challenges. Minister Wan Gang said: "Cooperation in S&T forms a vital part of the comprehensive EU-China relationship and science and innovation fuels economic growth and social development." Commissioner Moedas stated that "the establishment of the co-funding mechanism will have a major impact on the EU-China strategic partnership, in which cooperation in research and innovation has now become a significant component."

Also during the Joint Conference, the recent agreement  between the European Research Council (ERC) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) was discussed. This agreement, signed in the margins of the 17th EU-China Summit on 29 June 2015 in Brussels, will stimulate excellence-based, bottom-up collaboration in frontier research by facilitating that high-calibre Chinese researchers come to Europe to join ERC-funded research teams.

During his visit to Beijing, Commissioner Moedas is also meeting Chinese universities and companies cooperating with European counterparts and holding discussions with Chinese entrepreneurs and investors. Following the Beijing leg of his visit, the Commissioner will participate in the Annual Meeting of the New Champions – Summer Davos – in Dalian, where he has been invited to act as one of the Co-Chairs of this year's meeting.

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