Rewriting the rulebook on EU-China scientific cooperation

Past event Online & Livestream

Global Europe
Ivan Marc

What happened?

Despite rising tensions between the European Union and China, peaceful cooperation in key areas must continue, especially in the scientific sector. To that point, Maria Cristina Russo, Director for Global Approach & International Cooperation at DG RTD, stated that the EU’s approach “to China is a nuanced one, it is not black and white.” She added: “We need to work with China in the field of research and innovation, but we need to have the adequate framework conditions [in place that ensure this cooperation is mutually beneficial].”

Speaking of this mutually beneficial relationship, Linlin Liang, Director of Communication and Research of the CCCEU, characterised the Chinese market as “the perfect test batch for European technology,” but it may not be that simple. Yuzhuo Cai, Director of the Sino-Finnish Education Research Centre, shared research which found that drivers of scientific cooperation in both China and the EU are increasingly incompatible and complex.

Adding to the importance of scientific cooperation from a health sector perspective, Gianni D’Errico, Vice-Chair of ICPerMed, urged that “maintaining international collaboration […], especially with China, is of utmost importance to improve the health and care capacity of our systems for the benefit of patients and citizens.”

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Rewriting the rulebook on EU-China scientific cooperation
Expand Rewriting the rulebook on EU-China scientific cooperation

Questions will include:

  • What are the concrete risks of scientific exchange with China, and what are the benefits? What actions can the EU undertake to simultaneously de-risk and increase benefits?
  • What key points must the European Commission’s new rulebook for cooperation with China contain for mutually beneficial private sector and scientific cooperation between the EU and China to resume?
  • How can areas for continued cooperation between the EU and China in the fight against global challenges be more clearly defined and communicated?
  • How does the future look for academic exchange and talent acquisition between the EU and China? What does it mean for the EU if it loses access to 18% of the world’s population and the talents locked within?
End of debate


Yuzhuo Cai
Yuzhuo Cai

Director of the Sino-Finnish Education Research Centre, Senior Lecturer and Adjunct Professor at the Tampere University Higher Education Group (HEG)

Show more information on Yuzhuo Cai

In his current role at Tampere University’s Faculty of Management and Business, Yuzhuo Cai researches the interactions between higher education and society, specifically within the context of EU-China cooperation. He holds prestigious editorial roles, including as Editor-in-Chief of Triple Helix, Co-Editor of the Journal of Studies in International Education and Associate Editor of the Journal of the Knowledge Economy. With two decades of experience at HEG, Cai previously also served as the acting professor of the unit. Having authored over 140 academic publications, his latest includes “Towards a new model of EU-China innovation cooperation: Bridging missing links between international university collaboration and international industry collaboration”, published in Technovation.

Linlin Liang
Linlin Liang

Director of Communication and Research of the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU (CCCEU)

Show more information on Linlin Liang

In her current position, Liang Linlin is responsible for communication, media relations and research on China-EU trade and business relations at the CCCEU. She has also coordinated and worked as an editor for the chamber’s annual flagship reports. Prior to joining the CCCEU, Liang covered China’s foreign affairs in Beijing and EU business and trade in Brussels for the Xinhua News Agency. Previously, she also worked as an advisor, providing consultancy services to various organisations, including the international business association ChinaEU.

Photo of Maria Cristina Russo
Maria Cristina Russo

Director for Global Approach & International Cooperation in R&I at the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD)

Show more information on Maria Cristina Russo

In her current role at the European Commission, Maria Cristina Russo holds responsibility for developing and implementing the EU international strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation and the international dimension of the Horizon programme. She has worked at the European Commission for over two decades and previously served as a member of the Cabinet of former European commissioner for research, science and innovation, Philippe Busquin. She also served as head of unit in the Secretariat-General of the European Commission, before being appointed to her current position.

D’Errico, Gianni
Gianni D’Errico

Vice-Chair of the International Consortium for Personalised Medicine (ICPerMed) and Head of Project Management Office at Toscana Life Sciences

Show more information on Gianni D’Errico

In his current position at the Directorate-General for Health of the Tuscany Region, Gianni D’Errico works within the Office for the valorisation of health research (UVaR). He is also a coordinator and partner of several international projects, including ICPerMed, Sino-EU PerMed, Regions4PerMed, ERA PerMed, TRANSCAN-3, AI4Diag and MammoScreen. Prior to this, D’Errico served as European funding officer at the Lombardy Foundation for Biomedical Research. He has also held research manager roles within various health and biotech companies, including Novartis, Sandoz, Lek, Merck and Millipore, and managed R&D projects within the European Commission’s seventh Framework Programme.


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