Innovation China-UK workshop on geospatial science

10 Nov 2008 14:44:00.000

PA 282/08

A unique research initiative between China and the UK is bringing together top experts from both countries in the fields of geospatial science and global navigation satellite systems.


Innovation China-UK (ICUK) — a ground-breaking collaboration backed by the governments of both nations — is a research and knowledge transfer partnership helping UK and Chinese collaborators to develop, commercialise and exploit their joint research worldwide.


ICUK and The University of Nottingham brought together experts from academia, industry and government at Wuhan University in China recently for a two-day workshop on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and geospatial sciences.

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The workshop was held at the International Collaboration Centre of Wuhan University, involving 60 people including government officials, academics of leading universities and research institutes in both UK and China, and also directors from leading Chinese surveying and mapping companies. It provided an important platform for China-UK professionals in GNSS and Geospatial Sciences to present and discuss recent developments, strategy, education and applications in this area, for example the monitoring of geo-hazards.


Mr Weisen Li, Deputy Director-General of the China State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, said: “This workshop has provided an excellent platform for UK and Chinese professionals to present each other’s capabilities in research and applications. It provides a good opportunity to promote the fast economic development of both countries and to increase the international influence of both countries’ research in this area.”


Neil Ackroyd, Director of Data Collection and Management of the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain, gave an introduction about the current developments of GNSS and Geospatial Sciences. Alan Dodson, Professor of Geodesy and Pro-Vice-Chancellor at The University of Nottingham, Professor Jingnan Liu, President of Wuhan University, and Professor Junyong Chen, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and former Director-General of the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping China, also gave keynote speeches during the workshop.


The event was jointly organised by ICUK and The University of Nottingham, UK, and was hosted by Wuhan University in China. Professor Dodson and Professor Jingnan Liu were the honorary workshop chairs while Dr Xiaolin Meng of The University of Nottingham, and Professor Chuang Shi of Wuhan University, were the Executive Chairs.


Professor Dodson said: “Through open debate and discussion, we are aiming to establish mutual understanding about the opportunities and challenges that we are facing with the launch of new satellite navigation systems and new signals, especially the Chinese Compass and the European Galileo systems.


“We also look forward to promoting and exploiting new applications of GNSS systems, especially in tackling global warming/climate change issues and other critical engineering and environmental applications. Potential commercialisation of the latest research work was one of the main themes discussed during the workshop.”


Professor Deren Li, double academician from Wuhan University, Professor Stuart Marsh, Head of Spatial Geoscience Technologies at the British Geological Survey and Mr Chris Godwin, Director of RCUK in China were also amongst those who attended the meeting.


ICUK is a joint initiative between the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills, and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. It is the first China-UK collaboration programme to promote joint innovation and technology transfer. Connecting five UK higher education institutions and over 20 Chinese partner institutions, ICUK supports academic and business partners in forging collaborations, funding proof-of-concept research, and commercialising joint intellectual property across the UK and China.


Ms Manyi Cristofoli, Chief Executive Officer of ICUK, said: “There are many potential collaborations in the area of GNSS which can significantly contribute to the economic development of both countries, and further promote collaborations in joint innovation and intellectual properties. ICUK has an aim to explore a new model for China UK collaboration, and promote and commercialise joint research projects which have commercial potential and social significance.”


The University of Nottingham is a world-leading research-oriented university renowned for its research in satellite navigation and many other areas. The University has very extensive collaborations with many countries, and has particularly close links with China: 2005 saw the official opening of a University of Nottingham campus in the dynamic Chinese city of Ningbo, south of Shanghai.


The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China — the first overseas institution granted permission to set up inside the People’s Republic — now has 3,700 students.


The ICUK website is at:


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Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.


It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation – School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.


Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Alan Dodson , Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 9513921,; Dr Xiaolin Meng, Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy, School of Civil Engineering, University of Nottingham, +44 (0)115 8466029,

Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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