Building Bridges with China

Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, has been in Beijing recently looking at ways to develop our UK-China partnerships, progress vital technologies and solve global challenges.

Sir Keith met with President Jianhua Lin of China's top-rated Peking University to discuss collaboration and innovation. The focus was on bringing together the expertise of both universities in new materials which will be crucial for hybrid and fully electric cars. This new technology will be essential to reduce pollution in Chinese cities and help to achieve global climate change targets.

Sir Keith also met with members of the Chinese government ministry responsible for research and industrial collaboration, and held discussions with longstanding university partners from Beijing and Nanjing.

Sir Keith said: "I am really delighted to see the way our University's partnerships are growing in China with the country's most highly-regarded universities and with industry.

“Like the UK, China is committed to innovation and moving on from being a low-wage economy. There are tremendous opportunities for us to innovate together and develop new products in areas such as next-generation vehicles which will also open up exciting research and business opportunities in the UK, including in our own region.

"On this trip, I've also held discussions with our longstanding partners at Nanjing University with whom we work on the very latest technologies on semi-conductors and other exciting areas of science and engineering.

“We are looking forward to hosting senior visits from both Beijing and Nanjing over the next couple of months and, together, developing even stronger partnerships in such key areas as advanced manufacturing, engineering and science."

Our University is already working in China on a wide range of projects, including with the Shanghai Academy of Space Technology which is responsible for the Chinese space programme.

Our University's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) is focusing on lightweight, high-performance materials – the same area of advanced manufacturing and materials which will be crucial to next-generation electric vehicles and which underpin our University's research relationship with McLaren supercars.

Sheffield Confucius Institute annual board meeting

The trip also included the annual board meeting of the Sheffield Confucius Institute (CI) which this year celebrated its 10th anniversary. In addition to providing language and cultural education in schools and to adult Chinese language students across Sheffield, the Confucius Institute is working closely with local business organisations. Sheffield CI has been working with Chambers of Commerce and Creative Sheffield to offer both business Chinese training and workshops on the inward investment opportunities offered by China's 'Belt and Road' initiative.

VC in Beijing VC in Beijing