Nottingham to lead new Sino-UK research centre

October 19th, 2011

A pioneering new centre will train the researchers of the future and strengthen links between the UK and China.

The University of Nottingham, UK and its pioneering campus, The University of Nottingham Ningbo China, are to open an International Doctoral Innovation Centre (IDIC) spanning both countries, to train 100 of the brightest young PhD researchers over the next six years. They will become future leaders in the fields of energy and digital technologies, helping to develop innovative solutions that will address major global challenges.

A formal agreement marking the founding of the IDIC was signed last month at a major event at the Ningbo Exhibition Centre chaired by the Mayor of Ningbo.

The £17m IDIC will cross national boundaries, with the four-year PhD course divided between the UK and China. Postgraduate training will be combined with exposure to industry and entrepreneurship on an international scale. It will establish long-term co-operation between leading UK and Chinese universities and industry, and provide a substantive platform for developing collaborative research and knowledge transfer activities between the two nations.

The initiative draws on the University’s experience of running doctoral training centres in Nottingham, including two funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and Ningbo Municipal Government have also played a key role in bringing the project to fruition.

Professor Bob Webb, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University, said: “The IDIC is a new model of international cooperation that will provide a framework to integrate innovation-led research and doctoral training. Through this model we will develop novel energy and digital technologies for the 21st century and find ways to accelerate how these technologies are exploited for the benefit of the global community.

“The centre will develop a portfolio of innovation-led research projects. It will recruit a cohort of 100 students selected for their potential to collaborate across disciplines, generate creative solutions and work with commercial and research partners to apply these solutions within an international context.”

Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Campuses, said: “The IDIC is a great exemplar of how our international campuses can serve as a powerful platform to forge strategic research and knowledge transfer partnerships by working closely with regional and national agencies.

“An intensive doctoral training program at The University of Nottingham in the UK will develop the students’ research capabilities and provide them with entrepreneurial skills to realise the benefits of a portfolio of innovative research projects that will be carried out at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China.”

As well as realising the full potential of Nottingham’s pioneering campuses in Asia, this groundbreaking initiative will serve as a model for other disciplines and will ensure the development of the research and innovation leaders of the future.

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