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Research and innovation

Policy background

China is a research and innovation powerhouse and a partner for the EU in tackling global challenges, as highlighted in the May 2021 Communication on the Global Approach to Research and Innovation.

The EU-China scientific cooperation is governed by the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement signed in 1998 (tacitly renewed in 2018). The implementation of the Agreement is overseen by a Joint Steering Committee.

Due to China’s status as a key partner country, a dedicated High Level Innovation Cooperation Dialogue (ICD) was set up in 2012. The ICD raises the level and intensity of research and innovation relations with China by providing a forum to discuss respective innovation policies and systems, framework conditions, and the launch of joint initiatives.

In April 2019, at the 4th ICD meeting, the EU and China reaffirmed the importance of cooperation in research and innovation to jointly tackle global challenges and agreed to launch discussions on the formulation of an EU-China Joint Roadmap for the Future of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Cooperation. 

This new roadmap is being discussed under the guiding principles of openness, reciprocity, transparency, high ethical and research integrity standards, and the advancement of a level playing field

Mutually beneficial areas of cooperation will be selected under Horizon Europe as part of and in line with the roadmap discussions and in alignment with the priorities of the European Commission.

As the new roadmap is under discussion, the 2018 roadmap should be viewed as outdated and used for reference only.

China and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom)

Funding opportunities

Horizon Europe is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever with nearly €96 billion of funding available over 7 years (2021 to 2027). It is open to the world, which means that participants from all over the world, including China, can participate in most calls. 

Learn about the Global Approach to Research and Innovation: Europe's strategy for international cooperation in a changing world.

Country page

Agreements and arrangements


Projects and results

Research project database (CORDIS)

EU-funded research projects involving China

For previous framework programmes, please contact the Research enquiry service

Project success stories

Stories of particularly successful EU-funded research projects involving China.



National Contact Points

The National Contact Points (NCPs) provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in Horizon Europe.

Research enquiry service

You can contact the research enquiry service to find out more about research in Europe, the EU's research and innovation funding programmes as well as calls for proposals and project funding.

European Commission

DG Research and Innovation unit F.2: International cooperation


9 APRIL 2019
Joint communiqué: 4th High Level EU-China Innovation Cooperation Dialogue
(14.22 KB - PDF)

15 OCTOBER 2018
Roadmap for EU-China S&T cooperation
(1.4 MB - PDF)

30 NOVEMBER 2017
EU-China cooperation on Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology
(594.17 KB - PDF)

26 OCTOBER 2017
EU-China cooperation on Aviation
(538.89 KB - PDF)

26 OCTOBER 2017
EU-China cooperation on Sustainable Urbanisation
(567.94 KB - PDF)

15 OCTOBER 2008
Review of the Science and Technology Cooperation between the European Community and the Government of the People’s Republic of China
(2.28 MB - PDF)