The European Research and Innovation Days China 2021 were held at the European Delegation in Beijing on June 24th and 25th. The two-day celebration of European research and scientists was organized by EURAXESS China in close partnership with the European Associations of National Scientific Diasporas in China and the Embassies of EU Member States. The event was facilitated by the Europe-China Partnership Facility.

The highlights of the sessions included the respective launches of both Horizon Europe and the Forum for European Researchers in China. The conference organizers held 24 separate meetings to discuss topics such as scientific diaspora networks. Sessions also included a virtual workshop with panellists in Europe, on-site workshops on career roles and thematic groups, as well as three large joint sessions introducing and launching Horizon Europe featuring a keynote that presented a new IPR brochure for European Researchers in China.

"My expectations for the Forum [of European Researchers in China] is to meet other European researchers, learn about their research, build collaborations, and learn how to things better in China" - Paul Daly from Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences.” Watch video

Horizon Europe

The first day of the European Research and Innovation Days China was dedicated to the launch of Horizon Europe. Philippe Vialatte, Minister Counsellor and the head of the S&T section of the EU Delegation, marked this transition by introducing the main achievements of Horizon 2020 and Chinese participation in the programme. Vojko Bratina, Science Attaché at the EU Delegation, also introduced the European Commission’s new global approach to research and innovation that is of particular interest to researchers in China.

The participants also joined the virtual European Research and Innovation Days that were held online from Brussels at the same time. 5 parallel groups participated in the 5 channels of the session on “A Global Approach to R&I: Combining Forces for Bigger Impact” that began with a plenary session lead by EU Commissioner for Innovation Research Culture Education Youth and Sport Mariya Gabriel.

Forum for European Researchers in China

The second day of the conference was dedicated to the Forum for European Researchers in China. Around 100 researchers from 15 different European countries who are based all over China came together for workshops and networking. The activity was a follow-up of the first Forum for European Researchers held at the EU Delegation in September 2019 when researchers came together to identify the main challenges facing European researchers’ mobility in China and to give policy feedback that informed the Joint EU-China R&I Roadmap.

"I think that when you get many people from across Europe together, we can have some good ideas and exchange best practices" - Bas Hooijmaaijers, East China Normal University, about the Forum for European Researchers in China.“  Watch video

The German Embassy in Beijing in collaboration with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) organized a meeting for German researchers in China. The session gathered researchers both in person in Beijing as well as German researchers attending online to discuss the 14th 5-year plan and its implications for scientific collaboration in coming years.

“Additionally, to the exchange about current challenges for researchers and ways how to deal with them, the meeting helped me to obtain a clearer picture about the 14th 5-year plan´s goals and their background outside my own expertise, the field of water and environment.”

Nicole Umlauf, BMBF-Project Office “Clean Water” China, Shanghai

Main take-aways

The European Research and Innovation Days in China 2021 come after a long preparation phase delayed by repercussions of the global pandemic. The endeavor was a more ambitious version of the Forum of European Researchers in China in 2019 which expanded the number of workshops and discussions. Researchers based in China who attended the session were introduced to both Horizon Europe and its Work Programme for 2021-2022, which includes a thematic network for European researchers in different fields of research.

"I was hoping to meet other European researchers and to extend my network and my hopes have been more than fulfilled here. It's been great both learning about EURAXESS and Horizon" - Lukas Hensel, Peking University, on his participation in Forum for European Researchers in China. Watch video

Participants expressed appreciation for the opportunity to meet new colleagues and forge new connections and friendships. Beyond the discussions new policy developments in scientific research and international cooperation, the goal of this conference and the related professional networks is to create new opportunities by offering researchers more opportunities to connect.

About EURAXESS

EURAXESS China is a networking tool for European researchers active in China and for Chinese researchers wishing to collaborate and/or pursue a career in Europe. Become a member of EURAXESS China here.

EURAXESS China is part of EURAXESS Worldwide, an initiative of the European Commission.