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Minister Chen Wen Attends 2019 Newton Prize
2020/02/13

On February12, Minister Chen Wen of the Chinese Embassy in the UK attended the Awarding Ceremony of 2019 Newton Prize. More than 200 guests were present at the event, including Chris Skidmore, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Harriet Wallace, Director of Science, International-Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London, representatives of winning teams from China, Indonesia, and Philippine, and representatives from UK political, science, and technology sectors.

Minister Chen extended her warmest congratulations to the winning teams, hailing the deepening of China-UK cooperation on science and technology over the years which has benefited from mature mechanisms, broad participations and diverse forms. This year's Newton Prize competition has drawn entries from China that cover new energy, environmental protection and vaccine research. This level of participation bears witness to the ever deeper and more substantial cooperation between China and the UK. In today's world, innovation-driven development and open cooperation are the trend of the times. Resorting to protectionism and erecting scientific and technological barriers are unpopular. For the first time, a Chinese project is awarded first prize in recognition of the research capacity of the Chinese team. This will give fresh momentum to China-UK cooperation on science and technology, set an example for international cooperation on science, technology and innovation, encourage solutions and new ideas for addressing global issues and contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Minister Chen said, since the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, the Chinese government has taken the most thorough and strict prevention and control measures. President Xi Jinping has made important instructions on many occasions. He has also called the meeting of the top leadership three times to map out further plans for epidemic prevention. Now the whole nation has been mobilized to fight the virus. The UK has strong capability in basic research and innovation. Since the outbreak of the virus in China, research institutions of the two countries have engaged in close communication and cooperation on the research and development of effective medicine and vaccine. She expressed her hope that such cooperation would deliver tangible outcomes at an early date in order to control and cure the disease, and safeguard global public health.

Minister Skidmore said that science and technology is a universal language. Britain's powerful research capability benefits from open cooperation. After Brexit, the UK will continue to expand its collaborations with Newton Fund partner countries to achieve more outcomes and to promote the welfare of mankind.

Participants spoke highly of the achievements in science and technology cooperation between China and the UK.

Minister Chen and Skidmore (first from right) present the award to the winning Chinese project "Transforming Service Design and Big data Technologies into Sustainable Urbanisation" (Photo by DAN TSANTILIS)

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Newton Fund is a significant sponsorship platform based on collaboration between UK and partner countries and aims at jointly supporting international science and technology cooperation. The Newton Fund is known in China as the UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership Fund. Since its founding in 2014, China and UK have invested around £360 million through this mechanism, supporting more than 860 research programs from around 360 organizations both in China and the UK.

Minister Chen, Skidmore, and Gast (second from right) present the Chair's Award to China-UK project "Regional crop monitoring and assessment with quantitative remote sensing and data assimilation" (Photo by DAN TSANTILIS)

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