A new Counsellor for Science post has been established at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Beijing as part of the effort to enhance research cooperation between Norway and China. Kari Kveseth, Director of International Staff at the Research Council, has been appointed to the position and is to begin her new job in September.
Ms Kveseth will play a pivotal role as adviser and consultant in the political and scientific spheres for government authorities, research circles and the Research Council of Norway. She will also become Norway's most important bridge-builder to the Chinese research community.
The new position is administered under the Ministry of Research and Education, but is intended to serve all of the ministries and their various interests.
New research heavyweight
"China has become a leading research nation, and it will consolidate its position in the coming decade," says Ms Kveseth. "We are used to the USA and Northern Europe being the research heavyweights. Now the balance is shifting towards Asia, and especially China. China's position will affect and transform the global arenas for competition on knowledge."
"Norway must be involved in these change processes if we are to influence them and promote our unique expertise in selected areas. This is why Norway signed an agreement with China in 2008 to expand our research cooperation and why we are increasing the capacity of the Norwegian embassy in Beijing to deal with research issues," says Ms Kveseth.
"Norway and China have many interests in common as well as a long history of open, positive cooperation in research and higher education. This is a crucial platform for further developing our collaboration," she emphasises.
Clear thematic priorities
In 2009, the Research Council established the Norwegian Programme for Research Cooperation with China (CHINOR). The programme's thematic priority areas are related mainly to research on climate and the environment, climate technology and welfare. These will be important subject areas for the new Counsellor for Science in Beijing. She will also follow up the highly relevant research on the sustainable development of energy technology, which was presented at a seminar organised by the Research Council at Expo 2010 in Shanghai in May. In the long run Norway seeks to strengthen cooperation in a greater number of technology areas, such as selected topics in biotechnology.
Support from Norwegian research communities
The impetus for research cooperation between Norway and China must be propelled by the shared scientific interests of the two countries. Ms Kveseth is looking forward to representing the players in the Norwegian research system and to achieving proactive cooperation with the Research Council and the research programmes in the key subject areas identified for research cooperation with China.
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