Cooperation between the BRICS countries is an important mechanism for cooperation between emerging economies and developing countries. To promote pragmatic cooperation in science and technology innovation (STI) between the BRICS countries, the five BRICS countries established a working group of financial sponsors for STI in 2016, signed the BRICS STI Framework Program and its Implementation Plan and made the decision to jointly solicit multilateral R&D projects within the framework so as to support and promote S&T cooperation among the BRICS countries.
Following a series of processes including solicitation, acceptance, review and approval, the Key Intergovernmental Projects of the 2017 National Key Development Program – BRICS Cooperation Projects – were recently officially launched for implementation. The projects are the first group of multilateral R&D cooperation projects funded by the BRICS within the framework of the BRICS STI Framework Program. Among them, there are 8 projects selected by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) for participation on behalf of the Chinese side, involving five fields of natural disaster management, geographic spatial technology and applications, new energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency, information technology and high-performance computing, and optoelectronics. The total amount of funding in 2017 is RMB15 million. More than 190 researchers from 38 research institutions and enterprises from the BRICS countries participated in the cooperation projects.
Undertaking multilateral R&D projects among the BRICS countries is of great significance to pooling BRICS innovation resources, gathering research forces and pushing forward the development of key fields and technologies. The current BRICS projects were included in the Hangzhou Declaration released at the Fifth BRICS Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) Ministerial Meeting in 2017. The implementation of the projects is a manifestation of the Hangzhou Declaration and the BRICS STI Framework Program. It is of great significance for promoting pragmatic STI cooperation among the BRICS so that they can work together to cope with global challenges and achieve vigorous and sustainable economic development.