BRUSSELS — Cooperation between China and Belgium on science and technology is gaining new momentum as the two countries are working together to build a closer partnership.
In 2015, the heads of state of China and Belgium witnessed the signing of a number of bilateral cooperation documents in the field of science and technology.
Since then, cooperation between the two countries in the field has vastly expanded across various levels.
Since 1979, China and Belgium have signed more than 70 technology-related agreements and implemented 470 intergovernmental science and technology projects covering agriculture, energy, geology, earthquakes, remote sensing, environmental protection, biology, medicine, nuclear safety and information.
Hundreds of research institutes, universities and enterprises have participated in the implementation of these bilateral cooperation projects, which involved thousands of scientists.
In the field of fundamental research, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology signed a series of agreements with the Belgian Research Foundation of Flanders and The Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research, ranging from agriculture, biotechnology, sustainable energy and environment, information and communication, and microelectronics.
In the words of Huang Wei, vice-minister of science and technology of China, who led a delegation during the 1st China-Belgium innovation dialogue in March 2017, “bilateral cooperation has shifted from government-led collaboration in basic research to growing public-private partnerships that cover the entire chain of research and innovation.”
It’s within such a cooperative context that the first step was made toward building a full-fledged China-Belgium Technology Center in June 2016.
The China-Belgium Technology Center is committed to building a two-way green channel for high-tech industries in China and Europe. It provides a platform for technology transfer, strategic investment, industry cooperation and market access.
Although Belgium has many cutting-edge technologies, its domestic market has a relatively limited capacity compared to that of China, which makes the center not only a model base for the “going out” of China’s high-tech enterprises, but also provides a fast-track for Belgian and even European innovation companies to enter the Chinese market.
China and Belgium are also actively carrying out joint laboratory construction, bringing together bilateral high-quality scientific and technological resources for international cooperation.
The two countries have jointly established a number of laboratories on global climate change, food security, mycotoxin research, audio-visual signal processing and geographic information.
In an interview with Xinhua, Shen Long, counselor for Science and Technology at the Chinese Embassy in Belgium, said that the friendly relations between China and Belgium are the solid foundation for scientific and technological cooperation between the two countries.
At present, China and Belgium are attaching great importance to the development of science and technology innovation, and the future will witness the opening of a new chapter in bilateral ties.