Research & Innovation

EU-China Research & Innovation Cooperation

Research and innovation form an essential cornerstone of the EU-China strategic partnership. In forty years, EU and China cooperation has matured from pure scientific collaboration to a meaningful research and innovation partnership. Engaging together in the fields of research, innovation and science offers many benefits and opportunities for both sides. Collaborations are underway to tackle global challenges like health, climate change, food security and clean energy supply among many others. With new ideas and innovative solutions, our societies can become more prosperous and inclusive.

  1. S&T Relations – Agreements and Framework Programmes
  2. Horizon 2020
  3. Themes and Priority Areas
  4. Innovation
  5. Events
  6. EU Member States

Europe as China's excellent partner

Europe is one of the leading regions of the world in Research, Innovation and Science. The EU is today the main knowledge production centre worldwide, accounting for almost a third of the world’s science and technology production. At the same time, the European Union is responsible for 24% of world expenditure on research, 32% of high impact publications and 32% of patent applications, while representing only 7% of the world population. The European Union (EU), as demonstrated by the facts and figures included in the brochure European Research Area Facts and Figures 2014 , the State of the Innovation Union 2015, the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015  and the Innovation Union Competitiveness Report 2013 . Europe’s tradition and excellence in sciences as well as its education systems attract many Chinese scholars and lead to research collaborations between both sides.

China as the EU's key partner

China has become one of the EU's key international partners in research and innovation as the country is now a major player in in terms of R&D funding and human resources. China is making tremendous efforts to advance in science, technology and innovation and places them at the heart of its innovation-driven development strategy. China's R&D spending has been increasing at a rate of about 20% per year in the last 15 years, worth 1.3 trillion RMB (ca. 186 billion EUR) in 2014. China’s GERD has reached 2.09% and is due to achieve its target of 2.5% by 2020. China ranks first worldwide in terms of R&D staff and patent applications. A constant increase can be seen not only in the quantity but also in the quality of scientific outputs. The first scientific Nobel Prize to a Chinese working in China (Tu Youyou, 2015 Nobel Prize for Medicine) and Tsinghua University's rank as ‘Best University for Engineering’ in the US News and World Report’s annual world ranking are testifying this developement.

European and Chinese researchers and innovators should therefore continue and strengthen their collaboration on issues of common interest and mutual benefit, and make science, research and innovation progressing more rapidly and more efficiently. The EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 offers plenty of opportunities to collaborate!

DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission

In line with Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas' strategy of "Open Science - Open Innovation - Open to the World" the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation's mission is to develop and implement the European research and innovation policy with a view to achieving the goals of Europe 2020 and the Innovation Union. In particular the Directorate for International Cooperation promotes and facilitates the coherent and strategic development of EU International Cooperation policy in research and innovation and coordinates the development of the cooperation with the international partner countries, such as China.

Website of DG Research and Innovation
Country Page on China

Science & Technology Section at the EU Delegation in Beijing

The team of the Science & Technology Section has the responsibility to use diplomacy in China to advance cooperation with its interlocutors in the framework of the EU-China S&T agreements  and the Joint Declaration on the Innovation Cooperation Dialogue. The team plays a key role in the dialogue on research and innovation between the EU member state embassies in China and supports the coordination and development of joint activities and approaches vis-a-vis China. Finally, the S&T Section raises awareness about EU policies and EU programmes in China and provides regular reporting on developments of Chinese S&T programmes and policies.

Please contact the S&T Section:


EURAXESS Worldwide is a networking tool for European researchers working outside Europe and non-European (e.g. Chinese) researchers that wish to collaborate and/or pursue a research career in Europe. EURAXESS provides information about research in Europe, European research policy, opportunities for research funding, for international collaboration and for trans-national mobility. EURAXESS Worldwide focuses on networking, information dissemination and practical support to expatriate researchers. Membership is free. EURAXESS team in China works in very close cooperation with the S&T section of the EU Delegation in Beijing. Please contact the team and visit to join the community.

Please contact the EURAXESS Representatives in China:

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