Discussion and Recommendations

The discussion among workshop participants took place after all presentations were made and involved representatives from: Virginia Tech, Southeast University, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), China Electric Power Research Institute (CEPRI) and State Grid Electric Power Research Institute (SGEPRI). The discussion focused on identifying possible research collaboration and faculty/student exchange opportunities among US and Chinese universities with the support from the governments and industries in both US and China.

The following topics were discussed:

1) How would organizations in China support such collaborative work?

With the new State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) research center in California, USA, there are expected to be more interactions among the US and Chinese researchers. Right now it is difficult to get funding for US researchers directly from China due to limited availability of funding for foreigners. The SGCC center in CA focuses on topics beyond traditional power systems. This may include interdisciplinary research fields that encompass computer science, communications, sensing, controls and protocols. To get funding for joint US-Chinese projects, the US team needs to find its Chinese counterpart and jointly submit the proposal to SGCC. The team can invite people from SGCC and CEPRI to review and make comments on the proposal.

In China, there are three main funding sources: (1) Ministry of Science and Technology; (2) Industry; and (3) NSF China (NSFC). The Ministry of Science and Technology does not pay for foreign researchers, but can support international travel for Chinese experts to travel to foreign countries. Funding from the Chinese industry should be spent in China. Funding from NSFC, however, can be used in support of international collaborative projects. It was suggested that PIs from US and China write two separate proposals, one to submit to US NSF and the other to submit to NSF China. Deadlines for such a proposal submission to NSFC are in December of each year, in which case proposal preparation should start in March.

To be successful in getting proposals funded, the proposed research work must be built upon existing working relationships among university partners. Relationship building will take years, and can be start from workshops like this one where researchers describe in more detail their ongoing work, which cannot always be understood from published papers. Discussions at these workshops can also help to identify mutual interests, possible collaborative research areas, and joint publication outlines, etc.

2) Joint Collaboration

Four possible collaboration opportunities among US and Chinese experts were identified.

3) Follow-up discussion

To follow up this lively discussion, we expect to organize a two-hour meeting at the IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM) to be held in Washington, DC, area in July 2014. A select group of faculty members from both US and China will be invited. Interested program directors from both NSF (USA) and NSFC (China) are also expected to attend.