BRI network for research collaboration established

Updated: Nov 9, 2023 By Tan Yingzi in Chongqing China Daily Print
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Photo taken on Nov 6, 2023 shows a session of the first Belt and Road Conference on Science and Technology Exchange being held in Chongqing. [Photo/Xinhua]

Twelve universities from countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative have joined a research collaboration network to enhance communication, on the sidelines of the first Belt and Road Conference on Science and Technology Exchange in Chongqing.

"With this network, Chongqing University will set up a regular science and technology exchange mechanism and gather more global scientific resources to serve the needs of the BRI for scientific innovation," said Wang Shuxin, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and president of Chongqing University, at the iUNRC launch ceremony on Tuesday.

Initiated by Chongqing University, the University Network for Research Collaboration: A Belt and Road Science and Technology Initiative aims to promote the sharing of information, knowledge and resources among universities around the world and strengthen the interconnection of scientific research cooperation.

The participating schools include the Beijing Institute of Technology, Dalian University of Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology, Ambo University in Ethiopia, the Belarusian State University, the Mongolian University of Science and Technology, the University Brunei Darussalam, the University of Donja Gorica in Montenegro, the Mohammed First University of Oujda in Morocco, the University of Pretoria in South Africa and the University of Science Malaysia.

Habibah A. Wahab, deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Science Malaysia, said that the iUNRC is the embodiment of collaborative wisdom and shared vision.

"The cooperation between various member units is a link between different cultures and disciplines, and a bridge that stands on the basis of the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative," she said at the event.

She pointed out that the network emphasizes the importance of building sustainable development and technological progress at the same pace, focuses on key areas such as big data for sustainable development, climate action and the digital transformation of education, and it will work together to solve pressing global issues.

In the past decade, in addition to the companies helping to build infrastructure in the countries involved in the BRI, academic institutions have also contributed as key participants, helping forge mutual understanding between people in China and other BRI nations, through research, educational projects and cultural exchange.

China has signed government-to-government agreements on scientific and technological cooperation with more than 80 countries participating in the BRI.

Among them, China has supported more than 10,000 young scientists from participating countries to come to China for short-term work and exchange, and trained 16,000 scientific and technological management personnel from participating countries, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Chongqing University has established stable and sound cooperative relations with more than 300 universities and research institutions in 40 countries and regions, and now has nearly 20 international science and technology cooperation platforms such as national innovation and intelligence bases and the Ministry of Education's International Joint Laboratory, Wang said.

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