CAAS is a nationally and internationally recognized institute that offers an abundance of international collaborative learning and research opportunities in the field of agricultural science and technology innovation. Over the past five decades, CAAS has led or been involved in an increasing number of collaborative projects, enabled by significant increases in funding from various governmental and international resources. Since the start of China’s 11th Five-Year Plan in 2006, more than 830 joint projects have been funded, totaling over to 634 million Yuan (US$102 million).
Collaboration areas that have seen the most growth include crop and animal sciences, agricultural biotechnology, agricultural information, agricultural resources and environment, and food quality and safety. The number of research partners continues to increase annually. CAAS currently boasts partnerships with 81 countries, 33 international organizations, seven multinational companies as well as many nongovernmental organizations and research foundations. To date, CAAS has signed more than 70 agreements or memorandums of understanding with international partners. Collaborative research exchanges continue to be established, with 13 foreign institutions having set up liaison offices at CAAS in addition to the 27 joint laboratories and research centers. Scientific exchange is strongly encouraged and promoted at CAAS, which has led to thousands of exchange visits between CAAS and foreign scientists, who develop joint research projects, attend scientific meetings and forums, and engage in reciprocal training.
International cooperation has contributed significantly to science and technology innovation at CAAS, providing direct and indirect benefits to China's agricultural development. Through cooperative exchanges, genetic resources have been improved, novel technologies have been shared, and scientific knowledge has been greatly enhanced. Additionally, a large number of personnel in both research and management have developed important new skills through collaborative training opportunities, providing significant economic and social benefits to the country.
Through increased international collaboration, CAAS has become more community-minded, placing greater emphasis on reducing poverty and increasing food security in China and around the world. Some specific examples include:
• Proactively organizing international events, such as the Global Forum of Leaders for Agricultural Science and Technology (GLAST), cosponsored by CAAS, the Food and Agriculture organization of United Nations (FAO), and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). This event has been held three times in China, in 2006, 2007, and 2010, with great success. The GLAST meetings have catalyzed action through the sharing of information and experience, promoting partnerships between national agricultural research institutions in China as well as with foreign agricultural research institutions and international organizations.
• Voluntarily providing technical assistance in developing countries. CAAS has been actively involved in so-called South-South, trilateral, and multilateral cooperation to introduce advanced agricultural technologies to developing countries in Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. For example, since the 1980s, 52 international biogas training courses have been organized by the CAAS Biogas Institute both inside and outside China, and more than 1,200 people around the world have been trained.
• Intensively participating in global initiatives, such as CGIAR Research Programs, the European Union Framework Programs and EuropeAid projects, the G20 Action Plan in Agriculture, and the Tropical Agricultural Platform, in which CAAS has played important roles in implementation and management.
International cooperation continues to be of vital importance to the development of the academy, and forms one of the core principles of the newly initiated Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program. This program will assist CAAS in reaching its primary strategic development goal of being a world-class agricultural research institution.