The 2014 annual meeting of the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS, www.caets.org), the umbrella organization of 26 academies of engineering, took place on June 1-4 in Beijing, China. The meeting was organized and hosted by the Chinese Academy of Engineering (www.cae.cn).
International Conference on Engineering Sciences and Technology
The meeting included the two-day International Conference on Engineering Sciences and Technology (ICEST 2014, www.icest2014.cae.cn), which brought together 1500 academics and professionals from around the world. The conference program featured keynote lectures by high-profile speakers, including Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, and Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. President Xi described engineering as a force to change the world and help China achieve fast social and economic progress. He said advancing science and technology is a strategic choice for mankind to cope with global challenges and realize sustainable development. The president said that as China has adopted innovation-driven development strategy as a major national strategy, it will promote engineering innovation, strengthen governmental, semi-official and non-governmental cooperation in this regard, take part in more global science and technology cooperation projects, and improve personnel training. He noted that China has built cooperative relationships in science and technology with more than 150 countries and regions, and taken part in major global projects including the International Thermonuclear Fusion Experimental Reactor Plan, the Human Genome Project and the Galileo Project. For a complete transcript of president Xi’s speech, click here
Prior to the speech, president Xi met with UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova and representatives of CAETS and its member academies.
Opening of the International Knowledge Center for Engineering Sciences and Technology
On June 2, Ms. Bokova, opened the International Knowledge Center for Engineering Sciences and Technology under auspices of UNCESCO (IKCEST, www.ikcest.org) in Beijing. The center, hosted by the Chinese Academy of Engineering, will serve as a globally connected hub to assemble digital resources relating to engineering sciences and technology, build a public data service platform, provide consultation and assist scientific research and education for policy-makers and engineers, especially those from developing countries.
ICT for Brain, Body & Behavior
In nine parallel sessions, speakers addressed advances and perspectives in key areas of engineering and technological sciences, including mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, material sciences, mining, civil engineering, agriculture and food security. In the session on translational medicine, AcTI vice president Dr. Lucas Noldus gave a talk on “ICT for Brain, Body & Behavior: A new model for co-creation of innovative measurement and analysis tools for translational health research”, presenting Dutch public-private partnerships in research on ICT, brain and cognition coordinated by i3B Foundation (www.i3b.org).
CAETS Council meeting and statement
During the annual Council meeting on June 4, CAETS members discussed engineering topics of current global interest, including fracking and advanced manufacturing. Furthermore, the Council published the 2014 CAETS Statement [link], recommending engineers and scientists worldwide to promote innovation in all areas of engineering, science and technology to achieve a better life for all on the planet; to work with and in schools and universities to strengthen engineering education and develop a new generation of talented engineering practitioners; to strengthen international cooperation, expand academic networks and learn from each other to address major challenges facing human society; to work with governments to ensure that resources are available to deploy technologies in support of global economic and social development and environmental sustainability; to promote awareness and engagement with the public; promote the value proposition for engineering; and to promote improved living conditions in the developing world. During the Council meeting, AcTI vice president Lucas Noldus was elected to the CAETS Board of Directors.
Collaboration between AcTI and CAE
In order to promote cooperation in engineering and technological sciences between The Netherlands and China, AcTI and the Chinese Academy of Engineering signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Both academies will facilitate cooperation between specialists in engineering and technical sciences in academia and industry through study visits, joint seminars and workshops and exchange of information.