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News Alert

EU-CHINA: Leaders sign second renewal for Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement

Brussels, 09 December 2009

Today, the second 5 year renewal of the Science and Technology (S&T) Cooperation Agreement between EU and China enters into force. This second renewal was agreed on 30 November 2009 at the 12th EU-China Summit in Nanjing, China and signed at a ceremony attended by both the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. Through the S&T Cooperation Agreement, EU and China will further expand their cooperation in the field of science and technology in order to meet global challenges such as climate change and energy security.

China : a major scientific partner for the EU

The EU and Chinese scientific communities have been cooperating since the 70s and have worked mainly in areas of common interest like the Environment, Information Communication Technologies, Transport, Food Agriculture and Biotechnologies, Health, Energy, Social Sciences and Humanities and New materials. As a positive result of this scientific cooperation, a formal EC–China Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement was agreed, signed and entered into force in 1999.

From 2007 to 2009, through the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), more than 900 Chinese research teams submitted applications with European partners in response to FP7 calls for proposals, of which 145 were retained and funded. The total EC contribution for Chinese partners during that period reached a total of almost €20 million, putting China at a comparable level as other major EC scientific partners, such as the USA, Russia and India.

Towards a "strategic partnership"

The Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement between EU and China will help both partners move further towards a new style of “strategic partnership”, which will go beyond traditional participation of Chinese participants in EU-funded research projects. This new kind of partnership will be introduced by the launch of co-funded projects (through coordinated calls or twinning) in selected technical areas such as Health, Biotechnologies/Food, Aeronautics and Nuclear Fission security.  In advance of these, a "general agreement" on the principle of coordinated calls or twinning (the China-EC S&T Partnership Scheme – CESTYS) was signed during the previous EU-China Summit in Prague in May 2009.


The Science and Technology Agreement between EU and China first entered into force on 14 December 1999. It was extended for the first time on 8 December 2004 for a period of five years.

A Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement:

  • describes the basic principles underlying the agreement: mutual benefit, reciprocal participation, exchange of researchers
  • establishes a joint research committee which regularly meets to review and define bilateral cooperation activities
  • determines specific rules governing the participation in the Parties' research programmes and the treatment of intellectual property rights in cooperative research activities.

To date, the EU has signed 19 Science and Technology Cooperation Agreements with third countries.

Today, China is the EU’s second largest trade partner, with the EU being China’s largest partner.  Apart from regular political, trade and economic dialogue meetings, there are 56 sectoral dialogues and agreements ranging from environmental protection to industrial policy to education and culture.

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Press Officer
Charlotte Gugenheim: +32 2 296 4343 -
Mario Catizzone : + 32 2 29 81706 -

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