Chongqing – At the recently held Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), China unveiled its commitment to supporting the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including eight major steps. One of these steps focuses on advancing scientific and technological innovation, underlining the significance of technology in the initiative’s progress.
The first Belt and Road Conference on Science and Technology Exchange (BRST), to be held from November 6 to 7 and alternated between Chongqing and Sichuan every two years, is a significant step in advancing BRI science and technology collaboration.
Why choose Chongqing? On the one hand, in 2022, Chongqing’s research and development (R&D) intensity, a measure of an entity’s commitment to technological innovation based on the proportion of funds allocated to R&D activities, reached 2.36, ranking at the top in Western China for the first time.
On the other hand, Chongqing is integrating resources to establish a multi-point linkage international technology transfer system, reaching a regular linkage mechanism with national technology transfer institutions such as Hungary, Austria, Belarus, and Singapore.
The Chinese-Hungarian Technology Transfer Center (Chongqing) stands as a good example, further showcasing Chongqing’s crucial role in the China-Hungary collaboration under the BRI.
Special services for transfer and conversion of achievements
The Chinese-Hungarian Technology Transfer Center (Chongqing) has offices in both Chongqing and Budapest, aiming to facilitate international technology transfer and conversion.
Mei Huiling, the head of the Center, explained that they have developed an online platform comprising one station, two libraries, and three systems. They aim to employ internet-inspired thinking to create a collaborative network for technology transfer covering the entire region.
This network will nurture specialized technology transfer agencies and a skilled workforce, uncover China’s and Hungary’s national strategic development needs, and provide specialized services for the transfer and conversion of achievements between Chinese and Hungarian enterprises.
According to Li Ran, the Director of the Applied Economics Department at the School of Economics of Chongqing Technology and Business University of Commerce, the first BRST offers Chongqing numerous opportunities.
The BRST serves as a platform to showcase and exchange scientific and technological innovation achievements. Scientists, engineers, and business representatives from different countries and regions can share their latest technological breakthroughs and experiences during the event, facilitating cooperation and mutual development in technological innovation between Chongqing and other countries and regions.
Furthermore, by introducing advanced technological achievements and experiences, the BRST can enhance production efficiency, improve product quality, reduce production costs, and promote the transformation and upgrading of industries while also helping to cultivate and discover outstanding scientists, engineers, and business representatives, ensuring a talent pool for the economic development of Chongqing.
Critical technique with implications for international chili trade
By expanding the breadth and depth of its technological exchanges with an increasing number of countries involved in the BRI, Chongqing unlocks new possibilities for technology cooperation and future agricultural collaborations.
Consider, for example, chili, a key ingredient in Chongqing’s cuisine. Surprisingly, the culinary habits of Hungarian people in distant Europe bear a resemblance to those of Chongqing.
This June, researchers from the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences made a special trip to Southwest University to participate in an international conference at the Chinese-Hungarian Cooperative Research Center for Food Science. The scientists from both nations engaged in cross-border discussions, particularly on the removal of fungal toxins from chili, a critical technique with implications for international chili trade.
Besides chili, once traveled along the ancient Silk Road to reach China, another crop with a global presence is the potato. Potato, originally from the Americas, has become the world’s third-largest food crop and is cultivated in 158 countries.
This May, the Belt and Road International Innovation Institute of Potato Industry Science and Technology was established in Chongqing. The institute plans to collaborate with more than ten BRI countries on various international initiatives, including joint research on advanced potato technology and establishing agricultural demonstration bases.