SDC Towards Green Transition

31 May 2024

More than 120 researchers, government officials and business representatives from Denmark and China were gathered 28-30 May in Copenhagen to bolster existing research partnerships and explore opportunities for new Sino-Danish knowledge collaboration.

The symposium was an opportunity to process The Green Joint Work Programme, which was recently signed by the Chinese and Danish ministers of foreign affairs. It identifies several areas where the two governments have agreed to strengthen collaboration, including areas that are well-integrated into SDC’s academic activities.

The environment is a common language

Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and President of University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, member of CAS, Professor Zhou Qi, was among the opening speakers. He emphasized the importance of students’ roles in solving global issues and the imperative of providing them with quality education.

‘Last year I visited SDC more than 30 times. I love the building. I like to see the students sit down in the classrooms, where they study together. I love to see them in the canteens eating Chinese food together. It is a very happy time for a president of the university. If we do agree education is important for students; if we do agree that students are the future; if we do agree that in the future, the environment is a common language for all people, then we should put all our efforts into SDC. I am here today to convey this message as an assigned representative of Professor Hou Jianguo, President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. And as President of UCAS, I will dedicate myself fully to this great cause,' says Zhou Qi.

Mikkel Leihardt, Director General of the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science kicked off the symposium with an optimistic message to the researchers, who would take part in the academic discussions during the seminar.

‘We are in a time of unprecedented technological advances. I’m sure that the bright minds gathered here will discuss exciting ways to leverage these technologies to bring us closer to our goals of a truly sustainable future. Therefore, it is with great excitement I look across this room full of SDC colleagues. Because Sino-Danish knowledge collaboration has proved itself to be a vital source of great ideas. I’m sure this will also be the case as we now focus within the green agenda,’ says Mikkel Leihardt.

Parallel sessions

The cornerstone in the symposium was the many parallel sessions, which were held across all five SDC research areas. Associate Professor from Aalborg University, Dmitrij Slepniov, gave a report of the Social Sciences discussions.

‘It was really great to have a broad representation of colleagues form Denmark and China in one room and the discussions throughout showed how hungry everybody was to share the latest in ongoing research and discuss how our research can be aligned with both teaching programmes. It was an eclectic and rich agenda leading to a unanimous agreement of the group to work on a follow-up symposium in Beijing in the near future,’ says Dmitrij Slepniov.

Professor Xue Rong, Institute of Biophysics, Beijing, who is the Chinese Head of the SDC Neuroscience and Neuroimaging programme reported to the audience on behalf of the Life Sciences research theme.

‘It was great to see more than 20 SDC Life Sciences researchers showing the commitment of researchers from both countries and subthemes. At the symposium there was good energy during the scientific discussions with both expanding existing collaborations and paving the way for new interesting collaborations within the Life Sciences theme and reaching out to the other SDC themes,’ says Xue Rong.

As the symposium concluded, attendees left with inspiration and plans to further the green agenda. The shared vision of a sustainable future, driven by innovation and cross-border collaboration, promises to bring about impactful advancements in the years to come.