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Chinese university seeks ties via growing array of research tools

Image: Rodrigo con la G [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Earma 2021: Fudan University suggests new ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ of science are draws for collaboration

A senior representative of Shanghai’s Fudan University has said opportunities to access new journals and research infrastructures in China are incentives for European researchers and institutions to collaborate with counterparts in the country.

“China [is] trying [its] best to upgrade both the hardware and the software” of research, Xu Hongyang, head of international exchanges at Shanghai Medical College, part of Fudan University, said at the annual conference of the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators on 15 April.

The ‘hardware’ in her analogy was research infrastructures, such as the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope—or Fast (pictured)—which is the world’s largest radiotelescope and opened to international scientists last month. ‘Software’ was a reference to recently launched academic journals, Xu said.

Starting a collaboration in China is “like entering a Chinese restaurant with a menu of pictures”, according to Xu. People unfamiliar with what is on offer “need a Chinese friend to know about what is in a dish”, she explained.

Aside from talking up Fudan’s planned campus in Budapest, Xu suggested European research managers develop links by picking an “innovative city”, such as Shanghai, Beijing or Shenzhen, or “try a top university” such as Peking University or her own institution.

Research Professional News is the official media partner for Earma 2021. Follow more of our coverage on Twitter @ResProfNews and @ResearchEurope, #EARMADigital.