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EU and China team up on research and innovation funding

Earlier this month at the Joint Conference in Promoting Excellence through Enhanced EU-China Researcher's Mobility and Cooperation in Beijing, Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and Wan Gang, Chinese Minister for Science and Technology, introduced a new co-financing mechanism for EU-China joint research and innovation activities. The establishment of the co-funding mechanism follows the agreement reached at the 17th EU-China Summit, held on 29 June 2015 in Brussels.

The Co-Funding mechanism, drawing on EU’s Horizon 2020 and China’s research and innovation funding programmes, aims to support collaboration in research and innovation projects on shared strategic priorities. The key areas of EU-China cooperation include food, agriculture, biotechnology, green transport, sustainable urbanisation, information and communication technologies, energy, health and mobility of young researchers. 

Unlike in the previous Framework Programmes, China (together with Brazil, Russia and India), is now on an equal footing with other industrialised countries, meaning that (1) the programme is fully open to Chinese participants and (2) China has to provide own funding for the contribution to the Framework Programme, apart from some exceptional cases of funded mobility schemes. Between 2016 and 2020, the Commission expects to spend over EUR 100 million per year on European researchers working jointly with Chinese partners on Horizon 2020 projects. Meanwhile, the Chinese financial contribution towards projects under Horizon 2020 involving Chinese entities is expected to total RMB 200 million per year.  

The high-level representatives on both sides stressed their commitment to the new initiative, highlighting the expected positive impact of the mechanism on EU-China relations, economic growth and social development.  

Press release

Horizon 2020 guide for China