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NSFC President Visits Partners in North America


A NSFC delegation led by President Yang Wei visited the U.S. and Canada during August 19-26, 2013, at the invitation of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Research Foundation of Quebec (FRQ).

During the visit to NSF, President Yang met with Acting Director Dr. Cora B. Marret, exchanging views on such issues as current bilateral cooperation in basic research, the 2014 Global Research Council (GRC) Meeting in China, and the training of and funding for young talents. The delegation was also briefed by NSF BIO, ENG and GEO faculties on their cooperation with China, and discussions were held on how to strengthen current bilateral partnership and initiate collaboration in fields like energy and sustainable development.

In NIH campus, President Yang and the NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins signed the implementation Arrangements on NSFC-NIH Cooperation on HIV/AIDS Treatment Research, and under that both sides will launch joint call for research on HIV/AIDS treatment in 2014. Both sides reviewed in the talk the bilateral cooperation over the past 3 years and exchanged views on such issues of mutual interest as peer review, Brain Science Program, processing and application of big data. The delegation also visited the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and made discussion with Dr. Susan B. Shurin, Deputy Director of NHLBI, on the co-funding of the bilateral joint research in areas of common interest which can be jointly identified through scientific workshops.

During the visit to AAAS, President Yang and the Dr. Alan Leshner, CEO of AAAS, held discussion on issues of the international cooperation, open access, research integrity, academic e-journals, and funding for non-consensus projects under the framework of the Global Research Council.

While visiting CIHR, President Yang met with CIHR President Dr. Alain Beaudet. Both sides reviewed the history of NSFC-CIHR cooperation, discussed the progresses of joint research projects, as well as exchanged ideas on future cooperation. Gratification was expressed by both sides on the close cooperation and achievements during the past years and both sides were committed to further promoting China-Canada collaboration in basic health research.

During the visit to NSERC, President Yang held talks with NSERC Executive Vice President Dr. Isabelle Blain, briefing on the new progress of both agencies and, in particular, exchanging views on the preparations of the 2014 Global Research Council Meeting which will be co-organized by NSFC and NSERC in China. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the active high-level dialogues between NSFC and NSERC over the years, and exchanged views on further strengthening exchanges in the area of management, talent funding and international cooperation under multilateral frameworks.

While visiting FRQ, President Yang met with Dr. Remi Quirion, FRQ Director and Chief Scientist of Quebec, and was briefed on the administration of the Health Research Foundation of Quebec (FRQS) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Foundation of Quebec (FRQNT). A presentation was also given during the meeting about the funding for cancer research in Quebec as background information for the NSFC-FRQ joint workshop to be held in Beijing in the late of November this year. Both sides also reviewed recent co-funded seminars and joint research projects, and agreed to promote future cooperation. After the meeting, both sides held working-level talks on the renewing of the bilateral cooperation agreement.

The success of the visits to the U.S. and Canada was ensured by the strong support of Chinese Embassies and Consulates in both countries. Members of the delegation also included Meng Xianping, Zou Liyao, Yan Zhangcai, and Liu Xiuping.

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