AsianScientist (May 20, 2014) – Prof. Bai Chunli, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Prof. Peter Gruss, president of the Max Planck Society (MPG), celebrated the 40th anniversary of partnership between the two national science institutions on May 13 in Beijing.
Cooperation between CAS and MPG dates back to 1974 when Prof. Reimar Lüst, then President of the Max Planck Society, paid his first visit to CAS. During that visit, MPG agreed to accept two to four CAS scholars every year for advanced training. The partnership between the two institutions expanded in 1978 with a formal agreement for more extensive cooperation and broader academic exchange between the two sides.
Under the CAS-MPG partnership, over 250 CAS Ph.D.s have participated in joint training programs with the German institution.
The past four decades have seen a variety of other joint initiatives, such as the guest laboratory, research groups, partner groups, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Partner Institute for Computational Biology, the Joint Training Program, and the Exploratory Round Table Conference (ERTC).
The partnership between the two organizations has created a model for international cooperation often referred to as “a typically successful example,” said Bai at the partnership celebration. He said mutual respect and trust, people, complementarity and mutual benefit, and novel means of collaboration are four fundamental factors that have contributed to the success of the partnership.
To further deepen their cooperation, both sides signed an MoU in 2012 to promote talent development. The Junma Talent Program, which arose from this agreement, builds on the Young Scientist Research Group Leader program of MPG. As part of the program, group leaders from any of the Max Planck institutes are offered the opportunity to continue their careers at a CAS institute.
Gruss said that the scientific community must “pool its strengths globally” to master the challenges such as population increase and climate change. He said that the cooperation and the exchange between the two organizations extend beyond pure science: Working together in laboratories and offices leads to the formation of friendships which can last a lifetime.
“Such personal relationships are an important driver of our institutional cooperation. It is these very friendships that fortify us in these uncertain times of globalization and give us a crucial advantage,” said Dr. Gruss.
Minister Beate Grzeski, head of the Economic Department of the Federal Republic of Germany in China, and Prof. Yang Wei, president of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, also attended the ceremony.
Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences.
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