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Scoping China’s Environmental Research Excellence and major Infrastructure: Foresight, Potentials, and Roadmaps

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EU-China collaboration in environmental research

China's economy has helped buoy the world's economy, but there must be a balance between economic success and ecological sustainability. An EU initiative has helped in this regard.

Climate Change and Environment

China has boomed industrially and economically in recent years, bringing a host of environmental challenges to the forefront. As land degradation and environmental pollution ultimately affect the whole planet, the EU is looking at ways to help China maintain its ecology while ensuring that it continues on a path to global development. In this light, the EU-funded SPRING (Scoping China’s environmental research excellence and major Infrastructure: Foresight, potentials, and roadmaps) project worked to encourage China to become more sustainable. It built strong partnerships to meet challenges in environmental research by identifying common needs and opportunities and by analysing potential topics for research cooperation and initiatives. SPRING launched opportunities for EU Member States to collaborate with China on environmental research by identifying top-notch researchers, research groups and environmental infrastructure in the country. This was also achieved by mapping the competences and potential of Chinese research organisations and key infrastructure. Beyond building a database of environmental research excellence in China, SPRING outlined joint research areas and produced a foresight study that highlights key technologies for moving forward. The project also made great strides in outlining collaborative research activities and opportunities. Links were actively sought between professors and scholars with young and promising researchers from China and the EU. Focus groups, roadmapping and foresight workshops were held to strengthen EU-China science and technology cooperation in areas of mutual benefit. A series of workshops and seminars were also organised to facilitate dialogue between researchers. SPRING created a software platform, complete with email translation facilities, for Chinese and EU partners to network, form new partnerships, and overcome language and cultural barriers. By strengthening partnerships and integrating opportunities under the new dedicated web platform, SPRING has ushered in the start of a new era in EU-China environment-led initiatives.

Keywords

China, environmental research, ecology, global development, environmental infrastructure

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