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EU, China step up joint innovation projects

2013-05-21 09:13 Shanghai Daily     Web Editor: qindexing comment

Chinese and European countries are increasingly collaborating in innovative projects in science and technology, and Europe is eager to step up cooperation.

That was message at a media briefing last month by consular representatives in Shanghai of Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Romania and the UK.

Belgian Consul General Cathy Buggenhout observed that the EU-China strategic partnership is built on three pillars - strategic dialogue, economic and trade dialogue and high-level people-to-people dialogue.

"The European Union is very committed to consolidating this structure and deepening cooperation because many interests of China and the EU coincide and complement each other," she said.

"We have the same aims for research, innovation, food and water security, development and a range of other issues."

China is one of Europe's most important partners and last year there were EU-China summits in February and September.

People-to-people dialogues also encourage the mobility of researchers and promote sustainable urbanization projects in China's science and technology sector.

The EU and China have signed a joint declaration on high-level innovation cooperation and the first China-EU Innovation Cooperation Dialogue will be held in Beijing this September, shortly before the 16th China-EU Summit.

During the summit, transportation technologies and innovation - a major issue for China - will be discussed. Forums will be held on mobility, managing traffic volume and road safety.

Last year, a China-Europe water platform was launched to encourage exchange of ideas on managing water supply.

"Under the framework, we'll encourage and support cooperation on research and innovation and involve industries and universities on both sides to engage in cooperation," said Buggenhout.

"Because of Italy's strong capability in the machinery industry, it has become an important sector for the Italian companies to collaborate with Chinese companies," said Eugenia Palagi, Italy's consul general in Shanghai.

Machine exports to China account for 32 percent of Italy's total export volume, she said.

In March an agreement was signed between Italian multi-utility company HERA Group and Jiangsu Hi-Firm Group to build waste-to-energy plants in China to burn solid waste more efficiently over 20 years.

The EU has strict standards on carbon emissions, energy efficiency, renewable energies and environmental sustainability, so collaboration with China is desirable, Palagi said.

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