USTC ad­vanced tech boosts de­vel­op­ment

China Daily (USA) - - EDUCATIONAL SPECIAL - By ZHU LIXIN

The Bei­jing-Shang­hai quan­tum back­bone network, the world’s first se­cure quan­tum com­mu­ni­ca­tion back­bone network, will go fully op­er­a­tional later this year. The 2,000-km­long quan­tum back­bone is a stretch of high-qual­ity op­ti­cal fiber that boasts high-se­cu­rity fea­tures to pre­vent hack­ing and en­able the se­cure pas­sage of in­for­ma­tion.

The network will be mainly com­pleted by sci­en­tists from the Uni­ver­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy of China, which is based in He­fei, cap­i­tal of East China’s An­hui province. The con­trol cen­ter for the network will be at USTC’s In­sti­tute of Ad­vanced Tech­nol­ogy.

The IAT was jointly founded by the An­hui provin­cial govern­ment, the Chi­nese Academy of Sciences, the He­fei mu­nic­i­pal govern­ment and USTC in 2012, in or­der to power lo­cal eco­nomic growth and fos­ter the uni­ver­sity’s cre­ativ­ity in breed­ing high-tech en­ter­prises.

“Tra­di­tion­ally, schol­ars at Chi­nese uni­ver­si­ties fo­cus in­ten­sively on aca­demic re­search but care lit­tle about trans­fer­ring the re­sults of their stud­ies into com­mer­cial use,” said Li Weip­ing, deputy chief en­gi­neer at IAT.

Ac­cord­ing to Li, un­til re­cently, very few of USTC’s re­search projects pro­duced end-prod­ucts that were used com­mer­cially and only a small num­ber of its re­searchers started their own busi­nesses. The USTC is one of the coun­try’s top uni­ver­si­ties renowned for fun­da­men­tal sciences, while the IAT aims to pro­vide lo­cal in­dus­tries with more skilled grad­u­ates which will, in turn, at­tract more high-tech com­pa­nies to He­fei. Part of the uni­ver­sity’s em­pha­sis is on at­tract­ing high-cal­iber pro­fes­sion­als from over­seas.

Li Weip­ing, a Stan­ford PhD grad­u­ate and for­mer pro­fes­sor at the US-based Le­high Uni­ver­sity, is a listed ex­pert in the na­tion’s Thou­sand Tal­ents Plan, which is de­signed to at­tract high-cal­iber for­eign pro­fes­sion­als.

“Uni­ver­sity re­searchers need highly ef­fi­cient in­sti­tu­tions to help them trans­fer vi­able tech­nolo­gies into com­mer­cial use”, said Li, adding that IAT is now mak­ing fun­da­men­tal changes to en­sure re­searchers have all the sup­port

Uni­ver­sity re­searchers need highly ef­fi­cient in­sti­tu­tions to help them trans­fer vi­able tech­nolo­gies into com­mer­cial use.”

Li Weip­ing,

deputy chief en­gi­neer at USTC’s In­sti­tute of Ad­vanced Tech­nol­ogy they need to pro­duce com­mer­cially vi­able end prod­ucts.

Zhang Jie, chair­man of the US-based GeoTomo LLC, an in­ter­na­tional earth imag­ing so­lu­tions provider, agrees, and also feels that students should take a hands-on ap­proach to learn­ing.

Zhang, who is a pro­fes­sor at IAT, and his col­leagues co-founded He­fei GeoTomo Tech­nol­ogy Co and An­hui GeoTomo Elec­tronic at the in­sti­tute. Zhang al­lowed some of his most tal­ented students to take full charge of daily op­er­a­tions at the two firms in the hope that they will be­come both re­searchers and en­trepreneurs.

Both students and pro­fes­sors at IAT are given the op­por­tu­nity to be­come en­trepreneurs, and as well as their reg­u­lar cour­ses, which are largely en­gi­neer­ing-ori­ented, students are also taught how to start and run high-tech com­pa­nies.

Li said IAT is not only a re­search in­sti­tute but also a high-tech park that of­fers a base for a num­ber of tech firms. He re­vealed that Stan­ford Re­search Park had pro­vided the in­spi­ra­tion for the es­tab­lish­ment of IAT.

“The Stan­ford Re­search Park has served as a role model for a lot of other high-tech parks world­wide, and IAT is one of them,” he said.

By the end of last year, IAT was al­ready home to 136 high­tech firms — most of which were founded by USTC pro­fes­sors and students.

It also has 36 lab­o­ra­to­ries es­tab­lished by the uni­ver­sity and sev­eral glob­ally renowned com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Mi­crosoft, In­tel and Alibaba.

YANG XIAO PING / FOR CHINA DAILY

Students cel­e­brate their grad­u­a­tion in front of the sculp­ture of Guo Moruo, the first pres­i­dent of USTC.

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