Nottingham to lead new Sino-UK research venture

19 Sep 2011 14:30:00.000


A pioneering new centre will train the researchers of the future — and help to deepen links between the UK and China.

The University of Nottingham, UK and its pioneering Campus in China, 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.

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A formal agreement marking the founding of the IDIC was signed on September 17th, at a major event at the Ningbo Exhibition Centre chaired by the Mayor of Ningbo.

The £17m IDIC is a pioneering development in international doctoral training because it will cross national boundaries — with the four-year PhD course split between the University’s campuses in China and the UK. 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.

This major initiative draws on the University’s experience of running Doctoral Training Centres in Nottingham UK, 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 of Nottingham, said: “The International Doctoral Innovation Centre 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 International Doctoral Innovation Centre 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 in 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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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:

Story credits

More information is available from Tim Utton, Deputy Director, Communications, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 846 8092,
Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

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

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