European researchers may benefit from the decision by the Chinese government on 31 July to invest 20 billion yuan (around 2.5 billion euro) in basic scientific research over the next three to five years. China announced in March that it was considering opening up two of its national research programmes to European researchers. The programmes highlighted, 863 and 973, share many of the priority areas identified in the EU's Sixth Framework programme, as do the areas earmarked for the funds announced by the government. These include food security, medicine and information communication technologies. The funds, which will come from the several government ministries, local governments and businesses, will be used to industrialise projects as well as for research, to help China to compete in international markets. The funds are also expected to lead to 2000 new Chinese patents.