Some of Scotland’s top researchers and entrepreneurs may soon be exchanging ideas and expertise with China, following the signing of an agreement between The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). It is anticipated that this new relationship will lead to two-way exchange visits, enhance the research capabilities of individuals in both countries and encourage the creation of collaborative research projects and joint symposia on topics of scientific importance. Led by the RSE’s International Convener, Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, a former Governor of Hong Kong, the Scottish delegation visited research institutes in Beijing and Shanghai. Professor Wilson Sibbett, recently appointed by the RSE as Chair of the Scottish Science Advisory Committee (SSAC) was part of the group which met with some of China’s leading scientists and technologists. The Memorandum of Understanding between the RSE and CAS was signed by Lord Wilson and Professor Lu Yongxiang, President of The Chinese Academy of Sciences, at a ceremony held in Shanghai.
Following the signing of the agreement, The RSE’s International Convenor, Lord Wilson of Tillyorn said:
The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is a significant event. I hope it will form the basis for much fruitful co-operation between scientists from both Scotland and China. My colleagues and I were most impressed with what we saw at some of the research institutes run by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It was clear that China’s policies in science and technology are ambitious and are being backed by significant levels of funding. Scotland has a wealth of expertise to offer and we see considerable scope for collaborative projects which will be of benefit to both nations.
Notes for News & Features Editors & Pictures Desks:
Lord Wilson of Tillyorn KT, GCMG, FRSE is Convenor of the International Committee of the RSE. He is a former Governor of Hong Kong, Chairman of the Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland and a former Chairman of Scottish Hydro-Electric. He is also Master-Elect of Peterhouse, Cambridge.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is China’s National Academy and was founded in Beijing in November 1949. It is China’s largest and most prestigious academic institution and runs more than a hundred research institutes throughout the country. The President of the CAS, Lu Yongxiang, plays a role similar to the UK Chief Scientific Adviser and sits on the Premier’s Leading Group on Science, Technology and Education. CAS has 58,000 staff of which 39,000 are scientific personnel.