Two French-Chinese teams distinguished by innovation awards

Of :| Keyword: France-China-Innovation-Cooperation | Updated 2022-11-25

Mobile irrigation equipment based on the use of hydrogen-enriched water and a technique to prevent sexual reproduction of insect pests with synthetic pheromones, both implemented by bicultural French-Chinese teams, won the 2022 Innovation Awards on Wednesday for the French-Chinese teams awarded by the France-China Committee.

Cooperation in scientific and technological research plays an essential role in Franco-Chinese relations, while the cultural aspect is very important for this cooperation, observed Michel Mortier, president of the jury of these awards which have awarded every year, since 2014, innovative French – Chinese teams facing the industrial, economic, environmental and social challenges of today and tomorrow.

France is more into a basic scientific knowledge and fundamental research approach, while in China, there is a strong capacity to move from basic knowledge to products and applications, explained Mortier, also managing director of the CNRS Foundation (National Center for scientific research, the largest French public scientific research institution).

“You can get great benefits from collaborating with China on innovation,” he added.

Each year, the innovation awards for French-Chinese teams, under the dual sponsorship of the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty and the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, fall into three categories.

This year, the result of the partnership between Air Liquide and Nanjing University of Agriculture in China, which focuses on the use of H2-enriched water in agriculture to reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides, is awarded in the R&D Prize category.

The award in the Innovative Products category goes to the technique developed by M2i and Beijing Geruibiyuan Technology, SMEs from France and China respectively. This technique is based on the principle of pheromonal sexual confusion, preventing harmful male insects from finding their female congeners to mate and thus replacing traditional pesticides.

The Innovative Initiative Award was not awarded this year, as the nomination dossiers are not deemed mature enough. However, these projects testified to the strong will of the French and Chinese experts to continue their collaborations in order to jointly produce significant innovations for the world of tomorrow, explained Mr. Mortier.

For the France China Committee, which brings together French companies active in France and China in the long term, the aim of these awards is “to highlight China as a laboratory of innovation for the benefit of the rest of the world”.

Since signing the bilateral science and technology cooperation agreement in 1978, China and France have established numerous joint research structures and networks, as well as dialogue structures for industrial cooperation.

At the same time, more and more French companies are setting up research and development facilities in the heart of the Chinese ecosystem. The diversity of actions carried out by these companies, such as basic research, adaptation or development of specific products for the local market, innovation, is part of a common vision to ensure the development of mutually beneficial cooperation, has noted the France-China Committee.

“China is a good place to innovate. It is innovation-hungry, fast-paced, and able to leverage its full capabilities and ecosystem. For a world-class company, not being able to be in China to innovate the fact that it can then to expand means to miss great opportunities,” said Pascal Metivier, Executive Vice President, Chief Science and Technology Officer of Solvay, during a debate organized by the France China Committee before the awards ceremony.

“Despite the difficulties we face, we continue to believe that we must cooperate and work together,” he said.

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