Guy Smagghe professor at the Ghent University received the "China National Friendship Award"

(08-10-2019)

(07-10-2019) For his many years of collaboration with China, he received this award on 30 September 2019.

Guy Smagghe gave his first lecture in China in April 2008 and his first Chinese student began in 2009. Since then he has collaborated with various universities (in Chongqing, Beijing, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Anhui, Hangzhou, Kunming) and research institutions of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). His work is especially with insects that are important in agriculture, both harmful insects with caterpillars, beetles and aphids, and useful insects with bumble bees and wild bees for their pollination services. Talented Chinese students have graduated under his supervision, and five are now also young professor in China.

Reward for a pioneering role for more green agriculture

Guy Smagghe has been working for years with various Chinese universities of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and the China Platform of the Ghent University. The basis for the award ceremony now lies in the strong cooperation agreement between the Southwest University (SWU) in Chonqging and Ghent University (UGent). Countless close ties were formed from there. It resulted in a number of well-known initiatives. For example, the application of a new technology called RNA interference in the fight against harmful insects such as aphids. A joint research laboratory (International Joint Laboratory of China-Belgium on Sustainable Crop Pest Control) was also set up that focuses on more green agriculture with more sustainable and environmentally-friendly cultivation systems. Prof. Smagghe received this prestigious Chinese Award at national level with congratulations from Deputy Prime Minister Liu He.

Guy Smagghe was together with 100 experts from 31 countries who received the prestigious National Friendship Award this year. This is the highest prize for a foreigner in China. The American economist James Joseph Heckman, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2000, and Norwegian biologist Nils Christiaen Stenseth, with a focus on ecology and evolution, were also present this year. Then there was a conversation and group photo with Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of China, and he thanked all laureates for their efforts and achievements in name of the country, the People’s Republic of China. They were then invited to the gala dinner with President Xi Jinping.