In the week of August 20th, Ron Mazier and Xiaoyong Zhang from Cooperate Strategy & Account Wageningen University & Research visited Beijing. During the few days, Ron and Xiaoyong together with WUR China Office visited some strategic partners of WUR in China, had a field trip Pinggu District to discuss with Beijing governmental officials about the Agricultural Science and Technology Center project, besides, meetings with some Chinese knowledges institutes and enterprises were also arranged for potential collaboration in the future.
Chinese Agricultural University and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences are both strategic partners of WUR in China, and there had been very long history of collaboration in the past decades. In April, two UniversiTREEs were planted at their campuses respectively, to celebrate the 100 years Anniversary of WUR. With such a good foundation, WUR and CAU/CAAS will enhance mutual collaboration in joint-research, joint-PhD training, student exchange, scholar visiting, etc.
The concept of Agricultural Science and Technology Center (powered by Wageningen University & Research) was proposed by the Beijing Mayor Chen Jining during the meeting with Prof. Arthur Mol in this April 2018. With such an Innovation Center, the Beijing Municipality has the ambition to integrate the industrial sectors in rural areas of Beijing, close the chain circle so as to benefit all the stakeholders with not only productivity and economic performance but also an ecological & sustainable environment in rural areas of Beijing.
Since April, WUR China Office had been in close communication with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Rural Affairs (BMCRA), which was entrusted by Beijing Municipality to be responsible for realizing the Innovation Center concept. On Aug 21st, Ron and Xiaoyong met with the Director General of BMCRA Mr. Sun Wenkai and exchanged ideas about the latest progress of the project. It is agreed to take a stepwise approach to realize the Innovation Center, and BMCRA would like to entrust WUR to make specific design for this Center. Next day, a field trip to Pinggu District where the Innovation Center will be located is arranged, to the peach farms and a leading poultry enterprise.
Hopefully in October, two delegations from BMCRA and Pinggu District will visit WUR, to have the Framework Agreement as well as a design contract for the centre signed.
Ron and Xiaoyong also had meetings with Chinese Academy of Agricultural Engineering, Dutch Embassy, and enterprises such as Sino-Ocean Holding Group, Sino-Chem as well as CITIC agriculture, to explore how WUR can contribute to some on-going and potential projects in fields of greenhouse horticulture, rural complex development, etc.