Cooperation with China

Cooperation with China

50 years of collaboration and networking

In terms of international collaboration, China plays a special role for the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in all research areas in which it is active: the majority of foreign guest scientists at the various Max Planck Institutes come from China (including Macao and Hong Kong). Scientific exchanges between China and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft began in 1974.

At 1.82 million, China currently has the most active researchers on the planet and is only second to the USA in terms of research and development spending. The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Max Planck Society’s most important partner organization, is currently ranked first in Nature Index, ahead of Harvard University (second), and the the Max Planck Society itself (third).

What makes China attractive as a research partner has to do with a combination of its increasing research budget, human resources, and infrastructure, in addition to the rapid increase in the quality of research being carried out there. At the same time, vigilance is required when it comes to scrutinizing and complying with international quality standards and the rules of good scientific practice in research collaborations, as China is increasingly becoming a competitor in science and research.

Max Planck Partner Groups in China

The first Max Planck Partner Group began its work in China in 1999. The purpose of the programme, which was launched in the same year, is to stay in touch with former guest scientists from abroad when they return to their home countries. These groups are set up to run for five years and are supported by an international commission.

Future issues: the Exploratory Round Table Conferences (ERTC) series at the Shanghai Institute for Advanced Studies (SIAS)

The Exploratory Round Table Conferences provide a forum for German and Chinese researchers as well as international key players in which they can exchange ideas and discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by emerging research topics. The main purpose of this initiative, which was inaugurated by the Presidents of the the Max Planck Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is to serve as a nucleus for the establishment of ground-breaking research fields within their respective Institutes. [More] 

Max Planck-GIBH Joint Center for Regenerative Biomedicine

The Max Planck Center in Guangzhou, China is currently working on repairing damaged cells and organs and using reprogrammed stem cells for therapeutic purposes. It brings together researchers from two German Max Planck Institutes and scientists from the Chinese Academy of Science Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health (GIBH). The project was launched on the 1st of October 2016.

Strategic projects with the Chinese Academy of Science

Researchers from the Max Planck Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have been collaborating in key strategic research areas since 2018. The Max Planck Society has been granted privileged access to the CAS’ sometimes unique and world-leading infrastructures to conduct research into such areas as radio and gravitational wave astronomy, biophysical chemistry, ecology, and behavioural science, as a result of which both sides are collaborating on a level playing field to advance scientific projects to their mutual benefit.

Collaboration with Peking University

For several years now, the Max Planck Society has been intensifying its collaboration with leading Chinese universities, whose importance as partners for the various Max Planck Institutes continues to increase. The Max Planck Society has had an agreement with Peking University since April 2019, the focus of which is on reciprocal mobility and the recruitment of young scientists.

Collaboration with Hong Kong

The purpose of the post-doctoral programme being run in collaboration with the renowned Croucher Foundation in Hong Kong is to provide outstanding young Hong Kong researchers working in the natural sciences, engineering, and medicine with the opportunity to benefit from a 2+1 year research stay at a Max Planck Institute of their choice.


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