Brussels, 31 Oct 2003
Leading politicians attending the EU-China summit in Beijing on 30 October welcomed progress made on scientific and technological cooperation, but called for the further joint initiatives like the 'Digital Olympics' programme.
Both sides agreed that increased Chinese participation in the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) has had a very beneficial impact on EU-China relations in the areas of research and development. Specifically, new initiatives to fight against SARS and other infectious diseases were identified as areas in which joint cooperation had been successful.
However, both sides noted that further cooperation is necessary in areas such as intellectual property rights, education and health. To develop joint initiatives in these areas, both regions pointed to successful existing dialogues, such as the 'Digital Olympics' programme.
The ambitious programme was set up at the end of 2002 with a view to strengthening, in the long term, scientific and technical cooperation between Europe and China. In the short term, the initiative seeks to address more cooperation opportunities within the context of the 2008 Olympic Games. Under the programme, researchers from both regions will focus on the development of digital information and intelligent management systems, as well as information safety networks and intelligent medical and health services for sports.
Eleven short term cooperation projects have already been identified for funding. It is expected that by participating in such projects, EU organisations will gain better access to China's growing information technology sector.
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