CABI strengthens research and publishing ties following visit of Chinese delegation

27 July 2023, UK: CABI has strengthened its research and publishing ties with the Agricultural Information Institute (AII) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS) after a visit to its Wallingford and Egham, UK, offices by a delegation of officials.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Dr Andy Robinson, CABI’s Managing Director, Publishing, and Mr Yuefei Wang, Head of the Cataloguing and Acquisitions Department at the AII, at CABI’s corporate office in Wallingford.

The agreement is to cooperate under the Chinese Digital Preservation Programme (NDPP) – supported by the Chinese National Science and Technology Library and placed under the umbrellas of the Ministry of Science and Technology – which strives to promote the research and practice of digital resource preservation.

It also aims to take part in exchange and cooperation opportunities with international experts and institutions.

Prior to signing the MoU, the Chinese delegation – headed by Mr Wang – received a corporate overview from Carol McNamara, Chief Commercial Officer, of CABI’s work to help improve lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.

The Chinese delegation also learnt about the design and functionality of the CABI Digital Library which showcases all of CABI’s publishing content in one place.

It supports research and learning in agriculture, the environment and the applied life sciences with resources including CABI’s books, journals (CABI Agriculture and Bioscience and CABI Reviews), the Plantwise Knowledge Bank and the CABI Compendium.

CABI Thesaurus – which has over three million descriptive terms for the applied life sciences and underpins the powerful search tool for users of CABI’s research databases and related products – was also demonstrated to the Chinese delegation.

Dr Robinson said, “Strengthening partnerships with major institutions such as the Agricultural Information Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science is vital if we are to tackle major threats such as climate change, hunger and poverty.

“Our shared expertise in publishing and knowledge transfer helps put information into context and into the hands of those who need it most. In respect of agriculture alone, our joint learning resources can build the capacity of farmers, practitioners and scientists to help feed our growing planet more sustainably.”

Following the visit to Wallingford, the Chinese delegation then went to learn more about CABI’s work at its laboratories in Egham where they met with Dr Richard Shaw, Senior Regional Director, Europe and The Americas, and Dr Rob Reeder, PlantwisePlus Programme Support, Egham.

Dr Shaw and Dr Reeder outlined the work at the Egham site and how it relates to CABI’s overall mission and five major goals within its Medium-Term Strategy 2023-2025 including increasing the reach, application and impact of science in agriculture and the environment.

Among the facilities at Egham is the National Reference Collection which was established in partnership with CABI and Fera, the UK Agri-Tech Innovation Centre known as Crop Health and Protection (CHAP).

This facility contains a collection of plant pathogenic fungi and bacteria, entomopathogens, and food spoilage organisms of importance to UK agriculture. It identifies crop pathogens, monitors their spread and discovers potential new biopesticides.

Mr Wang said, “The visit has been useful, particularly for early career research librarians in CAAS to drive and strengthen future collaboration and partnership with CABI.”

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