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European focus on red biotechnology with China

Final Report Summary - EFBIC RED (European Focus on Red Biotechnology with China)

EFBIC RED was a collaborative project between the Chinese National Centre for Biotechnology Development (CNCBD) and the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB). Its aim was to encourage, develop and facilitate cooperative activities between China and the European Union (EU) in the field of biotechnology and biological science within the framework of the Agreement on Science and Technology between the government of the People's Republic of China and the European Union. The EFBIC RED project has successfully united European and Chinese scientists across half the globe creating networks, new applications and research areas for some of the major global important disease areas with diabetes and infectious diseases in front.

Research workshops on topics of urgent common interest were organised on subjects chosen by the SSMB in collaboration with the European Commission (EC) and MOST. The thematic areas of urgent interest were discussed and re-evaluated during kick-off and SSMB meetings. However, it was agreed repeatedly that the thematic themes were well chosen from the start. The emphasis in these workshops was equally split between reviewing cutting-edge topical subjects for both Europe and China in diabetes research and on establishing a joint research strategy for the development of long-term cooperation between Europe and China.

A number of exchange visits, in the specific research areas as well as in relation to political scientific agendas, have contributed to new networks within the thematic areas covered by EFBIC RED. The basic foundation for the work with exchange visits started during the first forum in Barcelona and has built on networks and contacts established through the Information and Partnering Fora. To facilitate networking, establishment and consolidation of trusting personal relations between scientists in Europe and China, the establishment of joint partnerships and consortia for participation in the EU Framework Programmes in relation to obtaining Chinese government grants to the life sciences was achieved.

The EFBIC RED actions for reciprocal exchanges and visits, was initiated by EFB and as a 'pilot action', focussing on arranging scientific exchange visits between China and Italy and Austria only. Experiences gained with this pilot action were meant to serve to ensure smooth operation of the subsequent calls which were meant to be open for applicants from entire Europe.

As a result a number of exchange visits between Chinese and European universities have taken place. Although the actions were broadly promoted via EFBIC RED homepage and newsletters, fora and workshops to thousands of potential targets, as well as the SMEs go Health network, the response outside of EFBIC RED partner countries was low.

EFB/EFBIC RED offices performed information and promotion activities along with information and links about existing collaboration programmes, projects and networks. One of the most powerful tools was the production of EFBIC RED newsletters. Through the course of EFBIC RED, many opportunities for conferences have been identified for the EFBIC RED themes in Europe as well as in China. A helpdesk for information on EU Framework Programme procedures and proposal submission together with practical support for partner search was successful. The use of the CORDIS partner database has been promoted during information days and on the EFBIC RED website.

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