Local Cooperation

A general introduction of Local Cooperation

One of the most important missions of a university’s science and technology work is to promote the application and socialization of its technological achievements, and to realize the integration of "industry, education and research". This mission is also the most direct and fundamental embodiment of a university’s commitment to society. In the past 30 years, Tsinghua has been actively exploring new ways to convert its technological achievements into productive force, in order to render better services for the social and economical development of the country. In the past three decades, tremendous advances have been made in the establishment of service platforms for converting technological achievements into productive force, in promoting technological transfer, in serving regional economic development, in helping strengthening the independent innovation capabilities of many provinces and areas, in enhancing enterprises’ core competitiveness, and in strengthening its international science and technology cooperation.

Tsinghua’s technology development and transfer have been closely following China’s development. In July 1983, the service department of Tsinghua’s science and technology development department was established. In November 1984 the department changed its name to Tsinghua’s science and technology development department. Ever since then, the department began to accept commissions of technology development and tackling key problems. In this way, Tsinghua’s cooperation with provinces, regions and enterprises has been strengthened, and all contracts of lateral cooperation were all put under the department’s administration. In 1997, the Tsinghua established its commission for cooperation with enterprises. With it, high-level win-win cooperation between Tsinghua and enterprises from both home and abroad were in full swing, and the integration of "industry, education and research" thereby entered a new stage. A membership system has been adopted in the management. Some internationally distinguished enterprises, state-owned conglomerates and leading enterprises in industry have been absorbed as members of the system, and a dynamic management was implemented to provide them with one-stop, all-dimensional and tailor-made services. In June 2001, the center of international technology transfer of Tsinghua University came into existence, facing the grim challenges posed by globalization and internationalization of science and technology, with the aim to make the most of international resources and broadening cooperation both home and abroad. The purpose of the center is to promote international technology transfer, to give domestic enterprises access to international academic resources. With the help of this center, the service areas of the commission for cooperation with enterprises were expanded and its service qualities were greatly enhanced. The center also facilitates talent training on international basis, technology transfer and disciplinary development. In September 2001, State Economic and Trade Commission, Ministry of Education jointly acknowledged Tsinghua’s technology transfer system as a national technology transfer center. The founding ceremony was held in November in the same year. To play an actively role in economic construction has become an indispensable platform for Tsinghua to render useful services for society and strategic development for the country on a multi-tiered, multi-formed and multi-channeled basis.

Providing services for each other is the key to human society’s survival, and this is also the true representation of Tsinghua University’s development in the past century. Extensive cooperation with different provinces, areas and enterprises is one of the most important contributions Tsinghua made to our country and the society.

Tsinghua’s cooperation with provinces and municipalities started in the early 1980s. Hu Qili, then the Tianjin mayor, Wu Guanzheng, then the Wuhan mayor and leaders from Changzhou, Dandong, all invited high-level official of Tsinghua University to visit their cities, with the aim to establish cooperation on talent introduction and the commercialization of research findings. Throughout the 1990s, this cooperation was concentrated in economically more developed provinces and municipalities, including Beijing, Hebei Province, Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province, Guangdong Province and Shandong Province, which had strong demand for technological fruits. With the implementation of national development strategies such as "developing the west", "the rejuvenation of old industrial base in northeastern China" and the rise of Central China, Tsinghua’s cooperation with provinces and municipalities rose to a new level. Based on statistics at the end of 2016, Tsinghua has established cooperation with more than 20 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, and over 80 prefecture-level cities. The scope of cooperation covers social and economic development strategies, associated training of innovative talents, development of distinctive industries and pillar industries for the region, establishment innovation platform, tackling hard-nut problems in science and technology and promoting international cooperation.

Specific modalities of the cooperation between Tsinghua and provinces, municipalities and enterprises.

(1) All-dimensional, comprehensive cooperation

Tsinghua has established cooperation with more than 20 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, and 80 prefecture-level cities.

(2) The development of industry, education and research is powered by cooperation projects.

In recent years, the science and technology development department has been actively promoting the application of key technological achievements in provinces, municipalities and enterprises. For instance, based on the research achievement of the department of chemistry, the first mass production line of organic light emitting display (OLED) was launched in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province. The automotive department has set up an experimental base for its electric motor minicar in the residential buildings area of provincial science in Changzhou. The project, “Improvement of Alkaline Soil by Desulfurized Fire Coal Waste” , conducted by the Department of Thermal Engineering has been widely promoted widely and been commercial operation in provinces and regions such as Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Hebei and Tianjin, etc. Heavy Forge Press project of the mechanics department has found its application in North Heavy Group, Inner Mongolia and Yanliang Aviation base in Shaanxi Province, and its weight equipment laboratory has been established in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province. Wastes produced in the process of desulfidation of coal has been used by the heat engineering department to improve saline alkali soil, a technology which has now been widely used in Ningxia, Inner Mongolia and Tianjin. An emergency rescue system to deal with environment pollution accidents, developed by environment department has been installed in the industrial bases adjacent to the harbor. The industrial engineering department designed a developmental plan for the logistics industry for chemical products in the industrial bases adjacent to the harbor in Tianjin. The economics and management school’s research of the role, scale and development modal of CBD in Binhai New Area, Tianjin has found its application in Tanggu, Tianjin. Application of these key research results has provided technological support for the economic development for these districts, generating great social benefits at the same time.

(3) Setting up cooperation fund

In order to better serve the regional economic development, Tsinghua has made great efforts to integrate resources from various sources to promote the industrialization of scientific and technological achievements. To realize the goal, Tsinghua has set up a series of cooperation funds with local authorities in Wuxi, Hebei, Yunnan, Guangdong, etc. These funds are mostly are aimed at benefitting both Tsinghua and the enterprise, with the local government playing a leading role. Supported by both the bases of research and cooperation funds, the cooperation between Tsinghua and regions and enterprises has been greatly advanced. The target of these funds is to convert technological achievements into productive forces. With more and more cooperation funds being set up, many industrial and research bases have gradually come into existence. By the end of 2016, six cooperation funds have been set up between Tsinghua and local governments, which are Hebei Province, Yunnan Province, Anshan, Wuxi, Guangdong and Tongling. These projects have played an active role in industrializing academic achievements, generating great benefits for the country and society.

(4) To establish research institutes with local authorities

This is a new policy advanced by Tsinghua to deepen and widen its cooperation with provinces, regions and to better serve the regional economic development. In the late 1990s and early years of the 21st century, Tsinghua established a series of research institutes with several economically developed regions, including the Pearl River Delta Region, the Yangtze River Delta Region and the Bohai Sea Region. These research institutes are based the following principles: "complementary advantages, cooperation in good faith and common development". In this spirit, Tsinghua provides talents and technological innovations for regional economic development and high technology. These research institutes have been playing an actively role in probing for new development models, industrializing technology achievements, incubating high-tech enterprises and cultivating high-level specialized talents. A host of important technological achievements have been converted into positive contributions for the local economy, the national strategic development and even the international economic cooperation. Since 2011, in order to promote close cooperation between Tsinghua University and local governments and enterprises, to accelerate the industrialization of scientific and technological achievements and to serve regional innovation and economic development, Tsinghua University began to establish research institutes with local government, to serve the purpose of combining the excellent disciplinary resources of Tsinghua University with the local preferential industries.

In March, 2011, Tsinghua University and the government of Suzhou signed the cooperation agreement to conjointly establish the Tsinghua-Suzhou Automotive Research Institute. In July of 2011, as the first industry-oriented research institute outside of the campus of Tsinghua University, the Institute was officially registered, and set up the branch institutes in Wujiang and Xiangcheng respectively. The Institute is committed to the R&D of the key technologies of the whole and the parts of automobile, aiming to promote the sustainable development of China’s automotive industry.

In March 2012, Tsinghua University-Wuxi Applied Technologies Research Institute was set up in Wuxi. Based on the advantage of Tsinghua’s resource in research and talents and local competitive industries, the Institute is dedicated to promoting the close cooperation between university and local industry, and to the social and economic development of Wuxi and Yangtze River Delta Region.

In December, 2013, Tsinghua University and the government of Hefei established the Tsinghua University-Hefei Public Safety Research Institute. By establishing scientific and technological innovation platform, setting up public safety testing center and building up public safety industrial park, the Institute is aiming to become a Chinese leading technology transfer base with an international influence in public safety.

In September, 2014, Tsinghua University and Tianjin Government jointly set up “Tsinghua-Tianjin Institute of High-End Equipment”to face the challenge of global “reindustrialized” technical revolution and industrial changes, and to serve for nation’s mission of Independent Innovation of Equipment Industry.

(5) To open cooperation offices in industry, education and research with key regions

To raise the cooperation with key regions to a new level and speed up the industrialization of technological achievements, the science and technology development department struck out a new way by opening cooperation offices in industry, education and research with some key municipalities.

The purpose of cooperation offices is to give a full play to the advantages of both Tsinghua and cooperation municipalities and to speed up the process of converting technological achievements into productive force. By combining the science and technology resources of Tsinghua with favorable local conditions, customized services are rendered for the economic development of the region, which is mutually beneficial for both sides.

To date, Tsinghua has established cooperation offices with 22 municipalities and regions, including the most developed areas in China, Suzhou, Wuxi and Changzhou. These offices have held more than 600 industry, education and research activities, and contract value has totaled 500 million Yuan.

The following map is the distribution of the office in Mainland China:

Main Duties of cooperation offices in industry, education and research:

  • To provide customized technology services for regions and enterprises on a regular basis, and to promote the application in the region of innovative technologies with promising market returns.
  • To send experts to have in-depth surveys of the present conditions of the enterprise and its future development potential.
  • To support the local government in strategic planning in view of the specific conditions of the region by taking advantage of the academic resources of Tsinghua university.
  • To invite international high-tech investment for the region through Tsinghua's rich connection overseas.
  • To assist the local government in arranging training programs at Tsinghua for talented staff in the region or enterprise.
  • To assist the University in helping arranging local internship programs for teachers at Tsinghua, in setting up social practice base for post-graduates and in setting up practice base for students who have just graduated from Tsinghua.

(6) To hold and participate in technology exchange activities

Each year Tsinghua holds more than 120 technology exchange activities, catering to the need of local governments and enterprise.