Dutch Payload Ready to Join China’s Lunar Exploration Mission to the Dark Side of the Moon

A Dutch designed and Dutch made radio astronomy payload named “Netherlands China Low-frequency Explorer” (NCLE) is ready to board on China’s latest Lunar exploration mission, Chang’e-4, and starts its journey to the back side of the Moon upcoming May. At the moon’s dark side, NCLE will explore the radio sky at very long wavelengths (i.e. at low frequencies below ~30 MHz). This includes the study of radio emission from the Earth, the Sun, the large planets in the solar system and the Milky Way.

NCLE is a cooperation project agreed to by the governments of China and the Netherlands in 2016.  The instrument was built in just a bit more than two years with joint efforts of Dutch scientists and engineers. Dr. Marc Klein Wolt, Managing Director of Radboud Radio Lab and Assistant Professor, Department of Astrophysics Research Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands is Dutch PI of this project. He is expecting new astrophysical observational techniques and radio telescopes in this wavelength range in space, addressing topics such as long baseline interferometry, the investigation of faint signals from the early cosmos, and the detection of transient radio signals.


The dark side of the moon is superb for astronomical observation since noisy radio signals from the earth are blocked. But a journey there is not easy. Up to now, tougher terrain at the back side and technical difficulty in direct communication with the earth has stopped any country from landing there. The only picture of moon’s backside is taken by a Russian mission in 1959. Decades later in 2018, China is ready to face the challenge. If everything goes as planned, in a month time, China will make a soft landing at the back side of moon for the first time in human history.

Named after ancient fairytale character Chang’e, China’s moon mission signals its growing strength in space exploration.  Ultimate goal of the Chang’e mission is human landing on the moon by around 2030. So far China has succeeded in its first three endeavors, including two moon orbiters in 2007 and 2010 and a rover in 2013. Chang’e-4 is the fourth of the series and technically a complicated and difficult one.

On the occasion of the 3rd National Space Day, a day picked by President Xi Jinping for China to celebrate its accomplishments in space adventures, CNSA, the Chinese space authority, unveiled details of  Chang’e-4 mission. The mission includes two satellites. A relay satellite, named Que Qiao (in Chinese: 鹊桥, another fairy tale character), will head for the second Earth-Moon Lagrangian point, or EML-2, about 37,000 miles above the far side of the Moon first, fulfilling the task of  establishment of an earth-moon communication link. Once the link is built, a second satellite will be launched six-months later to deploy a rover and lander, on the South Pole-Aitken basin, the single largest dent on the Moon’s surface.

Besides Que Qiao’s primary task to keep Chang’e 4 rover and lander connected with their ground station, the communication satellite also carries two micro-satellites for long-wave length observation. The two micro-satellite were named Longjiang 1 and Longjiang 2, both developed by Harbin Institute of Technology, China’s first and strongest space education and research institute. In addition, China opened the Chang’e 4 mission to international cooperation. Together with NCLE, instruments developed by Germany, Sweden and Saudi Arabia are also accepted on the Chang’e 4 Mission to do space science.

Illustration of the CHANG’E 4 Mission


Talking about space science, Chinese scientist, Mr.Wang Chi of the National Space Science Centre, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) admits that China has a long way to go to catch up with other advanced space nations. Up to 2017, America has launched more than 400 satellites for science purposes. ESA launched around 50 while China made 9 launches only, including 2 for the Double Star mission in close cooperation with ESA.

Realizing the gap with advanced space powers, space science started to become more and more important in the planning of the Chinese space programme. Through the “Strategic Priority Program on Space Science” led by CAS, aseries of space science missions are planned and implemented. On its own and through international cooperation, China is determined to contribute to “human understanding of the universe and planet earth, seeking new discoveries and new breakthroughs in space science”[1]

Through the Strategic Priority Programme, China is able to join the international community in the study of black holes and neutron stars and in search of dark matter particles. It also enabled microgravity research and examination of Sun-Earth space weather system.  Paired with ESA’s Cluster programme, China has completed the Double Star Programme focusing on solar wind.

In August 2016, China launched the world’s first quantum-communications satellite to   demonstrate principles underlying quantum communication.  The mission has demonstrated particles remain “entangled” at a record-breaking distance of more than 1,200 kilometres, which could be used as the basis of a future secure quantum-communications network.

China’s space station – Tiangong – to be completed by 2022, is designed mainly for space sciences. With two science modules joined together by a connecting service module, Tiangong is said to have similar capacity to perform space science as the International Space Station. China has announced that Tiangong will be developed into “Space Lab” open to experiments and astronauts from all UN member states, specifically to developing countries.

Looking into the future, space science in China will be strengthened significantly by a number of new satellites under the Strategic Priority Programme of CAS to be launched around 2020. This would include a cooperative mission with Europe called “SMILE” to study the interaction between the solar wind and the Earth magnetosphere. An “Einstein-Probe” puts focus on searching for X-rays emitting celestial bodies and high-energy radiation from black holes. The Programme also foresees a project to search for electromagnetic signals associated with gravitational waves and an earth observation mission focusing on water cycle observation.

The Chinese space missions often offers the international community unique opportunities to carry out joint scientific exploration. The Netherlands has secured one of such chances. As China strengthen its science ability, it would become a strategic and competitive partner for the advanced space nations.

[1] http://english.nssc.cas.cn/missions/FM/


VACATURE: Stagiair(e) bij het Nederlandse Consulaat General te Shanghai – Innovatie Attaché Netwerk

Het Nederlands Consulaat-Generaal te Shanghai (Innovatie Attaché Netwerk) is op zoek naar een stagiaire voor een periode van 3 maanden, beginnend in de eerste week van september 2018.

Volg je een universitaire opleiding en ben je op zoek naar een stage waarmee je resultaten kunt bereiken? Zoek je een stage waarbij je tegelijkertijd je horizon én je netwerk kunt verbreden?


Het Innovatie Attaché (IA) Netwerk (in het Engels; Holland Innovation Network) zet zich in voor de versterking van de Nederlandse concurrentiekracht op de langere termijn d.m.v. wetenschappelijke en technologische samenwerking. Het IA-netwerk in China vertegenwoordigt de innovatieve sectoren van Nederland en informeert Nederland over trends, ontwikkelingen en kansen in China. Er wordt veel samengewerkt met bedrijven, universiteiten, kennisinstituten en overheidsinstanties vanuit onze vestigingen in Beijing, Shanghai en Guangzhou.


Het Nederlands Consulaat-Generaal in Shanghai behartigt de belangen van Nederlanders en Nederlandse bedrijven/organisaties uit verschillende sectoren (hightech, chemie, energie, agricultuur etc.). Door de toegenomen relevantie van China in de mondiale kenniseconomie is wetenschap en technologie een belangrijk deel van de activiteiten van de ambassade en consulaten.


De Nederlandse aerospace industrie (in dit geval vliegtuigbouw, -onderhoud en luchthavenontwikkeling) wil graag meer inzicht krijgen in de actuele structuur van de Chinese aerospace industrie. In samenspraak met branche vereniging NAG (www.nag.aero)  zal de stagiair een actueel overzicht creëren van dochterbedrijven van Chinese staatsbedrijven AVIC, COMAC en AECC, alsook van de belangrijkste personen binnen deze organizaties. Dit zal gedaan worden aan de hand van desk-research (patenten, wetenschappelijke publicaties, Chinese websites). Daarnaast zal er contact moeten worden gelegd met experts in de industrie.

Daarnaast kan de stagiair zich part-time bezighouden met de dagelijkse werkzaamheden van het IA-netwerk; evenementen organizeren en het in kaart brengen van de relevante netwerken en kansen op het gebied van R&D, in diverse sectoren gerelateerd aan innovatie, technologie en/of wetenschap.

Profiel van de stagiair(e) 

Van de stagiair(e) wordt flexibiliteit en improvisatietalent verwacht. Je dient na een korte introductieperiode in staat te zijn redelijk zelfstandig te functioneren. (Basis) Kennis van het Mandarijn wordt sterk geprefereerd. Een technische achtergrond is een pre. Je bent je bewust van de openbare rol van een consulaat-generaal.


  • Ben je de gehele duur van de stage beschikbaar.
  • Je bezit de Nederlandse nationaliteit.
  • Je volgt een universitaire opleiding bij een erkende onderwijsinstelling (nationaal of internationaal).
  • Hoewel technische kennis van de luchtvaart niet nodig is, wordt affiniteit met de luchtvaartindustrie verwacht.
  • Je staat gedurende de gehele duur van de stage ingeschreven.

Wat bieden wij

Het Nederlands Consulaat-Generaal in Shanghai biedt een uitdagende, leerzame en veelzijdige stage, waarbij je snel eigen verantwoordelijkheden kunt verwachten en een groot netwerk op kunt bouwen.

Huidige stagiair: “Tijdens de stage kom je veel te weten over de nieuwste technologische ontwikkelingen, werk je met innovatieve bedrijven in de regio en bouw je unieke ervaring op met zakendoen in China”.

Voorwaarden en vergoedingen

Vind hier de Algemene voorwaarden en vergoedingen. Het betreft een voltijdaanstelling (40 uur per week) voor een periode van drie tot vier maanden.

Meer weten en/of solliciteren

Stuur je CV en een motivatiebrief naar china@hollandinnovation.cn. Een aantal kandidaten zal worden uitgenodigd voor een Skypegesprek.

Meer informatie is te vinden op onze website: www.hollandinnovation.cn (voor de WeChat gebruikers, scan de QR-code hieronder). Mocht je vragen hebben dan kan je David Bekkers ook bereiken op db@hollandinnovation.cn.

De deadline van reageren is 31 mei 2018.

Automating the World’s Factory

Opportunities for Dutch robotics companies in China in the wake of Made in China 2025

‘Made in China’ could well be the most printed phrase in the world. The country has largely depended on its manufacturing industry to make the stunning transition to upper middle income country in the last 40 years. In 1990, China produced only 3% of the world’s manufacturing output. Nowadays, this is nearly 25%[1]. In some product categories, such as air conditioners, mobile phones, security camera’s[2], and drones[3], 60- 80% of the products sold worldwide are manufactured in China. Container ships leave China filled to the brim, and come back almost empty[4].

The manufacturing industry has eminently been the domain of private enterprises driving economic reform after Deng Xiaoping’s opening up[5]. These companies have traditionally been low-tech, labor intensive companies, mostly focused on producing large quantities. Consequently, ‘Made in China’ has to some mostly been a synonym with ‘junk’, as was the case with Japanese motorcycles in the 1950s and 1960s.

China is eager to improve the quality of its products like Japan has done. Facing the same problem of rising wages as Japan and the Asian Tigers (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea) 20-30 years earlier, the Chinese government and companies are seeking to upgrade the whole manufacturing industry. Besides digitization, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, this will involve a lot of robots.

The robotics market in China

China has already been the world’s largest market for robots since 2013. The International Federation of Robotics estimated that China will take up 39% of the global market in 2019 in terms of multipurpose units sold, with an expected growth of 22% per year. This is about as much as Europe and the Americas together. Only 31% of these robots were domestically made in 2016, although this percentage is steadily growing (with 7% per year from 2013 to 2016) [6].

Looking at the robot density of only 68 per 10,000 employees in the manufacturing industry, there is still ample room for growth. In fact, China is still below the world average of 74. The world’s most ‘robot dense’ country South Korea has 631 industrial robots per 10,000 employees.

The automotive sector has traditionally been the biggest customer of robots. Looking at a moderately low robot density of 505, compared to 1,000-2,000 in Western developed countries, there are still many opportunities in this sector in China. However, the electronical and electronics industry has recently caught up to become the biggest market in China and surrounding Asian countries, with sustained high growth. In the wake of investments in the 100B USD ‘Big Fund’ for developing a domestic semiconductor industry, this can only be expected to continue in China[7].

Other sectors like the metal, chemical, and food processing industry are smaller in terms of units sold. Both the metal and chemical industry are plagued by overcapacity that make investors wary, although this seems to be slowly dissolving for the chemical industry[8]. Outside the manufacturing industry, robots for medical applications and the agricultural sector can offer interesting niche markets in China.

Made in China 2025

The central government realizes the importance of its manufacturing industry. Xi Jinping’s geopolitical One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative is for a large part focused on securing access to the European market for goods produced in China. It is no coincidence that two of the main OBOR projects (railway lines) start in Yiwu, the manufacturing powerhouse of Zhejiang province[9].

As in other industries (e.g. aerospace with Commercial Aircraft of China (COMAC), semiconductors with the Big Fund), the government aims to nurture a domestic industry that is capable of adequately serving the domestic market. According to the statistics above, this is not yet the case. Issues like these are addressed in the Made in China 2025[10] roadmap published in 2015, and the 2016 follow-up Robotics Industry Development Plan[11], which is complementary to the Three-Year Action Plan to Promote the Development of a New-Generation Artificial Intelligence Industry[12], published in 2017.

For more information on the AI development plans and developments, check our website (www.hollandinnovation.cn) for an article on developments in China and ‘brain-inspired artificial intelligence’.

All plans seems to draw heavily on Industrie 4.0 from Germany. This is no surprise, as the concept is popular in China (fun fact: there are as much mentions of the concept on Chinese websites as on German websites[13]).

Goals set in Made in China 2025 are the following:

By 2020,

  • Indigenous brands of industrial robots and domestically produced critical components should reach over 50% share of the domestic market;
  • Mean time between failures (MTBF) has reached 80,000 hours;
  • Small scale production and application of service robots have been realized in medical health, family services, elderly care anti-terrorism, disaster relief;
  • 2-3 world leading companies with annual production capacity of 10,000 units have been cultivated, 5-8 robotics industrial clusters have been created.

By 2025,

  • A complete robotics industrial system has formed, China has reached an international level in robotics R&D, manufacturing and system integration;
  • Indigenous brands of industrial robots and domestically produced critical components have reached over 70% share of the domestic market;
  • MTBF has reached world top level;
  • Large scale production and widespread use of service robots has been reached in daily live, social services and national defense;
  • 1-2 Chinese companies have become world leader.

In the Robotics Industry Development Plan, more information is given on which types of robots are to be developed, as well as more precisely defined goals. However, as is customary for these strategic plans, little information is given on how these measures will be concretely implemented.

Looking at earlier industry developments (e.g. highspeed railways, aerospace, semiconductors), it is to be expected that local governments will compete for building ecosystems. To this end they often create incentives to lure foreign companies to their districts. Next to that, Chinese firms will more easily receive government subsidies or loans in this sector to accelerate their development. They will likely resort to proven methods such as hiring foreign experts and Chinese experts from foreign companies, and directly buying technology. They can also try to acquire more foreign companies, like the acquisition of German robotics company Kuka AG by Chinese Midea in 2016[14], or Zhejiang Wangfeng acquiring USA robotics company Paslin in 2016[15].

The role of indigenous innovation should however not be underestimated. The Chinese government has long pursued a clear goal of boosting indigenous innovation[16]. As one of the results, China has just surpassed the USA as largest producer of scientific publications in the world[17]. There are still legitimate concerns about quantity over quality in science, but the trend is clearly upwards. Figure 1 is a clear example of this. China is expected to have reached world average citation score in 2018, and could overtake some Western European countries by 2020 if the trend continues. China is a large countries and there are ample hotspots where quality is much higher.

Figure 1: Mean citation score of China using 137 Chinese universities included in the Leiden University Center for Science and Technology Studies Leiden Ranking, including linear prediction (dashed line). Measure used is percentage of papers among top 10% most cited. This is a comprehensive ranking that compensates for many factors, such as self-citations, type of publication, field of research dependent citation habits. Citations need time to mature, therefore the ranking of 2017 includes publications from 2012-2015 (walking average shown). For more information, see http://www.leidenranking.com/.

A closer look at R&D activity in robotics

Next to research, it has become clear that Chinese companies can be very capable of world-class innovations. Most well-known examples are perhaps Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT), and Huawei. However, also in robotics there are interesting examples.

Hikvision has developed sorting robots that can sort up to 200,000 packages a day and are self-charging, meaning they can operate around the clock. The robots are already deployed in warehouses in China[18].

At the Fourth Military Medical University in Xi’an, the world’s first dental operation by a robot with no human involvement was completed in 2017[19]. Also in the medical field, iFlyTek developed a robot with Tsinghua University that has passed the Chinese medical licensing test, it can now be used to give suggestions to doctors, to help them identify problems quicker and avoid some risks[20].

Specialized Chinese companies Siasun Automation & Robotics, Zhejiang Wanfeng, Shanghai STEP Electric, Estun Automation with market capitalizations of 800 M USD to 4.8 B USD are all growing rapidly in the industrial robotics segment[21].

It is clear that these are just some clearly visible examples. We can get a more complete picture by looking at patent applications. Figure 2 shows the size of the Chinese jurisdiction in robotics compared to other jurisdictions in the world. Figure 3 shows the composition of patent applicants in the Chinese jurisdiction in this timeframe.

Figure 2: Patent applications worldwide in the robotics categories[22].

Figure 3: Composition of applicants in Chinese jurisdiction for robotics category.

The field is growing quickly worldwide. Most patent activity is clearly in China, and within this field, 70-90% stems from Chinese applicants. Growth in the last 4 years has averaged at 48% per year in this category, compared to 7% on average for China.

Some background on the patent system in China is necessary to interpret these statistics. Similarly to scientific publications, there are concerns about the quality of Chinese patents among low standards and incentives to file patents for the sake of filing[23]. This raises the valid question if Chinese patents are ‘worth as much’ as a measure for innovation as in other countries.

China offers Invention Patents with a 20 year protection period similar to European countries and the USA. They cost about 20,000 USD to file and maintain, similar to the USA, and more than in the European Patent Office[24]. Another type, limited Utility Model patents, is also very popular in China, but they are discarded here due to their lenient granting rules.

The Chinese patent office has become much stricter in recent years. The mean rejection rate in the robotics categories was 44% from 2011-2014, compared to 18% from 2007-2019, and 17% for the US 2011-2014. In 2016, regulations were revised again to be even stricter[25]. The mean granting period was 1.6 years from 2011 to 2014, so it is expected that statistics are not significantly skewed by applications still under consideration. Even with this high rejection rate, in terms of granted patents, the Chinese jurisdiction was still the largest in the world in 2014.

Opportunities for Dutch companies

With a strong scientific foundation, the largest presence and growth rates in corporate R&D, strong government support, the largest market, and a number of successful examples, China has all the right cards to become the new powerhouse of robotics in the near future. The Netherlands also hosts a lot of interesting companies and initiatives in robotics. How can they capitulate on all the potential in China? How to do this in a way that also safeguards Dutch interests in the long run?

The simple answer is that this depends on the specific case and sub industry segment. Contact us (china@hollandinnovation.cn), and we will be happy to see what we can do for you as a company. The Holland Innovation Network specifically aims to help Dutch innovative companies to unveil potential in China, or find collaboration partners.

Figure 4 shows where robotic SMEs filing patents in the Chinese jurisdiction are located. There is a clear cluster in the Yangtze River Delta (Jiangsu, Shanghai, Zhejiang province), extending out to Anhui province. This coincides with a large part of the manufacturing industry in China. The same is true for Guangdong in the south (Pearl River Delta). Individual city with most patent applicants in robotics is Suzhou in Jiangsu.

Figure 4: Location of SMEs filing patents in the Chinese jurisdiction in robotics categories.

A good way to start for companies are industry expo’s and companies. Some prime examples are:

  • China (Guangzhou) International Robotics Exhibition, 6-8 June, Guangzhou
  • China International Robot Show 2018 (CIROS2018) 4-7 July, Shanghai
  • World Robot Conference 2018 (WRC 2018), 15-19 August, Beijing
  • Robotics Show China 2018, 19-23 September 2018, Shanghai
  • International Conference on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (ICRAI 2018), 17-19 November, Guangzhou
  • Guangzhou International Robot and Industrial Automation Expo (IRIA), April 2019, Guangzhou

If you are interested in joining, don’t hesitate to contact us. Perhaps there are opportunities for a joint Dutch presence or side activities.


Written by David Bekkers, Officer for Innovation, Technology & Science, Holland Innovation Network (Innovatie Attaché Network), Dutch Consulate-General Shanghai, with help of Ma Qing, Officer for IT&S at the Embassy in Beijing. You can contact me through db@hollandinnovation.cn.

[1] The Economist: https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21646204-asias-dominance-manufacturing-will-endure-will-make-development-harder-others-made

[2] Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/surveillance-cameras-made-by-china-are-hanging-all-over-the-u-s-1510513949

[3] East West Bank: https://www.eastwestbank.com/ReachFurther/News/Article/DronesFromYourPockettoYourBusiness

[4] Quartz Media, 2017 https://qz.com/1031020/heres-a-sign-of-our-massive-global-trade-imbalance-right-now-45-of-ships-are-traveling-without-cargo/

[5] New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/20/world/deng-xiaoping-a-political-wizard-who-put-china-on-the-capitalist-road.html

[6] International Federation of Robotics: https://ifr.org/downloads/press/Executive_Summary_WR_2017_Industrial_Robots.pdf

[7] Wall Street Journal, 2017 https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-backed-fund-plays-big-role-in-countrys-chip-push-1501493401

[8] KPMG, 2017 https://home.kpmg.com/xx/en/home/insights/2017/03/china-chemicals-grow-profits-moderate-growth-economy.html

[9] South China Morning Post, 2018 http://multimedia.scmp.com/news/china/article/One-Belt-One-Road/index.html

[10] Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, 2015 (Chinese) http://www.miit.gov.cn/n1146285/n1146352/n3054355/n3057497/n3057505/c3597332/content.html

[11] National Development and Reform Committee, 2016 (Chinese) http://www.ndrc.gov.cn/zcfb/zcfbghwb/201604/t20160427_799898.html

[12] Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, 2017 (Chinese) http://www.miit.gov.cn/n1146290/n4388791/c5983008/content.html

[13] 1,810,000 on .de websites, 1,770,000 on .cn, of which 71,100 on .gov.cn websites, sourced by Google.de/Google.hk.cn, using German/Chinese version of the term.

[14] Reuters, 2016 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kuka-m-a-mideamidea-group-idUSKBN14J0SP

[15] China Daily, 2016 http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2016-04/21/content_24719433.htm

[16] US Chamber of Commerce, 2009 https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/legacy/reports/100728chinareport_0.pdf

[17] Science Alert, 2018


[18] South China Morning Post, 2017 http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2086662/chinese-firm-cuts-costs-hiring-army-robots-sort-out-200000

[19] South China Morning Post, 2017 http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/2112197/chinese-robot-dentist-first-fit-implants-patients-mouth-without-any-human

[20] South China Morning Post, 2017 http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2120724/how-robot-passed-chinas-medical-licensing-exam

[21] Nanalyze https://www.nanalyze.com/2018/02/4-chinese-industrial-robot-stocks/

[22] Mainly IPC category B25J. Some niche categories were added, namely A01D46/3, A61B34, B21B39/2, B21J13/1, B29C64/379, B29C70/38, E21B41/4, G02B21/32.

[23] IP Watchdog, 2017 http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/12/12/wipo-stats-patent-application-filings-china-lead/id=90855/

[24] IP Watchdog, 2016 http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2016/08/28/cost-filing-obtaining-maintaining-patents/id=72336/

[25] IP Watchdog, 2017 http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/12/12/wipo-stats-patent-application-filings-china-lead/id=90855/

Vacature Senior Managementondersteuner IA maart 2018



nodigt geïnteresseerden uit te solliciteren naar de functie van

Senior Managementondersteuner bij het Innovatie Attaché Netwerk



Functie: Senior Managementondersteuner;

Post: Ambassade van het Koninkrijk der Nederland in Peking;

Functieniveau: 7;

Periode arbeidsovereenkomst: 1 jaar met de mogelijkheid van verlenging;

Arbeidsduur: 38 uur per week.


De Senior Managementondersteuner is werkzaam voor het Economisch Cluster op de

Ambassade te Peking en is verantwoordelijk voor de inhoudelijke ondersteuning van het

Innovatie Attaché (IA) team (o.a. beleidsondersteuning, administratie en bijhouden van

databases) en voor de coördinatie van de China-projecten die ondersteund worden vanuit het

PIB (Partners in Business) Programma.

Hij of zij verricht zelfstandig coördinerende, organisatorische en administratieve

werkzaamheden ter ondersteuning van het management en/of medewerkers van een

organisatie-eenheid of project, zoals het organiseren en voorbereiden van bezoeken, missies en

evenementen en het in behandeling nemen van vragen van bedrijven.



• Fungeert als eerste aanspreekpunt voor netwerk en relaties op het gebied van operationele

zaken, zowel intern als extern;

• Fungeert als algemeen aanspreekpunt voor zowel de IA thuisbasis in Nederland als

bedrijven, kennisinstellingen en overheidsorganisaties;

• Ondersteunt het IA-team bij organisatie van onder andere evenementen, inkomende en

uitgaande missies, de monitor en administratie met het aanleggen en bijhouden


• Beantwoordt verscheidene en uiteenlopende vragen en verzoeken die betrekking hebben op

het werk van de attachees;

• Verzamelt en controleert gegevens op juistheid, bruikbaarheid, tijdigheid, rechtmatigheid en

volledigheid, verwerkt deze en legt ze vast in (onder andere) databases;

• Stelt managementinformatie samen en voorziet deze van analyse en conclusies;

• Signaleert en rapporteert over beleidsterrein-gerelateerde ontwikkelingen;

• Voert deskresearch uit, bijvoorbeeld over de activiteiten van Nederlandse en Chinese

organisaties ten behoeve van de afdeling en netwerkrelaties;

• Ondersteunt inhoudelijk de verantwoordelijke attachés bij nieuwe en lopende PIB-projecten;

• Fungeren als aanspreekpunt voor zowel PIB-consortia, RVO als inhoudelijk

verantwoordelijke attachés in het China postennetwerk.



• De contacten kenmerken zich door het (als schakel) maken van afspraken over

evenementen, missies, delegaties, workshops beheer, processen en afstemmen van

werkwijzen bij te leveren diensten;

• Intern en extern over de uitvoering en voortgang van de werkzaamheden, om toelichting te

geven, te ondersteunen, af te stemmen over werkwijzen en informatie uit te wisselen;

• De senior managementondersteuner is daarin in hoge mate zelfstandig.



Denk- en werkniveau

– HBO werk- en denkniveau met 2-5 jaar relevante werkervaring.


– Heldere en taalkundig correcte mondelinge én schriftelijke uitdrukkingsvaardigheid, zowel in

het Nederlands als in het Engels;

– Zeer goede spreekvaardigheid in het Chinees (Mandarijn) is een vereiste.

Inhoudelijke kennis

– Beheersing van MS Office is een vereiste;

– Kennis van managementondersteunende werkwijzen, processen en methodieken;

– Affiniteit met exacte wetenschappen en techniek strekt tot aanbeveling.


– Stressbestendig;

– Communicatief vaardig, zowel mondeling als schriftelijk;

– In staat om te fungeren als schakel naar politiek-bestuurlijk en ambtelijk topniveau met

externe en buitenlandse relaties;

– Talent voor het inzichtelijk maken van gegevens en processen strekt tot aanbeveling;

– Gevoel voor interculturele communicatie.


– Initiatief;

– Plannen en organiseren;

– Analytisch denken;

– Organisatiesensitiviteit;

– Flexibiliteit;

– Accuraat werken;

– Coördineren;

– Samenwerken;

– Integriteit (standaard competentie voor alle functies bij de ambassade).



De ambassade Peking is een grote post van circa 95 medewerkers, onderverdeeld in afdelingen

voor politiek, economie, pers & cultuur, consulaire & operationele zaken, met uitgezonden en

lokaal in dienst genomen medewerkers. Naast het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken hebben

zo’n 11 andere Nederlandse overheidsorganisaties uitgezonden medewerkers geplaatst bij de

ambassade in Peking.

Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden heeft in China, naast de ambassade in Peking, consulatengeneraal

in Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shanghai en Hongkong en Netherlands Business Support

Offices in Chengdu, Dalian, Jinan, Nanjing, Qingdao en Wuhan.

Tot het ressort van de ambassade behoren China en Mongolië. In Ulaanbaatar wordt Nederland

vertegenwoordigd door een Honoraire Consul. Op de ambassade in Peking en in het Chinanetwerk

kom je terecht in een goed georganiseerde werkomgeving waar teamgeest en

collegiaal samenwerken centraal staan.

Wat in China gebeurt kan altijd rekenen op grote belangstelling uit Nederland en de ambassade

speelt een spilfunctie in de hele samenwerkingsrelatie. Ieder jaar vindt een groot aantal

bezoeken van Nederlandse bewindslieden, handelsmissies en andere delegaties plaats.

De Senior Managementondersteuner functioneert binnen het economisch cluster dat uit

verschillende disciplines bestaat (Handelsbevordering, Landbouw, Innovatie, Investeringen,

Infrastructuur en Waterstaat). Het totale economisch team omvat 23 personen waarvan een

deel uitgezonden staf is en een deel lokale Nederlandse en Chinese medewerkers.

Het economisch cluster werkt nauw samen met andere afdelingen binnen de ambassade, met

het postennet China, met relevante ministeries, kennisinstellingen en organisaties in Nederland

en met het bedrijfsleven in Nederland en in China. Het economisch cluster ziet het als een

kerntaak om goede relaties te onderhouden met de diverse geledingen van de Chinese


Het IA-team bestaat uit zeven personen: de Innovatie Raad in Peking, de Senior

Managementondersteuner en vijf Innovatie Adviseurs in Peking, Shanghai en Guangzhou. Het

team in Peking opereert als zelfstandige eenheid binnen het economische cluster van de

ambassade. De kerntaak van het IA-team is het behartigen van de belangen van de

Nederlandse kennisinfrastructuur in China. De Senior Managementondersteuner maakt integraal

deel uit van de ambassade in Peking.



De Senior Managementondersteuner is klantgericht, accuraat, en goed in staat werkzaamheden

zelfstandig te plannen, te starten en af te ronden. Is organisatie- en intercultureel sensitief en

effectief in de communicatie met collega’s en derden. Hij/zij werkt graag in teamverband met

zowel eigen als gedeelde verantwoordelijkheid. Heeft gevoel voor humor, is positief ingesteld en

draagt actief bij aan een ‘can do’ werksfeer binnen het IA-netwerk. In staat eigen werk en rol

vanuit een hoger abstractieniveau te bezien.


• De succesvolle kandidaat wordt een arbeidsovereenkomst aangeboden voor in eerste

instantie 12 maanden, met de mogelijkheid tot verlenging;

• Het gaat om een lokaal in dienst genomen medewerker op wie de Rechtspositieregeling

lokaal in dienstgenomen werknemers 2005 van het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken van

toepassing is;

• De functie is ingedeeld in schaal 7. Deze telt 16 loonnummers, van RMB 17.927,00 bruto

per maand voor loonnummer 0 tot RMB 26.891,00 bruto per maand voor loonnummer 15,

bij een volledige werkweek van 38 uur. Inschaling in een loonnummer geschiedt op basis

van het aantal jaren aantoonbare relevante werkervaring;

• Op het brutoloon wordt belasting ingehouden als ware de medewerker belastingplichtig in


• Het is niet mogelijk om in Nederland aan te sluiten bij het sociaal verzekeringsstelsel, lokale

medewerkers bouwen niet op de reguliere Nederlandse wijze pensioen op. Het maandsalaris

wordt aangevuld met in totaal circa RMB 9.900,00 netto per maand voor het treffen van

voorzieningen voor pensioen, huisvesting, ziektekosten en sociale verzekeringen;

• De ambassade betaalt een 13e maand.


• Voor functie-informatie kan contact worden opgenomen met Taake Manning, Innovatie Raad,

via manning@hollandinnovation.cn, +86 10 8532 0218.

• Aanvullende informatie over de arbeidsvoorwaarden kan worden verkregen bij Eugène Brat,

HR Officer, via pek-hr@minbuza.nl, +86 10 8532 0240.


Sollicitanten worden uitgenodigd vóór 19 maart 2018 een motivatiebrief én CV in het

Nederlands te sturen aan pek-hr@minbuza.nl. Onvolledige sollicitaties zullen niet in

beschouwing worden genomen.


De selectieprocedure bestaat in beginsel uit interviews, met mogelijk een schriftelijke test.

Aanstelling vindt plaats onder voorbehoud van het verkrijgen van een visum en een

verklaring omtrent het gedrag met de uitkomst ‘geen bezwaar’. Bij gelijke geschiktheid

hebben interne kandidaten voorrang.

Chinese Research Landscape

When searching for your ideal research and science cooperation partner in China, you will probably encounter many universities, Chinese Academies of Sciences (CAS) and (key) laboratories related to your sector.

Their websites show information related the amount of (under) graduates and members of CAS/ CAE, while also mentioning National Key Basic Research Programs, National Key Labs, other kind of labs, engineering centres, projects 985/ 973, among others.

This article will give an idea about the scientific system in China, and insights how to read such information. Firstly, information will be provided about universities, CAS institutes and laboratories in China. Secondly, the most important scientific programs will be highlighted. Followed by an overview of a top academic career for Chinese scientists, including individual acknowledgements.


There are more than 2600 universities and colleges in China. In order to find the most prestigious ones, you can look for various lists and programs in which the best universities are selected. Although the overall criteria are unclear, it’s expected that they have qualified research facilities and acknowledged scientists.

Throughout the years China published various university lists. In 1959, a list with National Key Universities referred to universities recognized as prestigious and which received high-level support from the Central government of China. This list started with 16 universities. In 1995, China started Project 211. Project 211 intended to raise the education and research standards of about 100 high-level universities, followed by Project 985 in 1998. Project 985endeavoured to select and prepare nearly 40 research-intensive universities for future international impact. Through Project 985, an official alliance of nine elite and prestigious universities was initiated, named the C9 League, comparable to the UK’s Russel Group or the US’ Ivy League.

The Double First Class University Plan (also named Double Top University Plan) recently “replaced” these projects. The plan is implemented by the Ministry of Education (MoE) in China since 2017, to create world-class universities and disciplines by the end of 2050. The full list is published in September 2017, including 36 universities Class A (which are relatively more prestigious), 6 universities Class B and 95 institutions (including the 42 Class A and B universities) designated to develop world-class courses. See the list here. The list can be used to select the best universities related to your research focus.

To find the best universities on research within your field, it is also recommended to conduct information via the CWTS Leiden Ranking, available via this website. Some guidelines on how to use it: select your interest at “Field”, include China at “Region/ country”, put a minimum output of 500 publications, and order by PP (10%). A list with potential cooperation partners will appear.

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (中国科学院) is the national academy for the natural sciences in China. CAS holds 104 research institutes, with a staff of 67,900 people, including about 56,000 professional researchers. Of these, approximately 22,800 are research professors or associate professors. Website: http://english.cas.cn

Becoming an Academician of the Academy represents the highest level of national honor for Chinese scientists.

A list of the current 104 research institutes is available here. Furthermore, there are 12 branch academies. You can find such on page 7-27 via the following link. CAS also runs three universities, namely the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) and the relatively new ShanghaiTech University.

These institutions are home to more than 100 State Key Labs and engineering centres as well as nearly 200 CAS Key Labs and engineering centres. More information about the various laboratories will be provided in the next paragraph.

CAS scientists conduct research in most areas of basic science and technology, as well as strategic advanced technologies. They have six academic divisions, such as Mathematics & Physics; Chemistry; Life Sciences & Medical Sciences; Earth Sciences; Information Technological Sciences and Technological Sciences

CAS is home to over 85 percent of China’s large-scale science facilities. CAS is e.g. developing the China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS) and the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST). The academy also hosts the Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN), which has about 50 core field stations and 100 other stations across the country. CERN conducts monitoring and research involving ecological systems and the environment.

In addition, CAS publishes 267 academic journals.

Other Chinese academies are the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE). CAE gives important advice, but does not have research of its own. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) has a similar to CAS for social sciences and humanities. Aside, there are many more narrow academies.

The national scientific and academic organizations affiliated to the China Association for Science and Technology are also important forces to scientific and technological research since they have particularly a strong network.


Within universities and CAS institutes, there are many different laboratories.

These labs are financed differently (infrastructure, personnel costs, etc, but not necessarily the research work itself) by the Central government (MOST, MoE, MIIT etc.), local governments, CAS, hosting universities (therefore by MoE) or by mixed funding including industry. Also the level of excellence differs.

National laboratories and state key labs receive the largest amount of money and are considered to be superior.

National laboratories, only few in number, are set up to deal with broad research topics/ large-scale scientific programs. They are mainly operated through cooperation between a single university and CAS institute, on the basis of various state key labs, CAS key labs and key labs of the Ministry of Education.

These national laboratories are financed by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), including big investments (larger amounts compared to state key labs).

An overview of the current national laboratories is available below. There are more in the application phase, not yet formally approved.

State Key Labs (SKLs) represent the best research groups in China for a specific topic (only one SKL per research topic), especially for basic research. Its premise is to enable the country’s most accomplished scientists and scholars to conduct pioneering research to further support China’s technological and economic development.

In 1984 the plan to create SKLs was initiated by the Chinese State Planning Commission (currently named National Development Reform Commission (NDRC)). In 1998, the implementation was handed over to and financed by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). Later on also the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (NSFC) got involved in the evaluation of the academic performance of the SKLs.

In 2015 there were in total 255 SKLs, with a total budget of 4 billion RMB, mainly based in universities (132) and CAS (78). Others are with ministries and in companies. More information about SKLs is available here (in Chinese).

All above mentioned labs focus on scientific fundamental research.

More applied research is appointed to the Chinese National Engineering Research Centres (CNERC). There are more than 200 CNERCs in all major engineering areas, established by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). The CNERCs focus on providing engineering research and consultancy support to industries, such as enhancing core competency on the transformation of technology achievements for productivity; promoting a higher level of maturity, compatibility, and engineering standards in technology results; and providing technological innovation support for national socioeconomic development.

Following above explanation of universities, CAS institutes and laboratories in China, the next part will focus on scientific programs in China.

Scientific programs

China formulated a series of general programs for scientific and technological research and development. The overview of scientific programs constantly changes due to reforms and new selections. However the most important ones will be highlighted, namely the National Science and Technology Major Project and National Key R&D Program. The latter includes the 863 and 973 Programs, also named State High-Tech Development Plan and National (Key) Basic Research Program respectively.

The National Science and Technology Major Project are considered the most important science and technology tasks in the Chinese mid-and-long-term science and technology planning. In total it focuses on 12 projects in the field of ICT, chips&software, nuclear technology, earth observation etc.

A well-known example is the C919 project. More information about other projects is available here (in Chinese).

In December 2015 the Ministry of Science and Technology started a reform towards a National Key R&D Program. Programs such as the 863 and 973 Program are being merged in this new program.

The 863 Program was launched in March 1986, by the Ministry of Science and Technology. The program addresses and stimulates a number of cutting-edge high-tech issues of strategic importance. More information is available here.

The 973 Program was launched in 1997 by the Ministry of Science and Technology. It calls for the development of science and technology in various fields. More information is available here.

The Ministry started a new webpage, integrating all information related to the National Key R&D Program. You can find such here (in Chinese).

There are also other, currently less relevant, scientific projects.

In 1982 the Key Technologies R&D Program was launched. It’s oriented towards national economic construction, aiming to solve the key and comprehensive problems directing the national economic and social development covering agriculture, electronic information, energy resources, transportation, materials, resources exploration, environmental protection, medical and health care, among other fields. In 1986 the Spark Program was launched, focusing on revitalizing rural economy through science and technology and to popularize science and technology in rural areas. The Torch Program was launched in 1988. It calls for the development of high-tech industries, including high-tech industrial development zones around China. The program mainly includes projects in new technological fields, such as new materials, biotechnology, electronic information, integrative mechanical-electrical technology and advances and energy-saving technology.

The last part of this article focuses on individual researcher.

As individual researcher you can receive various acknowledgements to highlight your expertise. National Distinguished Experts before the age of 40 can be selected for the (Youth) Thousand Talents Program, which is actually not limited to 1,000 scientists. This program was launched in 2008, for which – on average – scientists between the age of 32-36 are being selected. More information is available here. Before the age of 45, experts can be selected to become a Distinguished Young Scholar. In 1994, such is implemented by the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). More information is available here. The highest honour award is to become an Academician, member of fellow CAS. Currently there are around 800 scholars with such a title in China. Elections for new academicians are held every two years. An overview is available here (in Chinese).

In 1994, CAS implemented the first talent recruiting and training program named the Hundred Talents Programs. Compared to above mentioned acknowledgements it’s less prestigious.

Following above-mentioned acknowledgements, a top academic career for a Chinese scientist looks as follows:

To keep up to date, you can contact me or my colleagues via china@hollandinnovation.cn, or you can follow us via our website (www.hollandinnovation.cn) and/ or Twitter (IA_China).

Might you be interested in a pdf file (slide deck), please also feel free to contact me.