Austrian Alumni Session at the Beijing Humboldt Forum 2018

Building a coherent Alumni network through exchange of experiences between the Chinese and Austrian Alumni

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hoto: Audience of the Austrian Alumni Session

hoto: Group photo of part of Alumni 

The Beijing Humboldt Forum 2018 hosted by the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) and co-organized with partners including the Austrian Embassy Beijing and the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (FH OOE) was held from 15. to 16. September at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing. At the opening ceremony Mr. Friedrich Stift, Austrian Ambassador to China and Mongolia gave an opening speech. After his speech Ambassador Stift was appointed as Honorary Professor and Co-Director of Austrian Cultural Center at the UIBE.

On Sunday, September 16th numerous parallel sessions were held. The Science and Technology Section of the Austrian Embassy Beijing (OSTA) organized for the fifth time an Austrian Alumni Session.  The international chair Mr. Philipp Agathonos, Minister Plenipotentiary for Science and Technology at the Austrian Embassy Beijing, and the national chair Ms. LI Xiaoxin, Vice Director of WRSA & Director, Sub-Association of Chinese Academics from Germany and Austria of WRSA opened the Alumni Session.

More than thirty Alumni from various areas participated at the Austrian Alumni Session. Under the topic „ Science and Technology as a link between Green Economy, Cultural Heritage and Life Science“ the Alumni Session was composed of three parts. Twelve Alumni, six Chinese and six Austrian, gave presentations. The Austrian Speakers were Mr. Martin Thenmayer, Head of Unit for Liaison Services and Coordination, Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Mr. Arnold Obermayr, Cultural Counsellor of Austrian Embassy Beijing, Ms. Alexandra Wagner, Head of the Austrian Center Shanghai, Mr. Wolf-Dieter Rausch, President of the Eurasia Pacific Uninet, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Mr. Dieter Hopf, director of Large Hydro Andritz and Mr. Andreas Zehetner, Vice President International Affairs, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. The Chinese Speakers were Mr. Zhao Tuanjie, Doctor in the Beijing Erlonglu Hospital, Ms. Lin Yihui, CEO of Yozao Education, Mr. Wang Likun, director assistant of Kaytrip, Mr. Liu Guangzhe, office Manager, Sino-Austrian Research Center for Environmental Protection in North West University of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Lin Qunhan from the Beijing Jiulong Shangyuan Health Technology Co. Ltd. and Ms. Gu Wenyan, a Ph.D candidate at Fudan University who gave a reading of an Excerpt from her newly published novella “Dimu”.

The Austrian Alumni Session at the Beijing Humboldt Forum provided a platform for Alumni to socialize and strengthen contacts and was unanimously recognized and applauded by all participants



OSTA visits TIPCCAS in Beijing

Discussion of opportunities for further cooperation


Photo:Logo TIPCCAS

In preparation for the Austrian delegation trip in the field of Advanced Materials which will take place in November 2018 in close cooperation with CAS, Mr. Philipp Agathonos, Minister Plenipotentiary for Science and Technology and director of OSTA visited the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (TIPCCAS) on 12. September and had an exchange of views with Deputy Director Mr. WANG Xuesong. Both sides reviewed the successful Chinese-Austrian round table on advanced materials in 2016 and agreed to co-organize a one-day event including lab visit, science-to-science talks and B2B meetings this year.


OSTA’s new year reception

2018 starts with large gathering at the Austrian embassy

Photo: Philipp Agathonos gave an opening speech on the new year reception

On 16 January 2018, OSTA (Office of Science and Technology) successfully held the new year reception at the Austrian Embassy Beijing. The reception was opened by the host Mr Philipp Agathonos, Minister Plenipotentiary for Science and Technology, director of OSTA and HE Ambassador Friedrich Stift with sincere greetings to over 100 guests from EU Delegation, other EU-Embassies and partners from near and far such as CCUD (China Center of Urban Development), MOT (Ministry of Transport), CGS (China Geological Survey), EUPIC (EU Project Innovation Centre) Chengdu and Qingdao, ZJST (Science and Technology Department of Province Zhejiang),  representives from Tsinghua University, Peking University etc. and many Alumni of Austrian academic institutions.

All guests enjoyed the Austrian hospitality and the networking opportunities offered by the great variety of experts present.



2017 Austrian Alumni Christmas Event in Shanghai



Photo: An Austrian Alumnus sharing his experiences

On 9 December 2017, the Austrian Alumni Christmas Event was held at Intercontinental Shanghai Expo Hotel. Hosted by the Austrian Center Shanghai and co-sponsored by OSTA, this event has gathered over 80 guests with Austrian affiliations and experiences. OSTA Director Minister Plenipotentiary, Mr Philipp Agathonos, attended the event with a short speech on the current as well as the future role of OSTA in strengthening the Austrian Alumni network in China.

The event was moderated by Alexandra Wagner, the head of the Austrian Center Shanghai, and opened by Mrs Brigitte Seyrlehner, Consul-General of Austria in Shanghai. After speeches of the sponsoring parties and one alumna, all presenting alumni were engaged into conversation and the prize-drawing of a round-trip ticket to Vienna. The event ended with promises to tightening the Alumni bond, as well as networking measures, such as an updated WeChat group for the Austrian Alumni.

EU-China Research and Innovation Tour comes successfully in Suzhou to an end

Further opportunities for science and technology cooperation with Austria

Photo: Philipp Agathonos held a speech about the current and potential cooperation with Austria in Hefei

After the launch of the EU-China Research and Innovation Tour at the Italian Embassy on 27th October 2017 in Beijing and the station on 1st November 2017 in Hangzhou, the Tour continued its track further to Shenzhen, Changsha, Wuhan, Hefei, Shanghai and ended on 1st December successfully in Suzhou. Representatives from the EU Delegation, Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Croatia attended the events. They introduced their current situation on science, technology and innovation and presented opportunities for bilateral cooperation with China.

In Hefei station Austria was represented by OSTA Director Minister Plenipotentiary, Mr Philipp Agathonos. Max Pfeiler covered all other stations. They held speeches presenting the current and potential S&T cooperation between China and Austria. In Hefei Prof. Kai CHEN, Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and Department of Modern Physics, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), a collaborator of Austria’s most prominent Chinese alumnus, Prof. Jianwei PAN, gave a testimonial on cooperation in field of quantum communication following the speech of Mr Agathonos.

The EU-China Research and Innovation Tour received great responses from local S&T departments and created more opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation with a variety of covering areas in the promising future.



Austrian Participation at the Beijing Humboldt Forum 2017

Memorandum of understanding was signed between the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and Eurasia-Pacific Uninet (EPU)

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Photo: Signing Ceremony

 Opening by Philipp Agathonos

17. September 2017 – OSTA had – for the fourth time already – the honor to organize Austrian participation at the Beijing Humboldt Forum 2017, which was held from 15. to 17. September at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing.

The opening ceremony was hosted by Prof. Wang, the President of UIBE. The opening session also included some words of introduction spoken by Philipp Agathonos, the Director of OSTA and a speech by former Federal Minister Dr. Friedhelm Frischenschlager on the State of Play of EU-China Relations.

On Sunday, 17 September BHF participants were invited to join one or more of numerous parallel sessions, three of which were Austrian-led. The University for Applied Science from Upper Austrian held a discussion on the “Value Chain“, while the (EPU) organised a session by Professors form the Vienna University of Veterinary Science addressing the very topical issue, “what can veterinary scientists achieve towards Healthy Food”.

OSTA chaired a session of Austrian Alumnis at which two Alumnis, Ms Wenyan Gu, PhD student (Modern Chinese Lterature) at the Fudan University and participant of the European Forum Alpbach 2017 and Dr. Ming Su, Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science, Nankai University, Tianjin gave lectures from their field of work and talked about their experience in Austria. The second part of the Session consisted of three presentations: a general overview of the current situation of cooperations between Austria and China in the field of science and research (OSTA), a presentation of the activities of the OeAD in China (Ms. Wagner) and a presentation of the activities of the EPU (Prof. Rausch).

Following this session a memorandum of understanding for a future strategic partnership, between the UIBE and EPU, was signed by Prof. Rausch, Prof. Wang, the President of EPU and Prof. Zhao, the Vice President of UIBE.

The BHF was concluded by a closing ceremony to which all speakers and partners were invited to reflect on the past days.


Austrian Alumni Session at Beijing Humboldt Forum 2016

Nine speakers with manifold professional background delivered inspiring speeches


Photo: Peter Schintlmeister, Li Jingjing, Ambassador Irene Giner-Reichl, Andreas Zehetner at the closing ceremony

18 September 2016 – In the framework of the Beijing Humboldt Forum 2016, which was held from 16 to 19 September at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing, OSTA had – for the second time already – the honor to organize an Austrian Alumni Session. Under the heading “Fostering Cultural Heritage through S&T Exchange”, 27 experts from China and Austria, who studied or worked in Austria or China, respectively, came together to catch up with other Alumni.

The Alumni were warmly welcomed by Prof. Feng Xiaohu, general secretary of the Beijing Humboldt Forum, Prof. Zhao Zhensheng, vice chairman of the Chinese Overseas-Scholars from Germany and Austria Section of the Western Returned Scholar Association (WRSA) and Peter Schintlmeister. Nine speakers, Arnold Obermayr, Li Jingjing, Prof. Wolf-Dieter Rausch, Prof. Zhao Zhensheng, Prof. Andreas Zehetner, Dr. Jiang Dechun, Prof. Alfred Pitterle, Prof. Zhang Lixiao and Peter Schintlmeister, who looked back on up to 38 years of bilateral cooperation, focused on personal experience, cultural aspects such as opera and music, and environmental protection. After the session, all Alumni were invited to participate in the closing ceremony of the Beijing Humboldt Forum.


Students from Vienna University of Economics and Business visit OSTA

Giving insight into science and technology in China

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Photo: Students with Ursula Pregernig (right) and Helmut Spitzl (middle) at OSTA Beijing

On 23 March 2016, acting director of OSTA, Mr Helmut Spitzl, welcomed 14 students from Vienna University of Economics and Business at the OSTA office in Beijing. The students, led by research and teaching assistant at the Institute for International Business, Ms Ursula Pregernig, are on a two-week study visit in cooperation with Tsinghua University. Helmut Spitzl shared his experience and presented key facts and figures on S&T in China.


OSTA talks at WRSA Alumni Reception

Keeping in touch with Chinese returnees from Austria

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Photo: Helmut Spitzl at the new year’s reception

On 24 January 2016, the Western Returned Scholars Association (WRSA) invited members and honored guests to join this year’s spring festival reception in Beijing. The event aimed at bringing together Chinese academics, who studied or did research in Germany and Austria. All speeches were delivered in German language.

Ms LI Xiaoxin, Director at WRSA, Ms Catrin Czyganowski, Second Secretary for Cultural Affairs at the German Embassy, Ms Ruth Schimanowski, Vicedirector of DAAD in Beijing, and Acting Director of OSTA, Mr Helmut Spitzl, welcomed the 300 participants. The former Chinese Ambassador to Austria, Mr LU Yonghua, Director of the CAS Institute of Policy & Management, Prof MU Rongping, former Vicedirector of TIPCCAS, Prof ZHAO Zhensheng, as well as representatives of the Hanns Seidel Foundation were also present.


  • WRSA (in Chinese)

Students from Upper Austria visit Beijing

Promoting the successful double-degree Master program between FH OÖ and UIBE in Beijing

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Photo: Robert Fuereder, Thomas Pieringer, Margarethe Überwimmer and Helmut Spitzl with the students

From 18 to 24 October 2015, 50 Austrian students of global sales and marketing at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (FH OÖ) visited Beijing. They followed lectures at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and visited several companies. The study trip took place within the framework of the double-degree Master program “global sales and marketing” which was concluded between FH OÖ and UIBE in Beijing in March 2015.

The students were warmly welcomed by the Austrian Embassy Beijing on 21 October, where Acting Director of OSTA Mr Helmut Spitzl gave a welcome speech. The students will later have the opportunity to participate in the double-degree Master program.