U.S. National Science Foundation Celebrates Opening of Beijing Office
Collaboration brings together world-class scientists and engineers to strengthen mutual interests
May 24. 2006, Beijing, China--Representatives of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of State, the Chinese government and Chinese scientific societies today celebrated the opening of NSF's research operations office in Beijing.
"China and the United States have a long history of cooperation in scientific research," said NSF Director Arden L. Bement, Jr. "Over the years, the National Science Foundation has worked with many organizations in China to bring together world-class scientists and engineers from our two nations. These collaborations have not only advanced the frontiers of discovery, they have also established relationships of mutual respect and friendship."
"Perhaps the most enduring benefit of international collaboration in science and engineering is its power to bring people together to pursue common goals and build a world of peace and prosperity," Bement said.
The National Science Foundation is a U.S. government agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states and several countries through grants to nearly 1,700 U.S. universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes nearly 10,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
Bement was joined by Clark Randt, U.S. Ambassador to China; Chen Yiyu, president of the Chinese National Natural Sciences Foundation; Bai Chunli, executive vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; and William Chang, director of the new office.
The ceremony was held at the NSF Beijing Office, which occupies a suite in the Silver Tower high rise located in Beijing's Chaoyang district. The office is part of the U.S. Embassy in China and officially began operations in September 2005.
"With China's increasing importance as a world science and technology player, it is vital for the United States to sustain interactions with international counterparts and specifically with China's rapidly growing science sector," said Ambassador Randt. "The NSF Beijing Office gives the United States a better opportunity to work jointly to seek science-driven solutions to common problems for the benefit of the globe."
The Beijing office is managed out of NSF's Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE), which serves as a focal point for international science and engineering activities both inside and outside the foundation. Specifically, OISE works to build and strengthen effective institutional partnerships throughout the global science and engineering research and education community, and supports international collaborations in NSF's priority research areas to expand and enhance leading-edge international research and education opportunities for U.S. scientists and engineers, especially early in their careers.
According to the NSF report, Science and Engineering Indicators 2006, China ranked fourth in the world in the year 2000 in research and development, with $48.9 billion in expenditures. Two years later, the country ranked third, behind the United States and Japan, spending an estimated $72.0 billion on R&D.
"It is important for the U.S. scientific community, especially young researchers, to be aware of and consider collaborating with colleagues in China in this environment," said Beijing office Director William Chang.
The NSF Beijing Office is NSF's third foreign office. NSF also maintains research offices in Paris and Tokyo.
The May 24th opening ceremony will be followed by a U.S.-China science and technology conference that will include 150 distinguished scientists and government officials.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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