The European Commission (EC) recently approved the project ERICENA under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Grant Agreement nº 733554), to set up a research and innovation Centre in China as part of its efforts to deepen Europe-China scientific and technological cooperation. It is the first EC funded Centre in China that focuses on research and development. The Centre will connect and support European researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses in the Chinese market, helping to strengthen Europe’s position in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
The project coordinated by Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (SPI), budgeted at 3 million Euros, has commenced in January 2017 and the Centre is expected to start providing services as early as 2018. It will operate on a networking basis – being headquartered in Beijing, supported by multiple regional connections across China. The project includes other partners from both Europe and China, including European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN), Fraunhofer (IPK), TSINGHUA University (THU), China Science and Technology Exchange Centre (CSTEC) and Torch High Technology Industry Development Centre (TORCH) from Ministry of Science and Technology from China.
ERICENA services will range from advice and support on internationalisation to advocacy on responsible research and innovation. It will also help private companies from European countries do research and seek development in China and find Chinese partners. Additionally it will also help by designing and piloting of public/private funding mechanisms and producing reports about the situation in China on scientific and technological innovation.
The kick-off meeting of ERICENA was held at SPI headquarters in Porto, Portugal, on January 17th and 18th. During the meeting, the partners had a chance to briefly present their organisations followed by an overview of the project and presentation in detail of the work packages (WP). The meeting also benefitted from the participation of Dr. Diego Sammaritano (EC Policy Officer – R&I Cooperation with China, DG Research & Innovation) and Dr. Laurent Bochereau (Head of Science, Technology and Environment Section, Delegation of the European Union to China & Mongolia). This meeting also had the presence of other high level European and Chinese Experts (some of them being involved as members of the Advisory Board and some as Associated Partners).
The two day kick-off meeting was followed by the launch event on January 19th, in the University of Porto, Porto, Portugal. SPI presented the Centre to an audience of more than 100 participants. Dr. Sammaritano and Dr. Bochereau highlighted the EU-China Cooperation in Science, technology and Innovation from the European Perspective. A high-level panel discussion took place, focusing on how the Centre can assist research and technology organisations, start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs in addressing new STI opportunities in China. For presentations from the launch event, please click here and for pictures, please click here.
Please find below a link to a video regarding the ERICENA Launch Event, done by the Rectory of University of Porto.