New Sino-Danish Centre for Research and Education

Charlotte Sahl-Madsen, Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, has today signed the formal agreement on a new Sino-Danish Centre for Research and Education.

“China is developing these years from being the world’s factory to one of the world’s leading nations within research and education. China’s role in the world arena is getting increasingly important. We must strengthen our cooperation with China on research and university education because this will benefit our economic growth and employment”, says Science Minister Charlotte Sahl-Madsen.

Danish Science Minister, Ms. Charlotte Sahl-Madsen, and President of Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr. Bai Chunlai, sign the official agreement on the Sino-Danish Centre for Research and Education.

The Sino-Danish Centre for Research and Education (SDC) in Beijing is being established at one of China’s most prestigious universities, the Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (GUCAS). It is expected to accommodate 300 master’s degree students. To this should be added 75 PhD students and 100 researchers, with about one-half from each of the two countries. It will cost about DKK 100 million a year to run the new university, which will be financed jointly by the Chinese University, the Danish universities and the Danish State.

“Today we have taken a great step forward. I look forward to this agreement on the University Centre, which will establish a bridgehead for Danish knowledge in China, based on research consortia between Danish universities and our Chinese cooperation partner”, says Professor Jens Oddershede, President of the University of Southern Denmark and Chairman of Universities Denmark.

The University Centre will be located in a building known as the Industry Foundation House, now to be constructed in the Chinese University’s entirely new campus 60 km north of the centre of Beijing at Lake Yanqihu close to the Great Wall of China. The building project has been realised thanks to funding by the Danish Industry Foundation for DKK 80 million. The house is expected to be ready for use by 2013.

“The Danish Industry Foundation is dedicating its efforts to creating a Danish-Chinese research environment where researchers and students from both countries can meet enterprises, creating and communicating new knowledge and technology. In this way, we can also promote the competitiveness of trade and industry”, says Mads Lebech, CEO, Danish Industry Foundation. We look forward to starting up this building project.

Minister for Science, Ms. Charlotte Sahl-Madsen (in the middle), held a press conference for Chinese media after the official signing of the agreement.

The Danish Science Minister signed the agreement on the SDC project together with the President of GUCAS, Dr. Bai Chunli, on Monday 12 April at 11.30. Subsequently, Professor Jens Oddershede, on behalf of the eight Danish universities, signed the agreement on research and education collaboration together with Dr. Bai, who is also First Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The ceremony took place in The Great Hall of the People in the presence of Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

The next step will be an architectural competition arranged by the Danish Industry Foundation for the design of the building. In parallel with this, specific collaborative research projects will be launched this year, including Danish and Chinese PhD students being associated with the new Sino-Danish Centre for Research and Education. At the same time, the development of new master’s programmes will be started.

“Denmark needs to go out into the world, seek collaboration and be part of the creation and exchange of knowledge. Knowledge is what Denmark should live on in the future”, concludes Science Minister Charlotte Sahl-Madsen.

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