Vice-Chancellor attends opening of Future Lab at leading Chinese university

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield Professor Sir Keith Burnett was today (15 December 2017) invited to attend the launch of the Future Lab at China's leading Tsinghua University.

The Future Lab is an interdisciplinary facility inspired by the Media Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US and uses the latest technologies to foster collaborations with maximum support for creativity and innovation, focusing on relevance to the economy and wider society.

vc-china-lineupThe high-profile launch was attended by the Chinese Vice-Premier, Minister for Science and Technology, Vice-Minister for Education, President and Vice-Presidents, as well as the Directors of Microsoft, Samsung and Apple.

Earlier the Vice-Chancellor visited the Beijing Research Institute for power batteries in electric cars and held a private meeting with Fei-Fei Li, the Head of Google Artificial Intelligence (AI) globally, who is from China, who is known for her commitment to human-centred development of AI technologies.

Sir Keith said: "It is a genuine privilege to spend time in China and to learn more about the superb research which is taking place in areas of global challenge such as sustainable transport and artificial intelligence.

"What I am learning here is directly relevant to the leading research in our University and we are taking the opportunity to develop agreements for future research partnerships, student and staff exchange and potentially also shared teaching through initiatives such as our MindSphere Lounge and Education 4.0. This has been reinforced by strong support from the Chinese Ministries of Industry and Education, reflecting our longstanding commitment to working positively with Chinese scholars and industry in shared problems for the good of all."

During his week-long visit, the Vice-Chancellor also made an agreement with the President of China's leading Beihang University to work together on artificial intelligence and manufacturing.

Beihang University, previously known as Beijing Aerospace and Aeronautical University, was founded 65 years ago by merging the aviation departments of eight leading Chinese universities to support the development of aviation. It has since become the top university in China for research funding per faculty member and has particular strengths in engineering materials, AI and science. It has the largest single teaching facility in Asia.

VC with head of Google AI VC

Additional information

The University of Sheffield
With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

Contact

For further information please contact:

Hannah Postles
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046
h.postles@sheffield.ac.uk