Manufacturing News

Innovation becomes new pillar of Sino-Germany cooperation

China and the European Union celebrated the 40th anniversary of the establishment of their bilateral ties on Wednesday.

In the past four decades, the scope of cooperation between China and European countries broadened year by year, covering not only trade but also scientific and industrial innovation. The ongoing collaboration between China and Germany on "Industry 4.0" was one such highlight.

"Industry 4.0" was the latest industrial trend in Germany which was seeking to keep its global competitiveness by integrating conventional industry with information technology. The idea was somewhat shared by China which raised a "Made in China 2025" strategy in a bid to upgrade itself from a big manufacturing power to a strong one.

Last October, when China and Germany held their third intergovernmental consultation, the two countries decided to establish a dialogue over "Industry 4.0" to encourage communication between companies and industrial associations, and to carry out cooperation in standardization of the new concept.

In March this year, China made a strong showcase as the partner country of CeBIT, a business internet technology conference, and both sides expressed their willingness to deepen their innovation alliance.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country viewed China not only as the biggest trading partner in Asia, but also as an important partner in high-tech research and development.

Germany and China each had their own strengths in the digital economy and the two countries could complement each other through cooperation in this regard, she said.

At CeBIT, which took place in Hanover, Chinese companies and their German partners showed their commitment to furthering their business relationships: Huawei signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SAP to collaborate on Internet of Things research. Inspur, China's leading supercomputer manufacturer, said it planned to set up research centers in Germany and work with German companies to strengthen capacities of data collecting and analyzing.

"Industry 4.0" was just one of the examples that showed the broadening innovation cooperation between China and Germany. According to Zhao Qinghua, Science and Technology Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Germany, the two countries established communication and cooperation platforms in various areas including innovation policy, e-mobility, clean water, life sciences and marine sciences.

Science and technology cooperation has become an important part of the Sino-Germany comprehensive strategic partnership, he said.

In a paper released by German Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research in 2014, the innovation exchange between China and Germany was described as "not a one-way street." It took a positive development over the recent years and the scope was broadening.

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