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CHOICE delivers exciting outcomes on EU-China ICT research cooperation

After just over a year in operation, the CHOICE project team has reported some exciting outcomes that are already strengthening support and collaboration between China and Europe on ICT research.

There is undoubtedly huge potential for cooperation between China and Europe on ICT research, however finding partners, information and support in an unfamiliar market can be a daunting task. Over the past 16 months, CHOICE project team has been developing tools and services and organising events that can facilitate organisations in this process. The team is already reporting positive results, including the creation of EU-China partnerships and cooperation agreements. An online hub and an active community A quick glance at the CHOICE website reveals just how busy the team has been. The CHOICE website has developed as a hub for information, offering helpdesk support, news on activities as well as extended services to European organisations interested in joint R&D projects. And the service works both ways – a mirror website in Chinese serves Chinese organisations in the same way. To date, the EU website has garnered 22 000 page views by stakeholders from Europe, East Asia (mainly China, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong) and the US. CHOICE is also cultivating a lively online community with a sharp focus on collaboration with other EU projects. Instead of starting from scratch, CHOICE’s social media accounts incorporate followers from a previous related EU project called OpenChina-ICT. To allow for further overlap, these social media accounts have also been synchronised with those of the (EU-China FIRE project). As Dr Thomas Owens of Brunel University in the United Kingdom, coordinator of the project, explains, ‘This cooperation ensures maximum visibility but also maximum impact for EU-China ICT R&D cooperation as a whole.’ A host of online tools Among the host of tools now available on the CHOICE website is the online database which features 60 ongoing and concluded China-EU and associated countries projects. The ‘Ask an expert’ tool offers European researchers who need support or guidance in the development of joint research projects the opportunity to receive feedback from CHOICE experts. They can also consult the CHOICE info pack on Chinese ICT R&D research funding programmes and other initiatives/projects or study the handbook which presents the mechanisms and structures in China to support the development of Chinese regulations and standards for emerging ICT technologies. Concrete collaboration and partnerships The work of the project team is already bearing fruit in terms of concrete partnerships. Dr Owens notes, ‘Ten cases of EU-China ICT Research and Development and Innovation (R&D&I) collaboration resulted from a European Trip 2014 which was partly supported by the CHOICE. They span almost purely commercial links to cooperation in fundamental research and include partners from France, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Germany.’ Additionally, as a result of a business-to-business matchmaking event organised by CHOICE in October 2014 in Chengdu, China, cooperation agreements have already been reached on areas from IT solutions to multimodality software design for medical systems. The road ahead Apart from working with EU and Chinese organisations, the CHOICE team also aims to reach decision-makers in order to contribute to boosting new initiatives and improving future policies. Looking forward to the final eight months of the project, the team will be focused on completing its roadmap towards a strengthened EU-China ICT R&D cooperation strategy for EU-China research cooperation beyond FP7. The roadmap will be accompanied by an action plan. Dr Owens concludes, ‘The roadmap and its accompanying action plan are now 80 % complete. They are targeted directly at EU stakeholders in EU-China ICT R&D including industry, research institutes and universities, and the European Commission.’ On the ground, the CHOICE team will also be busily promoting EU-China dialogues on cooperation in ICT R&D through three workshops designed to foster collaboration, one in China and two in Europe. The next project workshop will be in Beijing in July 2015 on the Internet of Things, specifically Industry 4.0. For further information, please visit: CHOICE


United Kingdom

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