Institute for Advanced and Applied Chemical Synthesis

Professor Martin Banwell, Director of the Institute for Advanced and Applied Chemical and Synthesis, Secures the "Friendship Award" of the Chinese Government


On September 30, the 2021 Chinese Government Friendship Award ceremony was held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Li Keqiang, a key member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and the Premier of the State Council met with some of the foreign experts who had secured the Chinese Government Friendship Award. In his speech, the Premier highlighted the important contributions that foreign experts have made to China's modernization, to Sino-foreign friendships and to developing collaborations with other countries. Academician Martin Banwell, an Australian expert and the Dean of the Institute for Advanced and Applied Chemical Synthesis at Jinan University (JNU), secured this honor and thus becoming only the second foreign expert associated with the University to do so. His nomination was supported by the United Front Work Department.


Academician Martin Banwell, fourth from the right in the second row, was among the attendees at the Chinese Government Friendship Award Ceremony held in Great Hall of the People in Beijing on September 30th, 2021


A total of 18 foreign experts attended the ceremony after the Minister of Science and Technology, Wang Zhigang, announced the award decision. Liu He, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council, presented the awards to the award-winning foreign experts and gave a speech. Minister You Quan and Vice Minister Pan Yue of the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee offered, through Jinan University, their warm congratulations to Professor Banwell upon his receiving the award.


The Chinese Government Friendship Award is the highest award established by the Chinese Government for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to China’s modernization, reform and opening up. It was officially established in 1991 by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs and authorized by the State Council. The ceremony associated with the “Friendship Award” is held every year on the Eve of the National Day. This is the highest civilian honor awarded to foreigners by the Chinese Government.


Professor Banwell was born in New Zealand and raised in family friendly to China. His father, who worked for the United Nations as a consulting geophysicist, was most enthusiastic about Chinese culture and taught himself Mandarin. As a consequence, Martin has admired Chinese culture since early childhood. Professor Banwell was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences (FAA) in 2004 and became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2018. He served as the Director of the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University (ANU) from 2008 to 2013.


Martin first visited Guangdong in 2014 and during the period from 2016 to 2019 he was appointed as a Pearl River Scholar Chair Professor of Jinan University. This appointment allowed him to actively develop collaborations between the ANU and JNU as well to helping the pharmacy discipline at JNU become a double first-class one in China. During this period, he participated in the construction of various major scientific research platforms, and jointly trained 11 graduate students. At the end of 2019, Martin joined JNU on a full-time basis as Inaugural Director of the Institute for Advanced and Applied Chemical Synthesis (IAACS). Since then he has secured 1 national talent project, trained 13 doctoral and master students and published 39 research papers. Additionally, he has been actively involved in recruiting new faculty to the IAACS, delivered numerous academic lectures, and established various industrial collaborations.


(Text: International Office of JNU, and Institute for Advanced and Applied Chemical Synthesis Research. Photo: the official website of the State Council of the PRC –