News - RCUK and NSFC celebration

UK-China research collaboration celebrated at strategic event to strengthen future links

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Senior representatives from Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) celebrated the growing UK-China research partnership and discussed strategic priorities for the future at an event held at the Royal Society in London on 18th April.

RCUK and NSFC attendees, with Professor Jane Elliot in centre frameLast year marked the beginning of a ‘golden era’ of UK-China relations, with collaboration between RCUK and NSFC being an essential part of the UK’s engagement with China. This event provided an opportunity to share best practices and highlight opportunities to sustain and build upon this relationship. During the one-day meeting, delegates reviewed progress on current joint activities between the two organisations, and explored new research and investment priorities for the next two years.

Since 2009, the value of funding committed by the Research Councils and NSFC tops £130 million through 21 joint research programmes. Many of these programmes are multidisciplinary and are aimed at tackling major global research challenges including antimicrobial resistance, air pollution and urbanisation.

Professor Jane Elliott, RCUK International Champion and Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), said: “The UK Research Councils have built extremely valuable relationships with NSFC, facilitated by RCUK China based in Beijing, which have been crucial in driving research and innovation that has a positive impact for both countries. Developing this partnership further and mutually agreeing our future strategic priorities will mean that the UK and China will be able to enjoy more of the benefits that high-quality research brings, including economic growth and a better quality of life.”

Professor Liu Congqiang, NSFC Vice President, said: “Cooperation between RCUK and NSFC has been comprehensive, productive and successful in recent years. The strategic partnership of NSFC with RCUK has been firmly consolidated through the second Biennial Strategic Meeting. The partnership will continue to push forward joint research, advancing science and technology to the social and economic benefit of both countries.”

During the event, delegates had the opportunity to reflect on the impact of some of the high-quality research supported by RCUK and NSFC on solving global challenges such as climate change and urbanisation. For example, the iGive project, run by Queen’s University Belfast with Harbin Institute of Technology, has deepened development of green technology through more reliable, flexible, efficient, and environmentally friendly smart grid solutions.

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