The "China-UK Crop Pest and Disease Forecasting & Management Joint Laboratory" was established in Beijing on November 29, 2016. More than 40 Chinese and British experts and scholars from the Bureau of International Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Technology Development Center for Chinese Rural Areas under the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Agricultural Technology Promotion Service Center, and the National Aviation Plant Protection Science and Technology Innovation Alliance attended the opening ceremony.
On the Chinese side, the Joint Laboratory is led by the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI) of CAS, and joined by the National Agricultural Technology Promotion Service Center of the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Aviation Plant Protection Science and Technology Innovation Alliance, the Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhejiang University, and Electronic University of Science & Technology of Hangzhou. On the British side, it is jointly organized by the Science Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), Rothamsted Experimental Station, King's College London, and Assimila Ltd.
Ms. Helena Ou, senior advisor of the British Embassy in China, and Dr. Jon Styles, head of the British STFC project, placed high hopes on the establishment of the China-UK Joint Laboratory. They hope that with the technological advantages of both China and the UK, more remarkable achievements can be made in crop pest monitoring, forecasting, prevention and control, and in-depth exchanges and cooperation can be promoted between the research and development personnel of the two countries. Prof. Yang Puyun, Director of the Pest Control Division of the National Agricultural Technology Promotion Service Center of the Ministry of Agriculture, fully recognized the research results acquired by both sides in crop pest forecasting and control that involved such disciplines as comprehensive remote sensing, plant protection, agriculture, and computer modeling, and hoped that closer cooperation and exchanges could be enhanced through the Joint Laboratory and further increase China's informatization level in crop pest control. Dr. LI Yufei with the Technology Development Center for Chinese Rural Areas under the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Ms. DU Xiaomeng, head of the European Division of the Bureau of International Cooperation of CAS, hoped that the platform of the Joint Laboratory could yield more scientific and technological achievements to improve China's capability in the monitoring of, warning against, and control of agricultural pests.
Prof. HUANG Wenjiang of RADI serves as Director of the laboratory. He said that the laboratory will give full play to the complementary advantages of both sides in remote sensing and plant protection, the research and application of remote sensing monitoring, and forecast mechanisms, methods and scientific control technologies against crop pests. These complementary advantages will help improve China's crop pest monitoring, forecast accuracy, and environmentally friendly controls, which is of important strategic significance for safeguarding national food safety and realizing the sustainable development of agriculture.
Group photo at the opening ceremony of the China-UK Joint Laboratory.