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Guangxi: A Magnet for Global Sci-tech Experts

Source: Science and Technology Daily| 2021-07-08 14:33:43| Author: FANG Linlin and HUANG Zhaoquan

By FANG Linlin and HUANG Zhaoquan

As a coastal and border province, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has the unique geographical advantage offered by a gulf. It has facilitated interactions between the east and the west and has become China's frontier and bridgehead to the ASEAN nations in terms of opening-up.

Guangxi Medcial University is one of the first eight medical colleges in China to admit students from outside the Chinese Mainland. (PHOTO: Guangxi Medcial University)

Guangxi has implemented the Science and Technology People-to-People Exchange Initiative - ASEAN Talented Young Scientist Program of Guangxi, as part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

The carefully crafted new model of gathering and cultivating international young and innovative talents individuals is beginning to make a difference, especially during the fight against COVID-19, demonstrating its effectiveness in international cooperation and exchange.

As a landmark project of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Science and Technology People-To-People Exchange Initiative is designed to build an international talent pool.

In just one year, 40-year-old Malaysian Dr. Goh Hui Hwang, (PhD in Electrical Engineering), published four Science Citation Index papers. As a winner of the "Ten Outstanding Young Malaysians Award" and a member of the "ASEAN Talented Young Scientist Program of Guangxi "(ATYSP), he had a successful academic year at Guangxi University in 2020.

Hired as a professor at the School of Electrical Engineering of Guangxi University, he was active in facilitating the preliminary intention of cooperation among the School, the ASEAN Centre for Energy and the Indonesian Academy of Sciences.

Nguyen Trong Thang, an expert from the Vietnam National University of Agriculture, also benefits from the ATYSP policy. He focuses on "Research on Postharvest Senescence and the Deterioration Mechanism of Subtropical Fruits and Vegetables, and Development and Integration of Key Technologies for Biological Preservation of Subtropical Fruits and Vegetables" at Guangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and has already made some achievements.

Since its implementation, ATYSP has been widely supported and attended by ASEAN countries, with the goal of mutual benefit in scientific research and innovation.

At the 8th Forum on China-ASEAN Technology Transfer and Collaborative Innovation last year, senior science and technology officials from six ASEAN countries affirmed the new model of "talent + project + technology" integration developed by the ATYSP, and looked forward to deeper future cooperation.

To engage more outstanding young foreign scientists in scientific and technological innovation through the ATYSP, the Science and Technology Department of Guangxi optimized and upgraded the Implementation Guide of ATYSP on January 19, 2021. The wider range of preferential policies and flexibility are the highlights of the upgraded ATYSP.

Upon its release, the upgraded program attracted wide attention from young scientists from well-known universities and scientific research institutions in ASEAN countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, who have applied for work in Guangxi.

With research projects open to foreign scientists, elite universities in Guangxi are becoming the hubs of cooperation and exchange among Belt and Road Initiative countries.

Vu Huy Hoang, once a doctoral student in stomatology, founded the "Nha Koa Smile Care" dental clinic in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Since its establishment in 2010, the clinic has provided good medical services for more than 8,000 patients and made outstanding contributions to the development of local medical and health services.

Mohammed Ahmed Saad AL-MANSOB, a Yemeni medical expert, is currently the director of the Department of Cardiology, Royal Hospital of Saudi Arabia. He published a monograph in Arabic to introduce China to the Arab world, and he is called an expert on China in the Arab world.

Both experts are alumni of Guangxi Medical University. This university is one of the first eight medical colleges in China to admit students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and overseas Chinese students.

Up to now, a total of 1,188 international students from more than 70 countries and regions have been trained there, of which 48 percent are from ASEAN countries and 20 countries along the Belt and Road Initiative.

Experts coming to China are gaining a sense of belonging, and scientists working overseas are also obtaining a sense of participation in scientific research projects.

In August 2020, Guangxi started the pilot initiative of government-supported science and technology projects led by the scientists from outside the Chinese mainland, and encouraged such scientists to lead and participate in major science and technology projects, key R&D projects, science and technology bases and talent projects in Guangxi.

While keeping the existing management system of sci-tech programs and taking into account the special needs of scientists from outside the Chinese mainland, Guangxi has come up with a novel practice of Chinese partners taking over all the paperwork, allowing scientists to focus on the scientific research work without distraction.

It is worth mentioning that a comprehensive evaluation mechanism has been opened for major projects applied for by top international scientists, such as Nobel Prize winners and foreign academicians.

Active efforts have been made on international cooperation against the pandemic as part of efforts to build a "community of common health for humankind".

After the outbreak of COVID-19, the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, as one of the ten designated hospitals of the State Council's joint disease prevention and control mechanism (medical treatment group) for international cooperation, shared its experience in pandemic prevention and control with foreign countries through multiple platforms.

The hospital produced timely pandemic prevention materials, including the English version handbook of the "COVID-19 Prevention and Control Experience" released to the world, and the multi-language versions of "Operations of Throat Swab Collection and Inactivation for Nucleic Acid Testing" and "The Tertiary Preventions for Medical Staff Working in the COVID-19 Isolation Ward" videos produced and released free of charge to ASEAN countries and other parts of the world.

The hospital organized many video conferences on international cooperation in pandemic prevention. Specifically, it attended seven remote video conferences on COVID-19 response with Cambodia, Vietnam and other countries; organized and gave lectures on more than 10 international video conferences on COVID-19 response, with almost 800,000 audience from over 20 countries watching the live broadcast in a single session.

To reduce the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on traditional ways of introducing talents, the Science and Technology Department of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region urgently needs to explore a new Internet-based model.

For example, the automobile manufacturing industry, a key industry, has been selected to explore its demand for talent introduction through the professional Internet platform, providing accurate matching of experts and online real-time connection.

At present, the page views of this platform are close to 130,000, and more than 80 domestic and international experts in relevant fields have signed up, along with well-known foreign universities and research institutions such as Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft of Germany.

After via online video conferences, many top experts are finding Guangxi an attractive place for career development.

Source: Department of Science and Technology of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region,Guangxi Medical University and Guangxi Daily


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