Sino-German Cooperation in Marine and Polar Research
Scientific-technical cooperation with China in the area of oceanography has been ongoing since 1986. Chinese partner of the BMBF is the "State Oceanic Administration" (SOA). Since then, Germany and China have established a close cooperation in the area of oceanography. A German-Chinese steering committee meets regularly in order to assess ongoing project activities and identify new topical focal points.
Another milestone in the German-Chinese cooperation was the signing of a joint declaration between the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and SOA during the 2nd governmental consultation in August 2013. In this declaration, it was decided, in addition to the existing research topics, to include the three focal points "physical oceanography, marine mineral deposits and polar research" in the joint sponsorship. To perpetuate the joint declaration, in June 2013 as part of the strategy of the Federal Republic of Germany for the internationalization of science and research and the supporting program "Research for Sustainable Development" (FONA), an announcement for bilateral research projects was published in the German Federal Gazette. In total, more than 40 project sketches were submitted.
Since the middle of 2014, more than ten bilateral projects have been supported. These address the following thematic areas:
- Deep-sea research with the topics "Dynamics of the Earth's Mantle and Geochemical Cycles" as well as "Mineral Raw Materials on the Sea Floor"
- Marine environmental changes with the topics "Effects of Environmental Changes on Tropical Marine Ecosystems," "Land-Sea Interactions and Coast Dynamics" and "Observation and Modeling of Ocean Processes on Various Scales"
- Polar research with the topics "Change in the Sea Ice and Effects on the Marine Environment in Polar Areas" and "Paleoclimatic Development Since the Last Great Ice Age in the Upper Latitudes"
In November 2015, there was a scientific workshop and bilateral talks between the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and SOA in Qingdao. In June 2016, a second bilateral announcement was made, which was just as broad thematically as the first announcement.
In November 2016, there was another scientific workshop in China; furthermore, representatives of the German and Chinese research ministries met for additional bilateral talks in which future research projects were discussed.