CATTC deputy chief Jianhong (second from left) explores delivering IRRI technologies to Guangxi and ASEAN countries. Also in photo (from right): Michelle Weldon, IRRI partnerships head; Dr. Guoyou Ye, IRRI representative to China, and Dr. Bruce Tolentino, head of IRRI communication and partnerships.
An agency that aims to enhance science, technology, and innovation cooperation between China and ASEAN is looking at establishing an agricultural technology-transfer network with the International Rice Research Institute.
"Rice research is really vital to not only China, but also to Guangxi because of its large agricultural area," explained Dr. Liu Jianhong, deputy director general of the China-ASEAN Technology Transfer Center (CATTC), when he and other officials visited IRRI on 22 March. Guangxi is an autonomous region in southern China, bordering Vietnam.
“We would like to see if IRRI has any technologies that can be applied, especially in Guangxi" said Jianhong. "We would also like to know if there are any rice technologies that IRRI can apply in other ASEAN countries because we have networks in all ASEAN countries and can also help with technology transfer.”
CATTC was created in 2013 to establish a network for technology transfer initiatives and also foster the development of technology transfer professionals through the Department of Science and Technology of Guangxi. Currently, the center is working with Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar on rice.
"We already have started collaborating with them on research, so now the government gives great support to cooperation in science and technology," noted Jianhong. "I know IRRI has a close relationship with the Guangxi Academy of Science and we hope that it is possible to either have an office, a small branch, or a joint research laboratory in Guangxi that is carried out by IRRI, Guangxi, and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science. The government can provide that support for joint research.”
He also reported that CATTC started a talented young scientists program that encourages young researchers to work in Guangxi. "We hope IRRI can send researchers to work in Guangxi," said Jianhong.
"We hope we can carry out a more concrete cooperation," he added. "China is willing to give support to rice research, but we would like to see more practical projects. The government will provide researchers with a salary of USD2,000 per month to work with local institutes or companies.”
In September, CATTC will hold the China-ASEAN forum and the China-ASEAN Technology Transfer and Collaborative Innovation Forum Expo.
"I hope to invite researchers and staff from IRRI to attend our fora," Jianhong said.