The European Union (EU) and China will try to work together on more science and technology programs due to the success of previous cooperation programs, said Jean-Eric Paquet, director-general of the European Commission DG Research and Innovation, whilst visiting Beijing on Thursday.

China, EU to step up sci-tech cooperation

The director-general was in China on a two-day trip to discuss further China-EU cooperation in research and innovation with top Chinese research institutions.

He said that China and the EU have been working closely together in areas such as health, energy, food, natural resources, space, earth observation, brain research and climate change; and will try to explore new areas of collaboration.

He said that we need more future research that allows our societies to continue to develop and grow, whilst making them more inclusive and respectful of planetary value, adding that such research can not just be carried out at the national level, but would also require joint international efforts.

During a press conference on Dec. 13, Paquet presented the upcoming EU Horizon Europe program, which includes a proposed EUR 100 billion for cooperation with China and other international partners.

The program, running over 2021-2027, will coincide with China’s next Five-Year Plan creating ample opportunity to drive sustainable development and job creation as well as laying the groundwork for research and innovation in future areas of joint interest.

At the event, Paquet also opened the 5th EURAXESS Science Slam held at Zhongguancun in Beijing, often referred to as China’s Silicon Valley. The Science Slam is a science communication competition where young researchers from all over China engage with the general public for an opportunity to visit a European research institution. The competition is an initiative launched by the European Commission to support the mobility of researchers and functions as a networking tool for European researchers active in China, and for Chinese and international researchers wishing to collaborate in Europe.