Towards a EU-China Food, Agriculture, Biotechnology Flagship (08/11/2013)

A joint EU-China event on FAB took place in Beijing on the 10th and 11th of October. The “Experts' Seminar on Developing a Joint Initiative for Cooperation in Research and Innovation on Food, Agriculture and Biotechnologies (FAB)”, was held as part of an on-going policy dialogue between the EU and China in FAB. Yet another successful example of bilateral collaboration, the event was organised by the DG for Research and Innovation and the DG for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission together with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and the China Agricultural University (CAU).

The seminar's main objective was to contribute to developing an EU-China FAB Strategic Agenda, and to define priorities for EU-China research and innovation cooperation. The meeting came at a critical time for both China and the EU; closer EU-China cooperation in FAB will expand the horizons of collaboration, putting both in a better position for tackling our common societal challenges. Accordingly, the seminar focused on a broad range of subjects such as for instance food security, quality and safety, standardisation of bio-products, integrated pest management and bio-control, organic and low-input farming, water and soil management, animal health and sustainable livestock production systems, urban horticulture and agro-forestry, novel sources of biomass, IPR and consumer issues, as well as the development of a sound bio-economy. Deepening and strengthening cooperation will have a large upside for both. 

Bringing together participants from China and Europe, the seminar hosted over 100 experts from research and industry, policy makers and other stakeholders from the public and private sectors. Through five parallel sub-sessions, issues of common concern were stressed: food related sciences, sustainable agriculture, animal husbandry, urban agriculture, and biotechnologies. The vigorous and stimulating discussions produced a set of joint objectives, and helped identifying joint priorities for research and innovation activities in the short and medium term.

Following the seminar was the 3rd Task Force meeting on Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology held between European and Chinese officials. The Task Force which is co-chaired by the European Commission and CAAS has built on the momentum of the Experts' Seminar, agreeing on the joint objectives for EU-China cooperation that emerged from it. Moreover, the Task Force acknowledged the promising window of opportunities that will be opened via the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation "Horizon 2020", and similar Chinese programmes, like the CAAS Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program (ASTIP). Overall, the Task Force meeting was a very important step towards consolidating the already good EU-China relations in FAB, and has laid the basis for more substantial win-win cooperation between the EU and China in the coming years.

Cooperation in the areas of Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology contributes directly to the “Green Growth in a Safer World” objective of the 16th EU-China summit to be held on 21 November 2013. Therefore a joint EU-China initiative for research and innovation cooperation in these areas comes very timely. This cooperation initiative will contribute to a greener economy both in China and in the EU, and will open opportunities for green innovations and deployment of sustainable solutions.


1. Final Report of the Joint Experts Seminar on FAB pdf - 2 MB [2 MB]

2. Agenda of the Joint Experts Seminar pdf - 65 KB [65 KB]

3. Presentations and Speeches of the Experts Seminar

3.1. EU Experts Briefing 

3.2. Opening Session 

3.3. Session A: Food Related Sciences 

3.4. Session B1: Sustainable Agriculture 

3.5. Session B2: Animal Husbandry

3.6. Session B3: Urban Agriculture 

3.7. Session C: Biotechnologies 

3.8. Summary Conclusions

4. Joint Conclusions 3rd FAB Task Force 11 October 2013 pdf - 62 KB [62 KB]