Linking Epidemiology and Laboratory Research on Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses in EU and China

LinkTADs survey for the Roadmap for strengthening EU-China animal health research cooperation

Ryan Aguanno, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

The work package on supporting policy dialogue in LinkTADs provided a framework for political dialogue and served an important purpose in the networking of policy makers. The goal was to enhance the framework for collaboration between the EU and China through the organisation of bi-regional consultations events, which in turn would help increase policy discussion related to animal health diseases.  Deliverable 5.3, which provided a roadmap for strengthening EU-China animal health research cooperation, was developed at the end of the project.  The aim of the roadmap was to provide a sustainable strategy for EU-China research cooperation outside of European funded research programmes, and acts as the primary tool for the diffusion of key recommendations and outcomes at the policy / macro level. 


The roadmap was formulated after surveys on the experiences and opinions of various EU and China animal health experts were compiled through phone interviews.  We originally decided to perform the interviews over the phone to ensure that we received a reply to our questions and that the answers given were accurate, two characteristics which often plague email responses.  The surveys consisted of questions covering communication channels, past and future topics, barriers to coordination, and areas for LinkTADs improvement, all under the umbrella of animal health.  Furthermore, major findings on existing animal health policies and funding schemes in the EU and China were discussed, and recommendations that may facilitate future policy making for better collaboration proposed.  Though not all individuals contacted were both willing and able to provide us with answers, in the end we were able to interview 9 experts who provided us with valuable information.


Thus far, findings on both the EU and Chinese sides have shown similarities, something we hope will reveal a strong commitment for future collaboration.  The conversations have pointed towards the importance of face-to-face meetings, the willingness of both parties to deepen existing ties, and have identified new research topics which may gain prominence in upcoming years.  Mostly importantly however, the surveys revealed a strong urge to tackle barriers that have arisen during past EU-China partnerships.  Full findings of the study will be available in August 2016.