Universities Join Hands With Chinese Firms For Some Research Projects
University of Michigan announced a partnership with Chinese institutions to solve and improve global problems including the need for clean water technology and new transportation methods for future generations. The partnership had received an approximate $54 million for their research projects.
Vice president for research at the University, S. Jack Hu and Gov. Rick Snyder have been working in China for the past month, collaborating with local companies to create a plan of action.
Primary component of the five-year partnership is a memorandum of understanding with the Beijing Institute for Collaborative Innovation aims to establish a Global Collaboratory in Water Technology according to Hu.
$25 million will be provided by the Beijing Institute, an organization of 14 Chinese universities. The project anticipates three locations: Beijing, Shenzhen and Ann Arbor, with the funding equally distributed between sites. The full research agreement for the three institutions is scheduled to be signed in 2017.
A second project, a research agreement with Frontt Capital Management wherein a Shenzhen-based firm aims to make advancements in autonomous and connected vehicles as well as in robotics technology.
$27 million collaboration with the firm will establish a joint research center for intelligent vehicles at the University and a robotics laboratory on North Campus.
Director of the University's Mobility Transformation Center and professor of mechanical engineering, Huei Peng, will be leading the third project: the University of Michigan-Sokon Research Center, a $2.5 million research agreement between the University and the Chongqing Sokon Industry Group.
The partnership will push for new technologies, Peng said, including electric and automotive vehicles. He added that the University has been closely working with automotive engineering since the beginning of the auto industry. Peng said he thinks resources should be available to students, and that they should be a part of the research process.
He also added that having such partnerships allows our researchers to conduct research that will have global impact.