CHOICE in a nutshell



The CHOICE project aimed to provide timely input and follow-up on common ICT R&D priorities and future cooperation opportunities between the EC and China by assisting in focusing dialogue meetings and increasing their visibility through the delivery of workshops and events based around priorities identified in current dialogue meetings and providing inputs for subsequent dialogue meetings originating from the workshops, webinars and events.

The CHOICE project addressed obstacles to reciprocity in EU China collaborative ICT R&D and encouraged a more balanced relationship between the EU with China in collaborative ICT R&D. In particular, by providing information and support for European nationals, companies and organisations willing to access Chinese research programmes.

The CHOICE project highlighted examples of EU China excellence in ICT R&D through its dissemination activities and showcased EU and Chinese excellence in ICT R&D by developing a detailed online database and through its workshops, webinars and events.
The CHOICE project strengthened EU-China industrial ICT R&D cooperation through business-to-business matching making activities and by disseminating information on models of clustering for cooperation.

Based on the above work, the CHOICE project developed a roadmap towards a strengthened EU-China ICT R&D cooperation strategy for cooperation beyond FP7. The roadmap was accompanied by an action plan that provided a sustainability strategy for EU-China research cooperation outside of European funded research programmes.



Key facts


FULL TITLE Strengthening China Collaboration on ICT research with Europe 
FUNDING SCHEME Coordination and Support Action (CSA)
PROGRAMME 7th Framework Programme
START DATE  01/01/2014
END DATE 31/12/2015
DURATION 24 months
FUNDING € 0.74 M
THEME Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
THEMATIC AREA International Cooperation, DG CONNECT, Unit D.1



Project Partners


The CHOICE consortium was a balance of Chinese and European partners, including OpenChina-ICT project partners (SIGMA and CATR), as well as ChinaACCESS4EU (SPI, TORCH, EUPIC) and DRAGON-STAR (SPI) partners, which guaranteed that all the valuable outputs of previous projects would be fully exploited and that synergies with relevant projects would be developed.

Brunel University London

Brunel University London is a dynamic institution with over 15,000 students and nearly 900 academic staff with total staff numbers in excess of 2400 operating in a vibrant culture of research excellence. The University plays a significant role in the higher education scene nationally and has numerous national and international links and partnerships with both academia and industry. Brunel used to comprises of 8 academic Schools and 7 Specialist Research Institutes, conducting research ranging from social sciences and health and social care to mechanical and material engineering and information systems, computing and mathematics. From 1 August 2014, Brunel moved from 8 academic Schools and numerous Specialist Research Institutes to 3 academic Colleges and 3 Specialist Research Institutes. This new structure maximises opportunities to develop research with an increased emphasis on collaboration, facilitates innovative and high-quality teaching approaches, and enables the delivery of an academic portfolio more suited to an increasingly interdisciplinary future. Brunel has a long history of successful bidding for European funding and of managing EU projects, and is currently coordinating several FP7 EU projects: HiPerDNO (ICT-Energy), 3D VIVANT and UbiPOL (ICT), CEES (IAPP project), PHARMAS (Environment), DECOON (Transport) and UCP & ICARUS (SME Programme).

BRUNEL is CHOICE project coordinator and leads activities assisting and supporting dialogues.

Sigma Orionis

Sigma Orionis has been founded in 1984 by Roger Torrenti. Over the years, in line with the initial vision of creating an efficient link between research and markets, the company has developed its expertise in the energy, environment, buildings and ICT domains. The company is today mainly involved in international projects, providing institutions, companies, research laboratories, and universities worldwide with services such as technology and market research reports, organisation of business and cooperation events, marketing and dissemination activities, and secretariat of associations, alliances, and working groups. Sigma Orionis is involved, since the late 90’s, in projects funded by DG CONNECT or DG RTD, aiming at strengthening S&T cooperation between Europe and other countries and regions of the world, in the ICT domain or in other domains. With regard to China, Sigma Orionis has been involved in FP5 ECCITE, FP6 FACTS and CHINACOOP (coordinator) and FP7 OpenChina-ICT support actions.

Sigma Orionis leads project communication and dissemination activities. Sigma Orionis also substantially contributes to the organisation of project consortium meetings and review meetings.


Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (SPI) is a private consulting company created in 1997 as an active centre of national and international networks connected to the research and innovation sectors. SPI has over 65 full-time staff located in the various offices of the company – including in Portugal, China, Spain and USA with operations in Brazil and Africa. SPI has extensive coordinating and international networking experience in EC projects related to bilateral S&T research and innovation between EU and China: ChinaACCESS4EU, Dragon STAR (INCO FP7); Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) performance of China (DG Research); Support for International Cooperation on Innovation Policy (DG Enterprise and Industry); ChinaFrontier (INCO FP6); InnoChina (INCO FP5); Feasibility study on the setting-up of a European Centre in China for European SMEs (DG Trade).

SPI is leading the activities related to fostering cooperation, as well as managing the liaisons with EU MS/AC programs.


Torch High Technology Industry Development Centre (Torch Centre), mandated by the Ministry of Science and Technology, is in charge of the administration of the Torch Programme and the Innovation Fund for Technology-based SMEs (Innofund). The two programmes are national guiding programmes designed to develop new and high technology industries in China. Torch Centre consists of 18 divisions with 85 permanent staff members and 20 temporary staff members. Torch Centre collaborates with various national organisations and is also very active internationally. Examples of past projects of TORCH in the area of EU-China S&T cooperation include ChinaACCESS4EU and ChinaFrontier funded by the EC.

TORCH is in charge for matching EU and Chinese industrial associations and leads the activities related to bringing together European and Chinese Industrial Associations.

CAICT (Previously CATR)

The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) – formerly known as China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR) – is a think tank of the Chinese government in the ICT sector, under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). CATR integrates the functions of research, test, certification and consultancy. CATR has established long-term cooperation with the European Commission since 2005 and signed a MoU with DG CONNECT in January 2011. CATR has been involved in the EU-China Information Society Project since 2009 and acted as a main player in the field of Telecommunication Law and Regulation fields. CATR, together with the European Commission and experts, has built up the “EUChina FI/IPv6 and IoT working group” in 2010. CATR is the Chinese Coordinator of EU-China Smart City Cooperation between MIIT and the European Commission. CATR has been involved in the FP7 Coordination and support action project PROBE-IT and was a partner of the OpenChina-ICT project.

CATR leads the activities related to enhancing cooperation and to liaising with other EU project and EU-China expert groups.


The EU Project Innovation Centre (EUPIC) is a non-profit organization established in Chengdu (China) in 2006 under the Asia-Invest Programme, an EU initiative promoting business cooperation between the EU and Asia. The mission of EUPIC is to support EU-China SMEs, universities and research institutes in their cooperation of in business, technology transfer and innovation. In 2011, EUPIC obtained the approval from the European Commission for the creation of “EEN-West China”, aiming to assist SMEs from Europe and West China in their market expanding, investment attracting and R&D cooperation. EUPIC has rich experience in facilitating EU-China cooperation in ICT sectors while organizing different Sino-EU cluster events, co-organizing 2012 CHINASOFT and participating as a partner in the ChinaACCESS4EU project.

EUPIC is leading the activities related to the organization of events supporting dialogues.



Advisory Board


The Advisory Board (AB) members comprised of relevant institutions from the ICT research environment and the policy level from Europe and China such as representatives of (i) other EU and EU MS/AC projects, (ii) business organisations and (iii) research centres thus covering different categories of key stakeholders. The consortium also ensured that other project relevant initiatives in China would actively participate in the Advisory Board.

The main role of the AB members was to contribute to the updating and fine tuning of the “Roadmap towards enhanced EU-China ICT R&D cooperation”, identifying and detailing cooperation priorities between the EU and China in the ICT field and providing ad-hoc recommendations.

The AB also provided its assistance to the project to actively engage relevant external stakeholders to:

  1. Use their vital input for the project’s purposes
  2. Actively disseminate and exploit the project’s results
  3. Help the project to liaise with other European and bilateral projects

Advisory Board members are listed below:

European members

 Chris Brown Chris Brown has managed 3 major EU-funded projects, addressing structural reform in the agri-business sector in China from 1995-2001, an Asia-wide ICT Partnerships Programme from 2002-2004 based in Thailand, and the EU-China Information Society project from 2005-2009.More recently, Chris has worked as a senior advisor for the European Union, conducting a policy review of the Trans Eurasia Information Network (TEIN) and acting as e-Government expert for the China Europe Public Administration (CEPA II) Project, together with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS). Chris also acts as Chief Advisor for leading UK higher education company, INTO University Partnerships, responsible for the company’s market entry strategy into China. As of March 2012, Chris has been appointed to co-manage the EU-China Policy Dialogue Support Facility phase 2 (PDSF 2), building on the success of the first phase to facilitate high-level policy dialogue between Chinese Ministries and the EU’s own DGs. The programme covers a wide range of sectors, including ICT, energy, climate change, public health, social development and energy. The PDSF 2 programme runs for the next 4 years.
Epaminondas Christofilopoulos Epaminondas Christofilopoulos studied Physics in Greece, Environmental Management in UK, and International Relations in Sweden. 

 He initially worked in the field of environment (1996-2001) as a university researcher or as an environmental expert in a chemical industry, before moving to the consulting sector and especially innovation and technology transfer. Being part of the Technology Transfer team in Help-Forward, he has been supporting organisations in exploiting technologies and identifying cooperation partners. 

About the same time (2001), he started working as project manager in projects and became a Greek NCP for EU FP programs. In FP6, he was officially nominated as the Greek NCP for Environment, Energy, and Transport and for the ERANET activities, while currently in FP7, he is the NCP for International Cooperation (INCO) and for Transport. In 2004, he set up a new activity in HF related to International Cooperation and especially consultancy support to Third Countries for establishing research and technological cooperation with the EU. Since then, he has coordinated several projects and tenders in Eastern Europe, Asia, the Gulf peninsula and Central America, in particular the DRAGON STAR project on Sustaining Technology And Research Collaboration between Europe and China.
Philippe Cousin Philippe Cousin has 28 years of experience in ICT. He designed and built two top ten worldwide large radio testing laboratories in China for the State Radio Monitoring centre and China Academy on Telecommunication & research. He was involved in ICT research projects supporting Chinese partners since 5th EU research programme (FP5) and was the Technical Director of a FP6 research project involving 12 partners including three Chinese partners (CATR, BII, BUPT). He has also been involved in many recent FP7 projects while managing several ones with Chinese partner. He worked as a manager within ETSI on interoperability activities (+70 events organised, several ones in China such as on IPv6) and later on managing Sales for Standards-Enabling Services. Has developed research cooperation on generic testing environment with CATR and work on new ones in China where he has established many projects and cooperation since 1997. He was recently appointed as EU expert in the EU-China Memorandum of Cooperation for IoT (Internet of Things). Other topics of interest he follows in China are, amongst others, on test methodologies, RFID and IoT, Mobile applications, Future Internet test beds, Wireless technologies. He is also a member of IPv6 Ready logo committee with active cooperation with BII, BUPT and CNGI.
Antonio Graziano Antonio Graziano holds a B.Sc. Honours in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and a Master’s certificate in Business administration from the University College of Cardiff, UK. Starting off as an engineer for AB Electronics Newport, Wales, he spent nine years at Matsushita Electric (Panasonic) Television Division, where he held senior European and international positions. He went on to join EACEM (the former European Association of the Consumer Electronic Manufacturer) where he was appointed Technical Officer charged with organising, coordinating and administering EACEM’s Technical Committee liaisons with standardisation institutes and EU legislators and with providing expert information and advice on regulatory issues. In 2001, Mr Graziano joined DIGITALEUROPE, the organisation representing the ICT industry in Brussels, to become their Director of Public Affairs with a specific focus on technical and environmental policy and regulation. Since May 2011, Mr Graziano has held the position of Vice‐ President at Huawei’s European Public Affairs and Communications Office in Brussels.
Thomas Hart Thomas Hart is working in China as policy and business consultant, specialised on media and communication policy and strategic economic and business challenges in China and Asia. He is Senior Advisor of the China Academy of Telecommunications Research at the MIIT, providing advice on the reform of the Chinese telecommunications and internet governance policy. In China since 2005, initially as key expert for the EU-China Information Society Project (2005-2009), later as key expert for the EU-China Managers Exchange and Training Programme, as Visiting Professor of China Southwest University for Finance and Economics and as advisor to the US-based The Carter Center on its China Transparency Programme, he facilitates the policy dialogue between China and its international partners on topics such as telecommunications policy, internet governance, e-commerce, e-government and government transparency.
Jani Kaarlejärvi Mr Jani Kaarlejärvi is Director of International Coordination at DIGILE (Finnish Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation in Digital Business). DIGILE’s international focus areas are China, the European Union area and the US. He has been appointed a Visiting Professor in ICT Innovation and Economy for a 5-year period at Beijing University of Posts & Telecommunications (BUPT) in Beijing. He was a Member of the Steering Board as well as the Architecture Board of Future Internet PPP (FI-PPP). In China, DIGILE’s main responsibility is to coordinate and further develop China-Finland ICT Alliance. China-Finland ICT Alliance was established in 2009 to support world-class R&D collaboration between leading Finnish and Chinese companies and research institutions in advanced wireless access, core networks, and application technologies in digital services, next media, wellbeing, education, smart city and smart home. Earlier in his career, he was e.g. Special Advisor to the President of Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA. He has founded start-up companies e.g. on green ICT for emerging markets, and business services for SMEs. He currently acts as the Chairman of Board of Directors of Business Meeting Park Ltd. He earned his PhD in the UK. He is based in Espoo, Finland.
Asimakis Kokos After completing his PhD in modulation and coding from University College of North Wales, Bangor, UK, where he has been a lecturer and research officer, Makis started his industrial career in Unitel, now Tmobile, as Radio engineer, where he contributed to the development of new methods for network planning. He got involved also in the emerging technical and standardization work for 3G (UMTS) and he then joined Nokia where he contributed to the formation of UMTS. He served as the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standardisation Institute) representative in ITU (International Telecommunications Union) when the technology selections were considered, and contributed to the ITU and also to the Japanese 3G decision making process, representing European industry. He then moved to lead regulation and standardisation work of new technologies such as WiMAX and he represented Nokia in regulatory bodies and the European Commission. He has been a pioneer in opening the frequency bands in Europe for WiMAX systems and mesh networks, and also getting Nokia into WiMAX Forum. He was then appointed Head of Strategy & Technology, Nokia Networks China, leading the technology and standardization work in China. After the merger of Nokia Networks and Siemens he has a similar role heading the China Industry Environment group. Makis holds his first degree in Physics and Electronic Automation from National Univeristy of Athens, Greece and he has a Master of Science in Digital Communication Systems from Loughborough University of Technology in the UK. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and a UK Chartered Engineer. He holds 2 patents and has more than 20 scientific publications.
Latif Ladid Latif Ladid is a Senior Researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) of the University of Luxemburg. He has worked in various managerial and marketing positions at Nixdorf Computers in Germany, and Hewlett‐ Packard in the Middle East, as International Sales Manager at ComputerLand Europe in Luxembourg, and as Managing Director of ComputerLand Switzerland. From 1992 to 1998, he was with the Canadian Internet and internetworking specialist, DEVELCON, where he served as Vice President of Sales and Business Development. In 1998, Latif joined Telebit Communications A/S as Vice President, Sales EMEA (In June 1999, Ericsson acquired a major share in Telebit, creating Ericsson Telebit A/S). With support from the IETF IPv6 Working Group and the IPv6 Deployment Initiative, Latif founded the IPv6 Forum ( ) in May 1999. He has also served, from 1996 to 1998, as chairman of Global‐ ISDN. He holds an ESCAE (France), and did post‐ graduate work in business and administration in the UK. Selected in 1998 as International Who’s Who Professional. Member of 3GPP PCG Board ( ). Researcher on multiple European Commission IST Projects (6INIT,; 6WINIT, Next Generation Technologies. Project Co‐ ordinator of the Next Generation Networks Initiative (NGNi, ) funded by the European Commission that kicked‐ off Jan 1, 2001. Latif was elected in June 5, 2001 as Internet Society Trustee ( ). Latif is the Chairman of the newly created European Commission IPv6 Task Force initiative (
Jeanette Whyte  Jeanette Whyte is the founder of Jenesis Consulting. Since starting the company in 2002, she has advised a number of clients ranging from start-up companies to international ‘blue chips’ to government agencies representing a range of industries across Asia. Jeanette is a former British Telecom (BT) Director, and has over 25 years telecommunications experience where she held senior roles in the areas of strategy, portfolio management, product development, international business development and IT.  Since founding Jenesis, her engagements have included matching investors and capital with entrepreneurs and identifying strategic investors for Telecoms, Media and Technology companies. She has advised on new licence bids, corporate transformation programs and market entry strategies.  Jeanette graduated from Loughborough University in the UK with a BSc (Hons) in Management Sciences. She is a Sloan Fellow with an MSc from London Business School and has a post graduate Diploma in Marketing from the UK-based Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Jeanette is a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Directors.
Bruno Le Dantec  Bruno Le Dantec now serves as the EIT ICT Labs French Chief Operating Officer. He recently launched the Sophia Antipolis Colocation Centre where a new master on data analytics and a Doctoral Training Center focusing on Internet of Things will start in 2015. Additionally, Bruno participates to the EIT ICT Labs Outreach programme and to the Access to Finance activity. He structured the French participation to the successful EIT ICT Labs proposal in 2009 and served as the French Node Director for over 3 years. From 1986 till 1993, he performed diverse functions working for SMEs: real estate lawyer, property manager, business contributor, chief financial officer,… From 1992 till 2007, within the European consortium ERCIM (mathematics and informatics) he led the European projects team before becoming the grouping’s executive director. He strongly developed both activities and partnership before joining INRIA in 2008 as Senior Project manager in charge of the European strategic and interregional partnerships. Bruno Le Dantec was born in 1963 in Rennes, France. He has a master degree in commercial law and a postgraduate certificate in finance.
 Jacques De Soyres  Mr Jacques De Soyres is one of the two managers of the European Commission’s-sponsored EURAXESS Links China platform. After obtaining his masters degree in International Affairs at the Political Science Institute in Paris and getting some experience working for NGOs and multinational companies active in Asia, Jacques developed his career further in Beijing, promoting scientific and academic cooperation between China and Europe first in the legal field as China representative of the Civil Law Initiative, then more broadly in all fields as EURAXESS Links China information officer. Through his previous and current positions as well as his experience of China stretching over a decade, Jacques has gained a good knowledge of the Chinese academic and R&D systems and networks.

Chinese members

 Duo Liu  V.P. of CATR, Chinese Academy of Telecommunication Research of MIIT, China, Mrs. Duo, graduated from Department of Electronic Engineering of Tsinghua University in 1989 and obtained the Master Degree from Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1992. She works for the network technologies for many years and now she focuses on the NGI, IoT and Cloud Computing, etc. She is Vice President, China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR) of MIIT. At the same time, she is Deputy Secretary General of China Communication Standardization Association (CCSA), Chairman of Ubiquitous Network Technical Committee (TC10) of CCSA. She is Secretary General of China Next Generation Internet Expert Committee, the Interactive Media Alliance of China and Broadband Development Alliance. She is former Vice Chairman of SG13, ITU-T. 
Zhisheng Niu Mr. Niu graduated from Northern Jiaotong University (currently Beijing Jiaotong University), Beijing, China, in 1985, and got his M.E. and D.E. degrees from Toyohashi University of Technology, Toyohashi, Japan, in 1989 and 1992, respectively. After spending two years at Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., Kawasaki, Japan, he joined with Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 1994, where he is now a professor at the Department of Electronic Engineering and the deputy dean of the School of Information Science and Technology. His current research interests include teletraffic theory, mobile Internet, radio resource management of wireless networks, and green communication and networks. Currently, he is a fellow and councilor of the IEICE, Director for Conference Publications of IEEE Communication Society, Conference and Technical Seminar Coordinator of IEEE Region 10, council member of Chinese Institute of Electronics (CIE), and vice chair of the Information and Communication Network Committee of the Chinese Institute of Communications (CIC). He is now the Chief Scientist of the National Fundamental Research Program (so called “973 Project”) of China “Fundamental Research on the Energy and Resource Optimized Hyper-Cellular Mobile Communication System” (2012-2016), which is the first national project in this area in China.
Xiaohui Yu Mr. Yu is Chief Engineer of China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR) and Director of the Institute of Policy and Economy. Mr. Yu graduated from Beijing University of Post and Telecommunication in 1991 and has over 20 years of experience as a professional researcher in ICT sector in CATR. His research fields include industry strategy research, policy research and planning, telecommunication network and technology research and planning, ICT strategy research and planning etc. He has been involved in several national ICT strategies and plans and played the leading role, such as the 2006-2020 National ICT Strategy, the 11th, 12th ICT Five year plan of China, he has been leading the research group in ICT policy and regulation to provide the research support in the decision making in the laws and regulation policies in ICT sector in China. He has been actively involved in the EU-China ICT cooperation in particular as a member of the EU-China IoT Advisory Group.
Xia Wenhuan Mr. Wenhuan drives business development in China and is based in Transpacific IP’s Beijing office. Prior to joining Transpacific IP, Wenhuan worked in executive level business development positions in international economic and technical corporations for 10 years. He handled international technology transfer projects and assisted in organizing international technical and business corporation events such as, International technology Transfer Beijing Conference, UK-China Agri-tech Innovation Forum 2010, ICUK-Guangdong Intro and Partnering 2009, and Korea-China Zhejiang Hi-tech Expo 2008. When he was managing International Technology Transfer Network (ITTN), he successfully built partnerships with over 300 supporting partners across 30 countries. He was also the project leader for government funding research projects such as competitive cluster development in China, comparison analysis of current status of US-China cluster collaboration and EU-China cluster collaboration, as well as the identification of niches/opportunities and success factors for international government-academic-industrial collaboration. Wenhuan holds a Master of Arts in International Relations in Economy and Trade from Flinders University of South Australia, and holds a Senior Economist, Technology Broker certificate.
 Jianning Zhang Mr. Zhang is the Secretary-General of the Industry alliance of Internet of things and of the Industry alliance of the Future Internet in ZhongGuanCun.