£6m Nottingham-Ningbo New Materials Institute further strengthens UK-China relations

22 Sep 2015 16:15:58.747

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The University of Nottingham is joining forces with the Ningbo Government in China to establish the Nottingham-Ningbo New Materials Research Institute, a deal valued at £6m over five years.

The announcement of the University’s collaboration will coincide with a visit by the Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, the Rt. Hon Anna Soubry MP to The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) on September22, where she will meet some of UNNC’s most enterprising young graduates who are setting up their own start-up businesses in China.


During her trip, Ms Soubry will also announce a £1m joint Low-Carbon Research Centre between the University and the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute.

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Business Minister Anna Soubry said: “Higher education is one of the UK’s most important exports to China and The University of Nottingham is at the forefront of this drive. It is doing fantastic work to build strong partnerships with Chinese institutions and provide thousands of local students with world class British degrees.

“This new £6million materials research institute will boost collaboration even more and pave the way for new business opportunities.”

As part of the University’s ongoing relationship with the city in the Zhejiang province, the aim of the Institute is to create five international research teams, and in the longer-term, to commercialise the research in order to promote the rapid development of the new materials industry in Ningbo.

The world-leading research taking place will look at composite materials and engineering, including soil mechanics, particle materials and technologies, sustainable materials and advanced manufacturing technology, new energy materials and technology and advanced materials and technology.

Supporting new business

The Institute will also be home to new businesses in these sectors that will be supported by the Ningbo National Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone and Ningbo Municipal Science and Technology Bureau.


Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement at The University of Nottingham said: “By collaborating with the government in Ningbo, we are building on the University’s global research strengths, and our pioneering campus of 6,000 students and 700 researchers in Ningbo. The New Materials Institute represents the future of UK-China collaboration on economic development and innovation and we see this as the next step in our ongoing relationship with China.”

Celebrating a decade of partnerships

The New Materials Institute, like the ground-breaking £25m International Academy for Marine Economy and Technology (announced last year by the University and the Ningbo Government), will leverage the University’s world-class research connections and support the thriving innovation and research community of academics and students based on UNNC.

The announcements in China come as the City of Nottingham is set to welcome its largest delegation of civic, business and education leaders from a Chinese city to celebrate a decade of partnership and twinning with Ningbo – a port city of 7.6m people south of Shanghai.

Inspired by the establishment of the University’s campus in China, the cities’ special relationship will be set in stone when a pair of new Chinese lion statues gifted to the city by Ningbo are officially unveiled on he University of Nottingham’s Highfields Park campus later this month.

This will be followed in November by a replica Robin Hood statue taking pride of place on the University’s campus in Ningbo as a gift from Nottingham.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the THE Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top one per cent of universities by the QS World University Rankings, and 8th in the UK by research power according to REF 2014.

The University of Nottingham in Malaysia (UNMC) is holding events throughout 2015 to celebrate 15 years as a pioneer of transnational education. Based in Semenyih, UNMC was established as the UK's first overseas campus in Malaysia and one of the first world-wide.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, University of Nottingham, +44 (0)115 82 32184, nicholas.king@nottingham.ac.uk


Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email: charlotte.anscombe@nottingham.ac.uk  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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