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April 9, 2019updated 08 Apr 2019 5:48pm

Tech transfer on EU-China Summit agenda / SpaceX set for Falcon Heavy’s commercial debut / Iran celebrates Nuclear Technology Day

By Luke Christou


Good morning, here’s your Tuesday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Tech transfer on EU-China Summit agenda

The European Union will host the annual EU-China Summit today in Brussels, Belgium, which will bring together European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and China’s Premier Li Keqiang for cooperation talks.

After five years of negotiations, leaders are no closer to reaching an agreement on an EU-China investment treaty, which will likely dominate talks this week.

Included in the EU’s priorities for any agreed deal is the forced transfer of intellectual property that technology companies hoping to enter the Chinese market must endure. This is also a sticking point in the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. However, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has said that the bloc won’t resort to trade tariffs in an attempt to gain an upper-hand in negotiations.

Talks will take place at the Europa Building in Brussels, starting at 1pm local time (12pm London time).

SpaceX set for Falcon Heavy’s commercial debut

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, currently the most powerful rocket in operation, is scheduled to complete its first ever commercial launch today.

The megarocket, which is essentially three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together, will send a communication satellite into orbit on behalf of Saudi Arabian telecom company ArabSat. This is the rocket’s second use following a test launch which sent founder Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster towards Mars last year.

Preflight tests were successfully completed last week confirming that the systems are working effectively. However, Musk took to Twitter to warn that while “static fire data looks good so far”, today’s proposed launch day still “might move”.

The company was repeatedly forced to cancel the launch of a US military satellite using its Falcon 9 rocket late last year due to a technical glitch.

Iran celebrates National Day of Nuclear Technology

Iran will announce 114 nuclear achievements from the past 12 months as it celebrates its annual National Day of Nuclear Technology. This marks the day that Iran successfully enriched uranium, which is a core material in the development of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, back in 2006.

Celebrations will include a ceremony at the Iran International Conference Center in Tehran, with a number of high-ranking ministers and officials set to attend, including Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Despite initially helping to launch the Iranian nuclear programme in the 1970s, the US has repeatedly condemned the state’s nuclear development. The Trump administration took the decision to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal (signed alongside the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the EU in 2015), believing that the nation had broken parts of the deal designed to curb its development of nuclear weapons.

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