Collaborations in research and innovation between Scotland and China were at the forefront of a recent high-level forum in China. Leading figures from both countries attended the forum, the third forum of its kind, to strengthen and build on existing relationships between China and Scotland.
Innovation features high on the agenda for both countries and so does an increased awareness that the UK and China need to continue to share knowledge and expertise to increase the development and commercialisation of new technology.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s National Academy, led the 10-strong delegation to Beijing during March 2018 to meet with distinguished experts from China with considerable experience in science and technology development, technology transfer and commercial exploitation of research.
On this occasion the forum, which was facilitated through two-days of intensive workshops and business to business meetings, focused on the themes of Big Data and Oil & Gas. Representatives from OGIC (The Oil & Gas Innovation Centre) and The Data Lab, two of the eight Scottish Innovation Centres (SICs) funded by the Scottish Funding Council, took part in the visit.
The RSE continues to develop these activities with its partners in China through longstanding and strong relations with the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and the world’s largest research organisation – the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Businesses represented at the event include; RAB Microfluidics, Dawning International Information Industry Co., and the China Science and Technology Publishing Media Group.
The delegation lead, RSE Vice-President International, Professor Marian Scott, commented: “I am absolutely thrilled by the outcomes achieved through this recent high-level dialogue and it was a privilege to witness first-hand how much synergy there was between both parties. We will work hard on developing the specific outcomes and to ensuring these Forums continue to make meaningful contributions to strengthening the relationship and dialogue between Scotland and China, leading to further collaboration in research and innovation and to identifying new investment opportunities for both nations. We are very grateful also for the support from the British Embassy, the Scottish Affairs office and colleagues from SDI and SIN to the event.”
Relations between China and Scotland continue to thrive, and with direct flights between Edinburgh and Beijing due to start in June 2018, the opportunities for collaboration will continue to grow. The RSE is pleased to be playing a key role in developing these relations.