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Speech on the Occasion of the 2014 GRC Meeting in Beijing

Yang Wei, President of NSFC

His Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council,
Prof. Peter Strohschneider, Chair of the GRC Governing Board,
Distinguished Colleagues and Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The ancient Chinese poet Wang Bo once wrote,
Good friends arrive repeatedly as clouds float.
Distinguished guests from afar are all present at the event.

And today, the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Global Research Council (GRC) opens in Beijing and we are deeply honored to greet distinguished guests from science funding agencies, academic institutions and international organizations all over the world. On behalf of the local organizers, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), I would like to extend a sincere welcome to all participants who have traveled long distances to join us for this exciting event.

GRC is an international organization dedicated to promoting the scientific collaboration and the sharing of information across national borders for the optimal configuration of global scientific resources. Since its establishment, GRC has successfully held two annual meetings for facilitating in-depth discussions on topics of common interest such as merit review, research integrity and open access, and endorsed instructional recommendations including the Statement of Principles for Scientific Merit Review, the Statement of Principles for Research Integrity, and the Action Plan towards Open Access to Publications. Although it is two year old only, GRC has grown to become an important platform for fostering international dialogue and collaboration in the field of science and technology.

Science, technology and innovation have become more important than ever in understanding and solving the complex problems we face on our planet. As the source of science, technology and innovation, basic research is an inspiring and fulfilling enterprise to explore nature, challenge the unknown, drive the development, and benefit the mankind.

Marie Curie once said, “Science is essentially international”. As citizens of an increasingly interconnected global research village, we use high-quality research to jointly wrestle with a number of wide-ranging global challenges. The two topics of this meeting, promoting open access and supporting the next generation of researchers, are important issues necessarily to be addressed for safeguarding the sustainable development of science.

We agree with and have responded to the Action Plan towards Open Access to Publications endorsed at the 2013 GRC meeting. CAS and NSFC recently announced a joint statement of policies on open access, which was reported by Nature news and other news media. We hope to take actions for facilitating open access, and build China’s National Natural Science Fund into one of the non-profit sources for global innovation.

Young scientists and engineers are fresh driving forces to sustain the prosperity of science and technology. Various countries are actively creating suitable environments and conditions for the germination of the next generation of researchers, which plays a key role in shaping the future landscape of science. China has a good tradition in this regard. NSFC attaches great importance to its role as a cradle for nurturing basic research professionals at early stages of their career development. The Young Scientists Fund, of which the number of applications has surpassed the General Program, has been supporting the reserve forces of science since its establishment 27 years ago. The two-decade-old Distinguished Young Scientists Fund has discovered and cultivated more than 3000 outstanding scientists. CAS pays great attention to its graduate education and has made systematic plans to support the next generation of researchers,  encouraging young professionals to engage in the process of knowledge creation and dissemination. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a science community in possession of a promising future must be in want of supporting the youth.

In the path of future development, we are willing to join the international endeavor to further support collaboration and exchange activities, promote the open access to research results, and encourage the geographic, interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility of young professionals. We hope we can make an even greater contribution to promote the collective effort of the global research community and the enrichment of mankind’s treasury of science and culture. The Chinese dream for science is closely connected to the worldwide dream for scientific advancement.

I wish the 2014 GRC Beijing Meeting a complete success. Thank you.

Copyright 2007 Bureau of International Cooperation, NSFC