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RCUK Office in China Newsletter 16 November 2010

发布时间: 2010-11-18      访问次数: 128

Funding Opportunities and Awards 
 
The aim of the IOF scheme is to facilitate international collaboration for research and research-related activities that are aligned with NERC strategic priorities, and are not typically supported through NERC’s usual funding schemes. It may include, for example, international programmes and networks; collaborative secondments and exchanges; major international workshops or conferences; pump-priming to attract inward investment to UK research institutions; or international project officers. The application deadline is 14 December 2010  
·       NSFC Young Scientists Research Fellowship Call for 2011 (website in Chinese only)
Established in 2009, this scheme supports international young scientists to work in Chinese HEIs and research institutes for 6-12 months. In the 2010 call, 80 young scientists will be funded with a budget of RMB15.1 mn. The Fellowship is worth RMB100,000 for 6 months and RMB200,000 for 12 months (about £10k – 20k respectively).
All applicants must be nominated by the Ministry of Education or the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Interested UK applicants should contact their intended Chinese host organisation as early as possible.
 
Deadlines for the 1st Round covering 6 month visits (1 July- 31 December 2011) and 12 month visits (1 July 2011- 30 June 2012):
  • 31 January 2011 deadline for Ministry/CAS nomination
  • 15 March 2011 deadline for individual nominee application 
Deadlines for the 2nd Round covering 6 month visits (1 January- 30 June 2012) and 12 month visits (1 January- 31 December 2012):
  • 30 June 2011 deadline for Ministry/CAS nomination
  • 15 August 2011 deadline for individual nominee application 
 
The 2009 call led to two awards to UK young researchers, who will visit the East China University of Science & Technology and Beijing Jiaotong University. In all, 40 fellowships were awarded.
 
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S&T News: UK and China
 
Prime Minister David Cameron led the biggest ever Government delegation to China during 8-9 November, including Chancellor George Osborne, Business Secretary Vince Cable, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne and Education Secretary Michael Gove. The importance of an environmental collaboration between the Tyndall Centre and Fudan University in Shanghai was highlighted during the UK-China summit on 9 November.
 
Fudan will become the Chinese hub of the Tyndall Centre, a unique partnership between researchers from eight UK research institutions led by the University of East Anglia (UEA), and including Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Newcastle, Sussex, Southampton and Cardiff that has received support from China’s central and Shanghai governments.  Fudan’s Urban Planning and Architectural Design Institute (UPADI) will set up an office in London in collaboration with UEA’s Low Carbon innovation Centre.
 
The Tyndall Centre brings together natural and physical scientists, engineers, economists, socio-economists etc to bring transformative research to bear on the many climate change challenges that society faces. Up to April 2010 it was supported by three Research Councils: NERC, EPSRC and ESRC. It now operates independently as a distributed centre involving eight UK universities, with a HQ at UEA.
 
The UK Government has published the first ever infrastructure plan for the UK. The National Infrastructure Plan outlines how the Government will provide investment in science, research and innovation, including support for research council institutes and national facilities; fund research in universities via competitive, peer reviewed grants through the research councils; and support training of the next generation of researchers; and develop the science and innovation campuses such as the Research Complex at Harwell.
 
UK Embassy to China Highlights Beijing-1 Small Satellite’s 5th Anniversary Celebration Event
Britain’s Counsellor for Science & innovation, David Bacon, visited Beijing-1 small satellite base on 27 October on its 5th Anniversary celebration event. This is a successful cooperation between Surrey Satellites Technology Ltd. (SSTL) and Beijing Landview Mapping and Information Technology (BLMIT) from UK and China.
Oxford University has received a £10m donation for the ‘Dickson Poon China Centre’, to focus on China-related studies. The Centre will play a key role in the university’s strategy to strengthen its relationship with China by encouraging joint research, publications and collaborations with academics in China and the UK.
 
Oxford’s plans coincide with China’s announcement earlier this year of its ‘Outline National Plan for Education Reform and Development 2010 – 2020’ which places emphasis on international research collaboration and knowledge transfer – good news for UK universities, which now view China as much more than just a recruiting ground for international students.
China’s Major S&T Accomplishments 2006-2010
During the 11th Five Year Plan period (2006-2010), China conducted over 2,500 projects under national S&T earmark programmes worth RMB 40 billion (£400 mn). Innovative results and findings include :
·         Indigenous large airliner project. The master plan for the C919 has been approved. Chinese scientists achieved breakthroughs in developing materials and key technologies. The prototype nose is ready for function tests.
·         Large nuclear power plant project achieved breakthroughs in manufacturing large components, pipes, and safety steel dome for the AP1000 steam generator.
·         Oil-gas project developed major equipment, including an advanced seismograph and a semi-submersible drilling platform able to operate at water depth of 3000m.
·         Water pollution control project rolled out key technologies such as energy-saving sludge dewatering equipment to reduce emissions from chemical and pharmaceutical industries, boosted development of an innovative environmental protection industry, and helped to meet emission reduction targets for 2010.
·         Genetic modification projects led to faster diffusion and commercial applications of GM cotton, reaching a market share as high as 93%.
 
Other earmark projects developed vaccines and diagnostic agents for 40 common diseases. Two world firsts have been granted new drug certificates and are being marketed:
·         recombinant oral Helicobacter pylori vaccine, developed by No. 3 Military Medical School.
·         combined vaccine for acellular pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus and haemophilus influenza type b, developed by Beijing Minhai Biological Technology.
 
The Food S&T project produced numerous innovative technologies to boost yields of three major crops. The new technologies are now used in 12 major food producing regions, boosting yields significantly.
China also invested heavily in core technologies and components for large scientific facilities. The Lanzhou Heavy Ion Accelerator Storage Ring, Beijing Electron-Positron Collider upgrade, and Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility all passed state approval checks, boosting China’s proprietary and integrated innovation capability.
The 2 September 2010 edition of Science included a trenchant editorial by two senior Chinese academics highlighting systematic and cultural problems that may slow downChina’s extraordinary rise in the world research league tables. The authors argued that NSFC-style transparency and excellence-based decision-making should be extended to all parts of China’s research funding system.
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News from the Research Councils UK
 
AHRC
AHRC and BBC Radio 3 are together launching New Generation Thinkers- a pilot talent scheme for emerging academics with a passion for communicating the excitement of modern scholarship to a wider audience and who have an interest in broader cultural debate. Up to sixty successful applicants, who are currently undertaking research in the UK in the arts or humanities, will have a chance to develop their own programme-making ideas with experienced BBC producers and, of these up to ten will become Radio 3’s resident New Generation Thinkers for 2011.  
 
BBSRC
Dr Thomas Aldick of IFR, an institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), has won a poster prize at the 4th International Symposium on Molecular Allergology (ISMA 2010) in Munich for his poster, "Bet v 1 homologues are affected by food matrix-mediated modifications"cid:image001.gif@01CB828D.77814030.
 
EPSRC
The UK’s most powerful NMR device for solids has come into operation as a national facility at the University of Warwick. UK researchers will gain new insights into vital high tech engineering materials and novel pharmaceuticals from this “UK 850 MHz Solid-State NMR Facility” mainly funded by a £3.7 m grant from EPSRC and BBSRC.
 
A new type of sound sensor system has been developed to predict the likelihood of a landslide. The technique was developed by researchers at Loughborough University in collaboration with the British Geological Survey, through two projects funded by EPSRC.
 
The Daresbury Laboratory's Computational Science and Engineering Department (CSED) will play a major role in a collaborative £2.4m research project to investigate how engineering flow systems can help respond to global health, transportation, energy and climate challenges over the next 40 years. The project, led by the University ofStrathclyde and the University of Warwick, is mainly funded by EPSRC. This multi-disciplinary team will deliver new techniques for simulating fluid dynamics - a critical area of research that is key to innovating in these visionary applications.
 
ESRC
Social science can benefit business in numerous ways: from helping to set a business strategy to enhancing business operations. Since 2007, ESRC has expanded its support for social scientists to engage with business, which has led to impressive results. On a strategic level, high-quality social science has provided insights on new business areas as well as advising on corporate social responsibility. On an operations level, social science has enhanced project management skills, improved management practices, and delivered innovative thinking on top management pay. Besides advising business on best practice, social science can enhance business performance by providing innovative ideas.
 
MRC
Science Minister David Willetts highlighted plans by MRC to invest more than £10 million in a unique collaboration between industry and academia. The investment will establish two new research consortia and fund additional research into inflammatory and immune diseases.
 
A new £16m Influenza Resource Centre and UK Stem Cell Bank opened in October, supported by £6.6m from the MRC. The centre will support the development of vaccines for preventing seasonal and pandemic influenza and will also house the UK Stem Cell Bank, a world-leading initiative providing ethically approved, quality controlled stem cell lines for research. The laboratory has been developed as a partnership between the MRC, Health Protection Agency (HPA), Department of Health and BBSRC.
 
The Ethical Governance and Biological and Biomedical Research: Chinese-European Co-operation (BIONET) is a Consortium of 21 EU and Chinese partners examining the challenges facing the ethical governance of research in the life sciences and biomedicine in China and the EU. It is funded under the European Commission 6th Framework programme with support from MRC. The results of this work are documented on its website.
 
NERC
An ESPA development grant project in Xining City, Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, linked UK scientists from the Lancaster Environment Centre and CEH Lancaster with Chinese government agencies, research institutes and universities to tackle overgrazing on the grasslands. This project will enhance conservation, sustainable development and poverty alleviation in the region.
 
STFC
The galaxy, first spotted by the Hubble space telescope, was seen as it would have appeared 600 million years after the Big Bang, according to new research. The research was carried out by a European team of astronomers led for the UK from the Universities of Durham and Bristol and contributed to by STFC UK Astronomy Technology Centre.
 
The ALMA European Front End Integration Centre (FEIC), located within RAL Space, successfully completed the second stage of its Operational Readiness Review on 1 November. The team has delivered three Front Ends to the ALMA site in Chile, with four fully assembled Front Ends ready to start performance testing, and sufficient parts to start assembling another three. Altogether 26 Front Ends are due for delivery by end of 2012.
 
Scientists and medics are set to test a unique technology which could help in the early diagnosis of conditions such as the painful brittle bone disease. The technology, which uses a novel technique devised by STFC's Central Laser Facility (CLF), is to be tested for the first time with NHS hospital patients. The Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS) technique has further potential for applications such as research into drug delivery, the probing of pharmaceutical products through coatings and packaging for quality control, security screening, and the subsurface probing of paints and food products.


RCUK China Office Holiday Arrangements in December 2010 - January 2011
Please note our working days/closed days during the coming Christmas and New Year holidays:
               Holiday                             Working Day 
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
December 20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
January 1
2
3
Back to normal
6
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9
 
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China Office Activities
 
On 17 September the Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH) hosted a CAS delegation led by its president, Professor Lu Yongxiang. Professor Lu toured the building, and was interested in the breadth of disciplines under one roof so close to the Diamond synchrotron and ISIS neutron source. CAS is currently building a neutron spallation source similar to ISIS, and recently completed a new synchrotron, but these are in different cities. CAS is planning a multidisciplinary laboratory similar to the RCaH.
 
During his tour President Lu had discussions with researchers at the Oxford Protein Production Facility-UK and the Lasers for Science Facility. He also visited the communal life science laboratories, Collaborative Computing Project No. 4 (CCP4) and the high-level instrumentation facilities. The CAS delegation was keen to continue informal contacts. RCUK China Office advice and itinerary planning was well-received by the CAS International Bureau.
RCs Activities in China
03 November: Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Explanatory Workshop
The China Office organised this explanatory workshop to promote the current ESPA Research Consortium Grants call. ESPA Director Prof. Paul van Gardingen took part by video link. Over 20 researchers from Chinese research institutes attended. Prof. Gardingen will visit China in the week commencing 22 November.
 
08 October EPSRC-NSFC announce awards on Carbon Capture and Storage
Five collaborative research projects were awarded after a joint panel meeting on 3 September, facilitated by video link at the RCUK China office. The UK Energy Programme/ EPSRC provided £2.78 mn with equivalent funding from NSFC. The RCUK China Office played a significant role in facilitating the joint call.
 
Minister announces 5 UK-China Solar Energy awards
On 8 November UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, Vince Cable, and CAS Deputy Secretary Tan Tieniu, announced the five successful projects in the EPSRC-CAS joint call for innovative Solar Energy projects. EPSRC provided £2.52 mn with equivalent funding from CAS. The RCUK China Office played a significant role in facilitating the joint call. The EPSRC result website
Summer School Activities
25–31 October Cognitive Communications, Hangzhou
This focused on the ever-growing field of Cognitive Communications, which encompasses cognitive radio, cognitive networks, and application of cognition to other aspects of communications systems.
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Forthcoming Events
 
22-26 November: ESPA Director’s China visit
1–3    December: Research Workshop: Application of Imaging Science to the Interdisciplinary Study of Wall Paintings along the Silk Road, Xi’an

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