Tuesday at the International Conference on Sorghum for Biofuel the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the People's Republic of China signed an agreement to collaborate on biofuels research. The signing came during a meeting of over 200 scientists, industry leaders and government officials in Houston, Texas.
Existing cooperation between the U.S. and China on science and technology was originally signed in 1979. In 2002, USDA and MOST signed a specific agreement paving the way for the agreement between Tsinghua University in Beijing and ARS's National Center for Ag Utilization Research (NCAUR.)
Gale Buchanan, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, and Liu Yanhua, Vice Minister of MOST from the People's Republic of China sign an agreement to cooperate on sweet sorghum and other biofuels research.
The agreement establishes the intent to cooperate in establishing processes and infrastructure for conversion of sweet sorghum and other feedstocks to ethanol. This agreement represents an important step forward in the collaboration of some of the world's top scientists to contribute to alternative energy research through the development of alternative feedstocks, a statement said.
"Today's signing establishes a virtual joint center for a series of projects that are very specific to the two centers," said Michael Abbey, International Affairs Specialist and Asia Program Coordinator for USDA's Agricultural Research Service. "We also intend to include universities and business in both China and the United States. We can now focus on specific areas of cooperation."