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14 november 2008
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) have joined forces with colleagues in China to launch a new research programme: the Joint Scientific Thematic Research Programme (JSTP).
It is the first time that NWO and KNAW will work together on developing bilateral cooperation with Chinese ministries and academies.
The NWO and the KNAW launched the joint research programme during their recent working visit to China with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and other relevant parties. The JSTP will be implemented in cooperation with the relevant Chinese ministries and academies. The first JSTP call for proposals will be published in early 2009. The programme will concentrate on different themes every year. The KNAW and the NWO will announce the theme for the first round at the start of next year.
A delegation representing the Dutch education, cultural and scientific communities and headed by the Dutch Minister of Education, Science and Culture, Mr Ronald Plasterk, paid a working visit to China in the first week of November 2008. Representatives of KNAW and NWO visited their Chinese sister organisations and the ministries responsible for research policy in China. The purpose of the visit was to confirm the cooperation between the two countries and the Netherlands' reputation in China as a knowledge-driven society and an attractive partner in the field of scientific research.
From left to right: Peter Nijkamp (chair NWO), Minister Ronald Plasterk, Ed Noort (Foreign Secretary KNAW).
The KNAW has for many years run the Dutch Science Ministry's bilateral cooperation programmes with China. Earlier this year it was joined in these efforts by the NWO. The results thus far achieved through cooperation were presented during a seminar focusing on the Strategic Scientific Alliances programme. The seminar also marked the start of the programme's next phase. Mr Plasterk and Mr Cao Jianlin, the Chinese Vice-Minister of Science and Technology, signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding confirming the bilateral cooperation. Mr Plasterk also renewed the agreements made with the Chinese Ministry of Education, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The KNAW's delegate in China was Mr Ed Noort, foreign secretary, while the NWO was represented by its chairman, Mr Peter Nijkamp.
As the forum, conscience, and voice of the arts and sciences in the Netherlands, the KNAW promotes the quality and represents the interests of science and scholarship and strives to ensure that Dutch scholars and scientists make the best possible contribution to the cultural, social, and economic development of Dutch society. As an umbrella organisation, the KNAW manages outstanding research institutes and their collections and encourages interdisciplinary cooperation and the exchange of knowledge.
Innovation and quality: these are the NWO's priorities as it works to build the future of science in the Netherlands. The NWO works with scientists, national and international scientific organisations and businesses to develop and fund research programmes of excellent quality. The NWO achieves its objectives by awarding research funding to Dutch universities and research institutions. It also acts as an umbrella organisation for its 'own' research institutes.
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