Joint development of knowledge-based bioeconomy agreed in EU-China statement
To underscore the EU's efforts to become the world's most competitive knowledge-based economy, the European Commission recently signed an agreement with the future home of the world's biggest economy, China. The commitment, signed by Christian Patermann, Director of the Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food Directorate within the Commission's Research DG, and Wang Hongguang on behalf of the China National Centre for Biotechnology Development, was the result of a workshop highlighting the successes and future cooperation opportunities for the EU and the world's most populous country.
'We want to foster our cooperation with the largest and the most populated country in the world. [...] We are very much impressed by the very modern style, the very good equipment, the dedication of their people, their interest in cooperation,' said Mr Patermann in a video interview for the CORDIS Knowledge-Based BioEconomy (KBBE) service.
'This is no more a developing country. It's a county where we can also work on the basis of reciprocity - in the areas of co-funding, sharing views, sharing knowledge, in scientific and other technical areas,' he added.
Both parties have 'long been engaged in a fruitful dialogue on the establishment of a Knowledge-Based BioEconomy (KBBE) and on related research (agriculture, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, food and biotechnologies),' according to the statement. This dialogue has included the participation of Chinese partners in 15 projects under the Food Quality and Safety section of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).
A workshop in Beijing on 2 and 3 July led to the identification of new ways to promote cooperation. Any ensuing joint actions will be met by reciprocal scientific, technical and financial commitment, the statement makes clear.
Mr Patermann says that European partners will very soon be participating in calls for proposals for Chinese research programmes. And the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is of course open to Chinese participation.
Areas of overlapping interest
The Beijing workshop identified the following research fields for the possible development of joint actions. The list will be reviewed in 2009 and 2011:
- animal, plant and fish breeding (genetically modified (GM) and non-GM);
- animal diseases and control; animal drugs, vaccines and vaccination strategies;
- food safety;
- nutrition and health;
- biocatalysis for food and non-food uses;
- sustainable agro-forestry and plantation forestry;
- waste processing and use, in particular with respect to bioethanol and biodiesel;
- biofertiliser, biopesticides.
The statement also envisages joint meetings on a 12 or 18-month basis, and the possible establishment of an 'EU-China Platform on the Knowledge-Based BioEconomy'.
The joint statement comes during the China-EU Science and Technology Year (CESTY).
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