8th Australia-China Joint Science & Technology Commission (JSTC) Meeting

Joint Communiquè [PDF 35KB]

Shanghai, 2 August 2011

The highly valued collaborative research relationship between the Governments of Australia and the People’s Republic of China was further enhanced when the two countries convened their 8th Australia-China Joint Science and Technology Commission (JSTC) meeting in Shanghai on 2 August 2011.

Demonstrating support at the highest political level, and illustrating the overall importance of science and research collaboration between the two countries, science ministers His Excellency Dr Wan Gang and Senator the Hon Kim Carr addressed JSTC delegates in the opening session of the meeting. The Ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the new Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF), which was announced during Prime Minister Gillard’s successful visit to China in April 2011. A set of joint operational guidelines for the ACSRF has also been agreed between the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the Australian Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR).

The new agreement establishes an overarching strategy to guide and enhance the collaborative research relationship into the future, building on more than three successful and productive decades of cooperative science and technology relations between China and Australia. This relationship was formally established in 1980 with the signing of the Australia China Treaty on Cooperation in Science and Technology, and today encompasses extensive institutional linkages and a broad range of researcher to researcher ties between our two countries.

The Australian delegation included senior officials and science leaders from DIISR, the Chief Scientist for Australia, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and Australian universities.

The Chinese delegation included senior officials and science leaders from MOST, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality, the Ministry of Education and Chinese universities.

The JSTC meeting provided an invaluable opportunity for discussions on major policies and programs in science and research in both our countries and a forum in which to showcase our respective scientific strengths and discuss expanding and developing areas of mutual scientific interest.

Building upon the auspicious thirty year Australia-China scientific partnership, future priorities and opportunities for bilateral cooperation formed the central focus of the JSTC Meeting. The establishment of new linkages, including between agencies with responsibility for medical research, promises to further strengthen the bilateral science partnership in future years.
Recognising the high-level of scientific expertise and unique strengths in the Australian and Chinese scientific communities it was agreed that through harnessing these strengths Australia and China can jointly seek solutions for some of the complex challenges facing both nations and the global community today.

Models for innovation and research commercialisation, particularly in the context of Australia-China collaborative ventures, were discussed. A key feature of the discussions was a strategic assessment of future mutually beneficial areas for joint collaboration in a range of fields, including environmental sciences, medical research, engineering and light metals.

The notable success of bilateral research initiatives, including those funded through the recently concluded Australia-China Special Fund, was commended. These initiatives have included highly innovative joint research centres tackling complex and contemporary challenges facing both countries in relation to health, the environment and the creation of cutting edge new industries.

Delegates also confirmed that the mechanisms used to support new and leading-edge initiatives through the new ACSRF will drive excellence and synergy in the Australia-China science partnership, expanding a vibrant bilateral science and research relationship that will increase knowledge levels and better enable both countries to address a range of economic, environmental and social challenges.

It was agreed that the next JSTC will be held in Australia in 2013, with the details to be established through working level discussions.

Signed in Shanghai, China on 2 August 2011, written in two original copies in both Chinese and English, with each copy being equally effective.

Mr Cao Jianlin
Vice Minister
Ms Patricia Kelly
Deputy Secretary
Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China                                                          
Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Commonwealth of Australia

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