This first meeting made clear that a considerate overlap of research interests exist and that a number of research fields would benefit specifically from Sino-European research collaborations, such as emerging pathogens, antimicrobial resistance, One Health, and aging. All of which having a global dimension and impacting public health, as well as social and economic well-being of the world population.
Pandemics and the development of antibiotic resistant pathogens are recurring and global phenomena, which need to be managed by internationally agreed policies and efforts. Many, if not most emerging pathogens are of zoonotic origin and diseases are transmitted from animals to humans. Therefore, One Health is at the intersection of human health, animal health, and environmental health, and it relies on collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally. Finally, while the rapidly aging society is a global phenomenon, the severity of the aging problems in China is unprecedented. Collaborative research between China and Europe on brain connectivity and neuro-degenerative diseases could speed-up the development of new treatments and long-awaited cures for Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
However, the participating experts discussed intensively that Sino-European collaborations in scattered research topics will have limited impact on solving global challenges. The main conclusion and recommendation to the Chinese and European governments and policy makers is, to agree on one main global challenge they want to tackle together in collaboration and to engage their researchers with true commitment based on mutual interest, providing tailored framework conditions and funding programmes.
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To read the complete report of this meeting, click here.