On July 7, 2018, Premier Li Keqiang visited Bulgaria and attended the Seventh Meeting of Heads of Government of CEEC and China held in Sofia. According to the Sofia Guidelines for Cooperation Between China and Central and Eastern European Countries reached among the various participating parties,“the parties support the strengthening of mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of research and innovation on the basis of fairness and will launch the China-CEEC Science Technology and Innovation Partnership Program and regularly hold the China-CEEC Conference on Innovation Cooperation. All the parties are willing to carry out joint research, strengthen exchanges of science and technology personnel and undertake cooperation in science popularization on a voluntary basis.”Within the China-CEEC Framework (“16+1 Cooperation”), the two sides have smoothly pushed forward cooperation in science and technology innovation. The China-CEEC Science Technology and Innovation Partnership Program will facilitate cooperation in the following areas:
1. Engage in dialogue on science and technology innovation policies between China and Central and Eastern European countries. China and Central and Eastern European countries will exchange on and cooperate in such areas as science and technology innovation policy making and national innovation system building, and establish a science and technology innovation policy research cooperation network.
2. Regularly organize the China-CEEC Conference on Innovation Cooperation.The conference will be held annually to exchange the latest developments in the field of science and technology innovation between China and the 16 Central and Eastern European countries, deepen understanding, and push forward cooperation in the areas of research results industrialization and technology transfer.
3. Jointly establish the China-CEEC Technology Transfer Center. The Center will provide the latest information on technology transfer and push forward cooperation and exchanges among the various parties in the field of technology transfer, serving as a platform for China and Central and Eastern European countries to exchange information on science and technology innovation and technology transfer, enhance mutual understanding and forge closer relations.
4. Jointly build “Belt and Road” joint laboratories. In relation to the Special Plan for Cooperation in Science and Technology Innovation to Push Forward “Belt and Road” Initiative and on the basis of the needs and foundation for science and technology cooperation between China and CEEC, the two sides will select priority fields to build joint laboratories or joint research centers and integrate joint research, talent exchange and training and other functions to establish platforms for long-term and stable cooperation in science and technology innovation between China and Central and Eastern European countries.
5. Undertake cooperation in joint research and development. Centering around their regional science and technology development needs and research results industrialization needs, China and Central and Eastern European countries will hold consultations and establish cooperation mechanisms for co-funding of joint research and development projects so as to promote science and technology R&D cooperation, strengthen joint research capacities and leverage a radiative and driving role.
6. Foster people-to-people exchanges in science and technology. This effort includes young scientist program for Central and Eastern European countries and science and technology training seminars. The goal is to deepen people-to-people understanding, boost capacity building for all parties and consolidate the foundation for cooperation in science and technology innovation.
7. Carry out cooperation and exchange activities in science popularization. Each year, China will invite Central and Eastern European countries to send delegations to international science popularization events and youth science popularization events.
With the joint efforts of all the parties, cooperation in science and technology innovation is becoming an important part of“16+1 Cooperation”, an innovative measure for friendly cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries. All sides will continue to uphold the principles of mutual respect, win-win cooperation and common development, deepen practical cooperation in science technology and innovation, and promote and share the development and prosperity of all the countries.