New partnerships with China

13 Jul 2010 16:35:56.790



Two new strategic partnerships with China have underlined The University of Nottingham’s status as the predominant UK university in Asia.


The University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with one of China’s largest carmakers, Chang’An Automobile Co, to develop new research and training links.

Chang’An, which manufactures more than 2.5million vehicles a year, has a turnover of about £6billion and aims to move into the world’s top ten motor manufacturers.

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Partnership with the University follows the company’s recent announcement that it is opening a new research and development centre at Nottingham Science Park, next to the University. This centre will focus on powertrain and transmission technologies as well as investigation into electric and hybrid vehicles.

Chang’An decided to locate its new centre in Nottingham based on a compelling package of local assets in technology, training, facilities and skills base, put together by a partnership of The University of Nottingham, the East Midlands Development Agency, Nottingham City Council and engineering consultancy Romax.

The Memorandum of Understanding with the University will create new opportunities for collaborative working between engineering research teams at Chang’An and academics in the University’s Faculty of Engineering, whose research is internationally recognised.

In another significant development for Nottingham’s international reach, the University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sichuan University in Chengdu, one of the oldest universities in China.

This new strategic partnership will stimulate collaboration on postgraduate education in the fields of biomaterials and geomechanics. The agreement also paves the way for a new joint Doctoral Training Centre which allows both leading Universities to share facilities, ideas and to develop joint projects.

Professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Knowledge Transfer at The University of Nottingham, visited both Sichuan University and Chang’An facilities in the city of Chongqing during a recent trip to China.

Professor Rudd said: “Southwest China is undergoing a dramatic wave of investment and the resulting developments — both technological and economic — provide outstanding opportunities for partnership. We’re delighted to be strengthening our links with one of the region’s powerhouses of research and with one of Asia’s greatest auto brands.”


The University of Nottingham is currently exhibiting its world-class research on energy and sustainability — based on the theme ‘Zero Carbon, Zero Waste’ — at the Shanghai World Expo.


Over the coming months, top researchers from the University’s campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia, as well as leading colleagues from other institutions, will host 16 thought-provoking workshops, lectures and conferences. These span Nottingham’s extensive research into sustainability.

From May 1 to October 31, millions of visitors are expected to visit the Expo and many will have an opportunity to explore — through words, pictures and video — the University’s leading research in sustainability as part of a collaborative exhibition with ZEDfactory.

The University is also working in partnership with the East Midlands Development Agency (emda). emda is helping to attract Chinese investment into the East Midlands through the work of the East Midlands China Business Bureau.

For more details about The University of Nottingham at Shanghai Expo 2010:

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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 the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings.


More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.


The University 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.

Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (  in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Knowledge Transfer, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 8432482,

Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

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

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