Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


DRAGON-STAR Plus — Result In Brief

Project ID: 645775
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.6.
Country: Greece
Domain: Society, Digital Economy

A solid base for EU-China collaboration in research and innovation

An EU-funded project has worked to reinforce EU-China cooperation in research and innovation. It’s efforts and outcomes ensure research collaborations between the two sides will continue in full spate and for mutual benefit.
A solid base for EU-China collaboration in research and innovation
DRAGON-STAR, an FP7 International Cooperation project, strengthened and enhanced research collaborations between China and the EU. Following up on this, DRAGON-STAR Plus worked “to reinforce the cooperation between Europe and China in research and innovation,” notes project coordinator Mr Epaminondas Christophilopoulos. A major goal was “to support the European and Chinese research communities to establish collaborations under Horizon 2020 and beyond.”

To aid policymakers in supporting and enhancing bilateral cooperation for mutual benefit, the project created an online policy dialogue platform through the online business network LinkedIn. This will be continued within the framework of the Horizon 2020 ERICENA project for ENRICH China. This outcome is representative of the project’s efforts to actively cooperate with other initiatives or stakeholders, from both the EU and China.

Common interests, common priorities

Partners spearheaded and coordinated numerous and wide-ranging initiatives. In cooperation with the EU delegation in China, they organised 17 Horizon 2020 events, and established a network of regional and thematic National Contact Points.

Among the project’s many events, three workshops and two seminars were supported and hosted to identify common research priorities. One example is the EU-China expert seminar held in Brussels, Belgium in October 2016 to identify potential joint priorities for research and innovation in food, agriculture and biotechnology. “As an outcome of such activities, several topics of common interest have been identified and introduced in respective areas of Horizon 2020 work programmes,” Christophilopoulos points out.

Further, the DRAGON-STAR Plus team set up an interactive map to highlight best practice cooperation cases and to showcase opportunities for bilateral cooperation. They also held two brokerage events in Europe and two business tours in China to facilitate communication between innovation actors.

Participation, publication, promotion

Dissemination activities include a promotional video trailer presenting the project, press releases and e-newsletters. The team also updated and managed EU as well as Chinese social media networks. “A major breakthrough was the development, in cooperation with the Joint Research Centre (JRC), of the serious role-playing game (SES China) for engaging policymakers in long-term policy discussions,” says Christophilopoulos. The ‘Scenario Exploration System’ (SES) is an experimental gaming platform that aims to better engage stakeholders while overcoming psychological resistances and promoting holistic thinking.

Publications and related materials include three topic-specific reports for policymakers and an analysis report of the academic impact of Chinese participation in EU Framework Programmes.

DRAGON-STAR Plus organised four webinars to promote reciprocity and produced a handbook for European researchers wishing to move to China. Other publications such as the ‘China 2030 Research and Innovation Landscape’ can be accessed through the project website.

Bilateral dialogue key to collaboration

“The overall picture is complicated and complex,” Christophilopoulos offers when asked about the wider implications of the project’s findings. While both sides recognise the value for collaboration on research and innovation, there are still areas in which there is fierce competition for creating state-of-the-art innovation. “The only way for a win-win relationship is to further strengthen the bilateral dialogue.”

Several project outputs and actions provided the basis for new initiatives, one of which is ERICENA. In fact, while being further developed in cooperation with the JRC, the serious SES China game is being extensively used by ERICENA in its provision of services. The project’s urbanisation initiatives also provided impetus for setting up the URBAN China initiative.

Above all, Christophilopoulos states, “DRAGON-STAR Plus managed to create a distinctive identity in China and became a reference point for most of the bilateral activities in research and innovation between the EU and China.”


DRAGON-STAR Plus, China, research and innovation, ERICENA, research collaboration, bilateral cooperation
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