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Vice President Attends 5th ASIAHORCs Meeting

The 5th Asian Heads of Research Councils (ASIAHORCs) Meeting was held in Bangalore, India on November 27th, 2011. Prof. Shen Wenqing, NSFC Vice President attended the meeting, which was sponsored by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), the Government of India. The participants include Dr. Makoto Asashima, the Executive Director of Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences (JSPS); Prof. Kyuhan Bae, Director General of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary to the Government of India, DST); Prof. Soottiporn Chittmittrapap, Secretary General, National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT); Ms. Maria Lourdes P. Orijola, Assistant Secretary, Department of Science & Technology (DOST); Prof. Noorsaadah A Rahman, Director, Institute of Research Management & Monitoring, University of Malaya and Dr. Djusman Sajuti, Executive Secretary, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).

The theme of the meeting is “Nurturing Centres of Excellence”. Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary of DST delivered a special lecture on India’s S&T Policy. The delegates delivered presentations on the policies and practices of their respective countries in culturing high-level research insitutes and innovative talents. The focus of the presentations differed a lot due to the varying characters of the countries that the delegates represent. The delegates from governmental departments elaborated mainly on national S&T macro-policies, while those from research institutions briefed about the practice to establish and improve innovative mechanism and those from funding agencies stressed on funding and evaluation policies and mechanism of innovation centres and laboratories based on their own characteristics. At the meeting  NSFC representative made a presentation on the policy and practice of NSFC’ funding on Creative Group and State Key Lab.

The meeting was composed of discussion on policies and working group meeting, at which the NMO discussed about the hosting country, place, time and the theme of the 6th ASIAHORCs as well as issues like the identity of the participants, multilateral scientific cooperation in Asia, etc.

The aim of ASIAHORCs is to strengthen and promote multilateral cooperation among science funding agencies in the Asian region. ASIAHORCs have organized five meetings of this kind, which were respectively hosted by JSPS, NRF, Vice-Chancellors' Council of National Universities in Malaysia (VCC) and DST. The previous themes are: “Trends in S&T Policy and Issues of Research Funding and International Cooperation” for 1st Meeting, “Create a shared vision for advancing science and technology within Asia and establish a support framework for nurturing and sustaining collaboration among the member countries” for 2nd Meeting, " Human resources development" for 3rd Meeting, " International research collaboration " for 4th Meeting and " Nurturing centres of excellence"  for 5rh Meeting.

The 6th ASIAHORCs Meeting will be hosted and sponsored by NSFC in 2012.

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