University tech fair helps boost ties with country’s corporate sector
A wearable exoskeleton suit for paralyzed individuals and a high-grade alloy that allow thinner metal casting were just two of the innovations the academic community presented to the business world in June.
Participants at the first China University Scientific and Technological Achievements Fair expect the event to promote exchanges between the academic and corporate sectors for better commercial use of research results.
Universities produce many scientific and technological achievements and it is necessary to present them in a way easily recognized and accepted by the corporate sector, says Shan Aidang, dean of School of Materials Science and Engineering of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Due to their technological limitation, many companies are unable to state the problems they face accurately.
The fair serves as a platform for mutual understanding, Shan says.
Shan’s university led a number of Chinese universities in the new materials pavilion at the fair, held in Huizhou, Guangdong province, between June 22 and 24. On display were 98 items reflecting new materials research achievements chosen by the organizer from more than 5,000 items submitted by universities.
One of the items, from Shan’s university, was an alloy which can be cast to make thinner.
About 10,000 items were presented by 300 foreign and domestic universities at the fair, in fields such as smart equipment, microelectronics, big data, stem cell, precision medicine, new energy and artificial intelligence.
About 2,500 items of technological innovations poten- percent
of three major national scientific and technological awards are won by Chinese universities.
tially in demand from the corporate sector were submitted, with 3,000 companies joining the fair.
Chinese universities have made marked progress in scientific research in the past three decades, with projects of universities accounting for 70 percent of the National Natural Science Funds and universities scooping up 70 percent of the three major national scientific and technological awards, according to Li Zhimin, director of the Science and Technology Development Center at the Ministry of Education.
The number of patent applications from universities has grown by doubledigit rates annually in the past few years.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong brought its achievements in medical technologies and new materials to the fair, including a wearable exoskeleton suit for paralyzed individuals.
Wong Kam-fai, associate dean of engineering at the university, sees broad room for cooperation with enterprises and universities on the Chinese mainland.
The two sectors have different rhythms in their work, with many enterprises looking for quick returns and universities engaged in longer-term research. Better communication is key to productive interaction, and participation to fairs like the one in Huizhou is one effective way, he says.
Meanwhile, a website was launched during the fair to facilitate the promotion of scientific and technological achievements.