China, Germany see sci-tech ties rapidly expand

Global Business

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the closing ceremony of a forum on economic and technological cooperation in Berlin, Germany, July 9, 2018. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also attended the event. (Xinhua/Li Tao)

Science and technology cooperation between China and Germany has been highlighted as a strong point of ties between the two countries during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s ongoing visit in Germany.

Li and his German counterpart, Angela Merkel, have co-chaired the fifth round of intergovernmental consultations and agreed to strengthen cooperation on scientific and technological innovation.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-German Intergovernmental Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement, which has over the last four decades become a key source of collaboration.

Since the two countries adopted the joint action plan known as ‘shaping innovation together’ in 2014, they have been advancing ties in such areas as molecular medicine, green and lightweight mobility, clean water and intelligent manufacturing.

Meanwhile, research institutes and businesses from both countries have also been cooperating closely so that research outcomes can be quickly applied to production.

Zhang Jianwei, director of the TAMS, an artificial intelligence (AI) research center at Germany’s Hamburg University, said cooperation on AI is promising and will affect a variety of other areas such as education, health, intelligent system and robotics.

Li Zhenguo, head of the photovoltaic company LONGi Green Energy Technology, said there is huge potential for China and Germany to cooperate in the solar power industry, given their ambitious plans to transform to clean energy.

“Germany has made great contribution to the industry. With technology evolvement and material cost reduction, solar energy might become the cheapest power source in the future and benefit the worlds’s eco-system,” Li said.

The research team led by Werner Hurenbach, professor at Germany’s Dresden University of Technology, has built joint research centers with China’s locomotive manufacturing company CRRC and the electric vehicle branch of Beijing-based car maker BAIC, respectively.

Many technological breakthroughs have been achieved ever since, for example, the world’s first rail vehicle with carbon fiber structure.

“The results have shown that our cooperation model has been successful and demonstrative in various industries at home and abroad,” Hurenbach said.

“With my nearly four decades of cooperation with the Chinese side, I strongly believe that our success in technological cooperation is based on mutual trust and benefits. I’m fully confident about the prospect of further cooperation on science and technology in future,” he said.

According to Huang Wei, head of the battery producer Contemporary Amperex Technology GmbH (Germany), the company is developing future-generation lithium batteries in partnerships with German car makers BMW and Volkswagen, as well as some academic institutes.

“Germany has advantages in basic scientific research, engineering and standardization. China’s expertise, meanwhile, has been in flexibility, efficiency, cost control and market application,” Huang said. “Our cooperation can bring win-win results and promote the world’s industrial development.”

Story by Xinhua News Agency.

Factbox: German companies sign contracts with Chinese partners

German companies signed a series of agreements with Chinese partners during a visit by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang to Germany on Monday and Tuesday.


BASF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China’s Guangdong Province to look at building a highly integrated chemical production site there, BASF said.

The site would be BASF’s largest investment and would be operated under its sole responsibility, it said. The investment is estimated to reach up to $10 billion by completion of the project around 2030, it added.


BMW and joint venture partner Brilliance Automotive Group Holdings affirmed plans to expand production capacity at BMW Brilliance Automotive’s two sites in China to a total of 520,000 BMW brand vehicles in 2019.

BMW agreed to source 4 billion euros’ ($4.7 billion) worth of battery cells from Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) over the next few years, including from a new plant in Erfurt, eastern Germany, that CATL is building.

BMW also signed an MoU with Baidu to join its autonomous driving platform Apollo as a board member.

BMW and China’s Great Wall Motor signed an agreement to set up a joint venture for their planned production of Mini brand electric vehicles in China.

Qingdao TGOOD Electric Co Ltd said its unit had won a bid for a BMW NEV dealer charging enabling project.

Bosch and Chinese electric vehicle startup NIO agreed to cooperate on sensor technology, automated driving, electric motor controls and intelligent transport systems.


Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing said it signed an agreement with Continental to jointly develop connected vehicles and design purpose-built electric vehicles (EVs) for Didi’s services.


Daimler and Tsinghua University have signed an agreement to extend their cooperation on sustainable transportation research in China by three years.


Siemens agreed with Alibaba to use the Chinese company’s cloud infrastructure to roll out its digital operating system MindSphere.

Siemens and China’s State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) signed an MoU confirming their intention to collaborate on heavy-duty gas turbines.


Thyssenkrupp and China Railway Rolling Stock Corp signed an MoU on technology cooperation with key areas including smart data and model based maintenance strategies for plants and trains, advanced power and energy conversion, storage and control technologies.


Volkswagen said its Spanish brand SEAT would return to the Chinese market in 2020/21 as part of an agreement with China’s Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC) to develop electric vehicles.

Premium brand Audi signed an MoU for strategic cooperation on connected vehicle technology.

VW also said it has agreed to cooperate with China’s FAW Group and the China Intelligent and Connected Vehicles Research Institute (ICV) on technologies including e-mobility, connectivity and autonomous driving.

Story by Reuters.