Research | 03/07/2023

Meetings in Berlin and Beijing on Research Cooperation with China

WIKOOP-INFRA events advance exchange on the bilateral scientific cooperation

  • Germany and China share a strong tradition of science cooperation. Science and research institutions of both countries have long-standing collaborations with one another, Chinese research groups are users at many German facilities, and there are numerous projects across various disciplines where the bilateral relationship is important. Growing geopolitical tensions yet call for a reassessment of the opportunities and risks of international research cooperation, including the cooperation with China. How to increase the competence of researchers and science organisations to make informed and responsible cooperation decisions was the overarching theme of a conference held in Berlin in late May. The conference convened an unprecedented number of relevant experts from member institutions of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany, funding organisations, federal ministries as well as renowned China specialists from universities and think tanks. More than ninety experts discussed strategic aims and measures relating to the repositioning of foreign science policy, the treatment of dual use issues, the approach towards technology sovereignty, and the organisation of China competencies in the sciences.

    The conference took place within WIKOOP-INFRA, a joint project of the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) and the GIGA on research cooperation with China launched in September 2021, and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). “We observe that a lot of complementary work is currently undertaken, and we wanted to bring the diverse knowledge bases, experiences, and perspectives together”, says Dr. Marcus Conlé, Associate at the GIGA and project leader of WIKOOP-INFRA at DESY. The project’s ultimate goal is to develop recommendations for confident and informed decisions and secure action in research cooperation.

    Only a few days later, in early June 2023, the discussions from the Berlin conference were taken up at a workshop with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing. Likewise organised by the WIKOOP-INFRA project, the workshop featured hybrid sessions with presentations on science policy advice, interdisciplinary research, scientific data management, and the research ethics of artificial intelligence, as well as a high-level in-person discussion on the challenges of bilateral research cooperation.

    Dr. Margot Schüller at the WIKOOP-INFRA conference.
    © DESY
    Dr. Margot Schüller at the WIKOOP-INFRA conference in Berlin, May 2023.

    Research Project | 01/09/2021 - 29/02/2024

    Ensuring Safe, Transparent and Mutually Beneficial Collaboration with China at Analytical Research Infrastructures (WIKOOP-INFRA)

    The joint project WIKOOP-INFRA will draw up empirically grounded guidelines that offer researchers from Germany and the EU support and guidance for scientific cooperation with their Chinese colleagues at large research infrastructures under existing framework conditions.
    BMBF, 2021-2024


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