CAS President Bai Chunli shakes hands with Prince Andrew in Buckingham Palace, February 27. At the invitation of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, CAS held a reception in Buckingham Palace to promote the President’s International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI), the first high-end promotion of the initiative ever held overseas. [Photo by Xinhua]

At the invitation of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) held a reception and special presentation promoting the President’s International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI) in Buckingham Palace on February 27.

CAS President Bai Chunli speaks during a reception to promote the President’s International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI) in Buckingham Palace, February 27. Bai said CAS is willing to work together with UK research institutes to deepen cooperation between scientists of the two countries. [Photo by CAS]

Prince Andrew hosted the event, at which CAS President Bai Chunli spoke about the PIFI. The reception attracted more than 100 renowned experts and senior executives from Great Britain’s Royal Society, research institutes, colleges, and companies.

In his speech, Prince Andrew said the United Kingdom has been at the forefront of innovation in science and technology, “but there are other countries in which equally good science goes on and China is one of them”. He saw immeasurable prospects for China’s growth and expressed the hope that scientists and researchers from both nations will take advantage of the PIFI to seek new opportunities for making more innovations in science and technology.

According to Bai, CAS, a national scientific research body integrating research, education, and think-tank roles, is working to become one of the world-class research institutes and hopes to get heavily involved in global innovation systems to meet various scientific challenges together with other parties. PIFI is an important means to achieve this goal, he explained.

So far, the initiative has provided financial support to more than 200 Britons who carried out cooperation in China – including top scientists such as a Nobel Prize laureate and a member of the Royal Society, and outstanding young scientists as well, Bai said, adding that CAS hopes to attract more talented scientists to China for collaborative research.

On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the UK, CAS is willing to work together with British research institutes to create opportunities to deepen and consolidate cooperation between scientists of the two countries, Bai said.

“We hope to bring a lot of UK scientific talent to China to work and to explore scientific unknowns and to address common challenges with our scientists” as part of the effort to build a better future and contribute to fruitful China-UK relationships in the new age, he said.

CAS President Bai Chunli chats with a scientist, during a reception to promote the President’s International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI) in Buckingham Palace, February 27. [Photo by CAS]

Also at the meeting, the two sides announced the renaming of the initiative to the “Duke of York-CAS President’s International Fellowship Initiative” in the UK to give a boost to PIFI through Prince Andrew’s influence.

John Speakman from the CAS Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, one of the winners of the 2015 Award for International Scientific Cooperation of the CAS, spoke of his scientific research experience in China. He called on more UK scientists to make full use of China’s good research environment to step up cooperation with the country.

Prince Andrew and Bai jointly awarded the 2016 China Academy of Sciences International Partnership Award for Young Scientists to a pair of Chinese and UK young scientists in honor of their remarkable achievements made in exchanges and cooperation between the two countries’ young scientists.

Initiated in 2009, the PIFI originally consisted of a series of talent support programs targeting non-Chinese foreign scientific researchers coming to China to carry out collaborative research in science and technology. In 2014, the plan was restructured and officially designated the “CAS President Internal Fellowship Initiative,” or THE PIFI. Through providing financial support to global talents who conduct substantive science and technology cooperation with the CAS, the PIFI aims to significantly boost the CAS research team’sinternationalization levels and innovation capabilities, and gradually grow into a renowned and influential world-class talent plan. Since its launch, the initiative has granted support to 2,800 scientists and over 600 PhD students from more than 70 countries and regions. As a result, many talented foreign scientists have formed solid cooperative ties with the CAS.

The reception marked the first high-end promotion the PIFI has ever held overseas, and is expected to play a significant role in pushing ahead with the academy’s introduction of international talents as well as the implementation of its “going international” strategy.

Representatives from the Chinese embassy in the UK and the Bureau of International Co-operation of the CAS were also present at the meeting.

Source: CAS

Hot Issue
International Cooperation
Research Progress
Science Story
News in Brief