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As the new roadmap is under discussion, the 2018 roadmap should be viewed as outdated and used for reference only.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)
- participate in an inter-governmental multilateral agreement on fission-related research
- are partners of the ITER multilateral cooperation project on fusion research
- participate in the research and development activities of the Sodium Fast Reactor and the Very-High Temperature Reactor within the Generation IV international Forum
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.
- Generaldirektoratet for Forskning og Innovation
Horizon Europe: A practical guide for China
This brochure explains the contents of Horizon Europe and intends to be a practical guide for Chinese researchers to better understand the options offered
Agreements and arrangements
- Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Government of the People's Republic of China
- Agreement between the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the Government of the People's Republic of China for R&D Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (RD-PUNE) was signed in April 2008. It is implemented by a joint steering committee co-chaired by DG Research and Innovation representing EURATOM and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST)
- Joint declaration on EU-China innovation cooperation dialogue (EN｜CN) was signed in September 2012 to create an official platform for exchanges and cooperation on innovation between both sides
- Framework Research Arrangement between the European Commission Joint Research Centre and the Chinese Academy of Sciences
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.
DG Research and Innovation unit F.2: International cooperation
- News article
EU and China to hold the 15th Joint Steering Committee Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation
- News article
The EU and China have signed an administrative arrangement to support cooperation
- News article