Hosted by the Research Council of Norway, the seminar on renewable energy and carbon capture and storage was held on 21 - 22 May.
"At EXPO we are presenting the very best of Norwegian climate and energy research," states Kari Kveseth, Director of International Staff at the Research Council, clearly delighted by the great interest shown by the Chinese research community.
"This will provide an excellent platform for further collaboration. The next step will be to follow this up by implementing specific projects and establishing suitable arenas where researchers from our two countries can meet," Ms Kveseth continues, also emphasising the importance of securing the participation of doctoral-level students in the projects that are established.
"Norway occupies a leading position in the field of climate and energy technology. This makes us an interesting partner even for a major player like China. We need to use this to our full advantage," says Anne Kjersti Fahlvik, Executive Director of the Research Council's Division for Strategic Priorities.
According to Ms Fahlvik, it would be beneficial to link cooperation in the field of education and research to industrial cooperation. She mentions the industry partners of the Norwegian Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME) as a potential starting point for such an approach.
FMEs are essential
The FMEs play a pivotal role in Norway's research cooperation with other countries. The Research Council's seminar in Shanghai included a number of scientific sessions focusing on the centres' main thematic areas: carbon capture and storage, environment-friendly energy design and solar and offshore wind energy.
Dr Sui Xin from the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research gave a presentation on sustainable solutions for hydropower. The China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research has already worked with Norwegian researchers on the publication of a major Norwegian reference book on the development of Norwegian hydropower technology and management. Activities were carried out in partnership with Scandinavia's largest independent research institution, SINTEF, in Trondheim.
"Norway is in possession of wide-ranging expertise in the field of hydropower technology," states Dr Siu Xin. "We are extremely positive towards the prospect of further cooperation."
Many areas of cooperation
The scientific discussions extended well over their allotted time. "It is always a good sign when researchers are unwilling to bring their discussions to a close. The Norwegian and Chinese research communities have really succeeded in finding common ground for working together," commented Professor Arne Bredesen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in his closing remarks.
Fields in which Chinese and Norwegian researchers are planning further cooperation include:
- CO2 transport
- Options for CO2 storage
- Methods for measuring CO2 leakage
- Development of wind turbine technology
- New materials for solar cell energy
- Environment-friendly and energy-saving silicon extraction
- Environment-friendly design of hydropower facilities
- The impact of climate change on hydropower production
- Greenhouse gas emissions from hydropower
Efforts endorsed by authorities
In his opening speech State Secretary Kyrre Lekve from the Ministry of Education and Research emphasised the importance of cooperation on research and higher education for the development of Sino-Norwegian relations in general.
"The Chinese authorities attach great importance to research cooperation with Norway and we are greatly interested in developing this cooperation further," stated Xing Jijun from the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China by way of reply.
The Research Council will be organising further seminars at EXPO 2010 in September, focusing on environmental, climate and polar research (9 - 10 September) and welfare research (14 - 15 September).
Division for Strategic Priorities
Department for Global Issues
phone:+47 22 03 72 26