Brussels, Jul 2004
The German Helmholtz Association of national research centres has long since noticed the growth of scientific potential in China, and has accordingly opened an office in China's capital city, Beijing.
The rationale for the new office, only the second Helmholtz office to be created outside of Germany, is to facilitate cooperation between scientists at the 15 Helmholtz centres and their Chinese counterparts.
'The Chinese currently make up the third largest national group of all the Helmholtz guest scientists. Given the euphoric mood and the dynamism amongst the scientific community in China, it seems only natural to open our first non-European office in this country,' said president of the Helmholtz Association, Professor Walter Kröll.
The Association cites China's rapidly expanding scientific and technological potential, highly qualified scientists and engineers and a prospering economy as factors making the country's scientists strategic partners.
The focus of cooperation between the German and Chinese scientists will be the Helmholtz Association's six research fields: energy; Earth and environment; health; key technologies; structure of matter; and transport and space. Initial projects include a joint venture between the Research Centre Jülich and six Chinese universities on the ecological impact of the three-gorges dam, and experiments using a jointly-created particle accelerator facility.
'Joint ventures must always offer identifiable benefits for both sides. On this basis, our scientists at the Helmholtz Centres are researching highly complex systems together with their Chinese partners using large scale facilities and scientific infrastructures. Together they can achieve their goals more swiftly and more efficiently,' said Dr Hong He, head of the Beijing office.
The office will offer Helmholtz researchers information on Chinese politics, the labour market, academic opportunities and research projects. Chinese scientists will benefit from information on current research and the Helmholtz Association's infrastructure.
The opening of the Beijing office follows the establishment of a Brussels office, and is likely to be followed by a third international office, in Moscow, Russia.
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