Published on: 07-Dec-2015
To mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), three universities from each country signed three Memoranda of Understanding with each other today, building on existing strong collaborations between the universities in student and faculty exchanges, and joint research and development.
The universities and their respective partners are National University of Singapore (NUS) and Tsinghua University, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Peking University, as well as Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Zhejiang University.
The collaborations between the Singapore and Chinese universities will be funded through a donation of RMB 150 million (S$33 million) from the family of Mr Ng Teng Fong, with each pair of universities receiving RMB 50 million (S$11 million).
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NUS and Tsinghua University was signed by Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost of NUS, Professor Tan Eng Chye, and Vice President and Provost of Tsinghua University, Professor Yang Bin. The MOU between NTU and Peking University was signed by Deputy President and Provost of NTU, Professor Freddy Boey, and Executive Vice President of Peking University, Professor Wu Zhipan. The MOU between SUTD and Zhejiang University was signed by Provost of SUTD, Professor Chong Tow Chong and Executive Vice President of Zhejiang University, Professor Song Yonghua.
The signing was witnessed by Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung.
Details of the partnerships between the universities are as follows:
NUS and Tsinghua University
NUS and Tsinghua University will be focusing on joint research and development in a number of areas of mutual interest and complementary expertise, such as data science and data analytics. The two universities will also identify opportunities for the commercialisation of technology.
In addition, NUS and Tsinghua University will collaborate on student exchanges and entrepreneurship education and research, such as enhancing new and existing student exchange programmes to include technology entrepreneurship, for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. They will also organise and participate in joint academic, research and scientific activities such as seminars and conferences on various topics and issues, particularly innovation and enterprise.
NTU and Peking University
NTU and Peking University (PKU) will establish a Joint NTU-PKU Research Institute whose research areas include multi-modal big data analytics technologies for smart cities and human-centred technologies for healthy living and lifelong learning. The joint research institute will support Singapore’s Smart Nation vision that harnesses technology and data to improve living standards, strengthen communities, and create more business opportunities.
It will work closely with NTU’s Rapid-Rich Object Search (ROSE) Lab, which is also an NTU-PKU collaboration that aims to pioneer next-generation visual and object search technologies, and the Research Centre of Excellence in Active Living for the Elderly (LILY), which develops digital solutions for the elderly. The new partnership will also involve joint research, student, faculty and research staff exchanges, and the organisation of conferences and workshops.
SUTD and Zhejiang University
SUTD and Zhejiang University will establish a SUTD-ZJU Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Alliance (IDEA), focussing on design innovation in China and Singapore in the initial areas of manufacturing, urbanisation and sustainability. IDEA will enable SUTD and ZJU to harness their strengths in Design and Engineering to jointly pursue scholarly activities in areas that are relevant to both China and Singapore, and eventually translate them into viable commercial outcomes in the market.
SUTD-ZJU IDEA will be implemented through the establishment of a Joint Centre covering areas of mutual interest. The Joint Centre will have a presence in the campuses of both SUTD and ZJU to promote the exchange and flow of ideas, research and talent between both institutions to jointly advance the vision of IDEA. The Joint Centre will also work closely with relevant entities in both SUTD and ZJU to identify and seed commercially viable ideas and outcomes into entrepreneurial opportunities that can be jointly taken up by SUTD and ZJU personnel and/or students to bring them to market.
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EXISTING EDUCATIONAL AND RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS BETWEEN THE SIX SINGAPORE AND PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA UNIVERSITIES
NUS and Tsinghua University
NUS and Tsinghua University have seen many fruitful collaborations over the years:
In the past five years, about 100 NUS students have gone on student exchange programmes to Tsinghua University, while over 80 Tsinghua University students have gone to NUS on exchange programmes. NUS also established the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) programme in Beijing in collaboration with Tsinghua University in 2009. NUS has sent over 30 students on the NOC programme in Beijing where they took part-time entrepreneurship classes at the highly prestigious School of Economics and Management in Tsinghua University while interning full-time with technological start-ups in Beijing during their one-year stint there.
NUS and Tsinghua University, together with the Media Development Authority of Singapore, are also working together on the NUS-Tsinghua Extreme Search Centre (NExT). The Centre combines the strengths of the universities to carry out research on large-scale issues of extreme live information and media search. The Centre tackles the challenging issues of indexing, integrating, fusing and searching for live data generated by millions of sensors, online forums, blogs and mobile devices. Extreme search refers to search for data beyond what is indexed in the web.
NTU and Peking University
NTU and Peking University have several ongoing collaborations. They include:
The Singapore-Peking University Research Centre for a Sustainable Low-Carbon Future (SPURc): Launched in Dec 2011, this is a joint collaboration between Peking University, NTU and NUS, funded by the National Research Foundation. The five-year programme focuses on carbon dioxide capture, its conversion into useful materials, including synthetic gas. SPURc is the first international research group set up by a Chinese university under Singapore’s NRF Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) initiative.
The Rapid-Rich Object Search (ROSE) Lab: Launched in Nov 2013, the joint lab aims to pioneer next-generation visual and object search technologies. The objectives of the NTU-PKU partnership are aligned with Singapore’s long-term goal of becoming a global media capital by promoting the development of media ecosystem and media technology research.
NTU has collaborations with PKU through its various schools, including the Schools of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, as well as the Nanyang Business School, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. NTU research centres such as the Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Nanyang Technopreneurship Centre also have tie-ups with PKU. NTU also has various ongoing student exchanges with PKU including under its work and study programme and summer study programme.
SUTD and Zhejiang University
Zhejiang University (ZJU) has been a strategic partner of SUTD since August 2010, and the collaboration is both deep and broad. The existing collaboration comprises the following areas:
a) Education – ZJU Faculty develops and teaches five electives focusing on Chinese culture, history and perspective in business, entrepreneurship, technology, design and architecture.
b) Research – SUTD and ZJU Faculty collaborate on joint projects in areas including Clean Energy, Environment, Healthcare and Transportation.
c) Student Exchange – SUTD sends about 100 students to ZJU on a fully-funded 15-week summer exchange where students do hands-on design projects with internship opportunities in Hangzhou and field trips to places outside the city. ZJU, in turn, sends about 50 students to SUTD in the fall
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