news highlights

ICTP in Asia-Pacific

New agreement opens way for physics partner institute in China

17/05/2017 - Trieste

China will soon be home to an international theoretical physics institute modeled after ICTP. An agreement signed on 13 May between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and one of ICTP’s UN supporters, UNESCO, paves the way for the opening of ICTP-Asia Pacific (ICTP-AP) as a UNESCO Category 2 institute, as well as an ICTP partner institute, to be based at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) in Beijing.

ICTP-Asia Pacific will provide opportunities for advanced training, research and education in theoretical physics and related interdisciplinary areas. It will also be an international hub for high-level conferences, schools and workshops, playing an important role in building sustainable science in the Asia Pacific region.

The agreement, which was signed by CAS President Chun-Li Bai and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, came on the eve of China’s Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, an economic and development initiative attended by 29 foreign heads of state along with heads of international organizations.

Underscoring the importance of ICTP-AP, Bai Chunli said at the signing, “No issue on the Sustainable Development Goals agenda can be solved without science.” Irina Bokova echoed his sentiments, stating that the establishment of ICTP-AP will be a good opportunity to promote scientific development and South-South cooperation, as basic science is key to the United Nations 2030 development plan.

ICTP Director Fernando Quevedo witnessed the signing, along with Yue-Liang Wu, Vice President of UCAS, and Dian-Wen Cao, Vice Director of the Bureau of International Cooperation, CAS. “This is a landmark event for the future of ICTP activities in Asia,” says Quevedo, adding, “China’s dynamic scientific development combined with the strong international component of ICTP make this partnership ideal to further promote scientific excellence worldwide.”

  ICTP_AP_Signing 03
  UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Chinese Academy of Sciences President Chun-Li Bai shake hands after signing ICTP-AP agreement

ICTP-AP will be China’s first UNESCO Category 2 basic science center. It will develop outreach activities in cooperation with national and international institutions, providing an international forum and enhancing collaborative networks among scientists from different countries in and out of the region.

The new institute in China joins similar ICTP initiatives in Brazil, Mexico and Rwanda. ICTP aims to bring its unique blend of high-quality physics and mathematics education and high-level science meetings closer to scientists everywhere.

Related links:

--Mary Ann Williams