Leeds signs new agreement with leading Chinese university

The University has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with Zhejiang University, further strengthening our strong ties with the elite Chinese institution.

Sir Alan Langlands signed the agreement while visiting the University, in the city of Hangzhou, where he also spoke at a major international conference on the occasion of the University's 120th anniversary celebrations.

Sir Alan highlighted the importance of academic research and innovation which has measurable economic and social benefits in his Keynote speech.

"Linear processes of innovation are a thing of the past - the trend for some time has been towards open and distributed models.

“We increasingly manage research and innovation across permeable boundaries and through collaborations which cross academic disciplines, universities, academia and industry, and continents," he said.

He cited Leeds’ partnerships with blue-chip companies, our spin-out companies, our strength in cross-disciplinary research and our ambitions for Nexus, the university’s new innovation centre, as examples of this open way of working.

Reflecting on Leeds' collaborations with Zhejiang University on human health and sustainable food production, Sir Alan cited Professor Christine Foyer's work on legumes and Professor Steve Banwart's work on soil science noting that:

"Growth in the human population and demand for wealth creates pressure on global soils, leading to soil losses and degradation. Alongside the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, we are part of a world network of environmental laboratories - the Critical Zone of Observatories - focused on the chemical, physical and biological processes shaping the Earth's surface and developing strategies for improvement."

Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Pro-Vice-Chancellor: International, who accompanied Sir Alan during the visit, said:

"As the University looks outwards to enhance our student education, research and innovation, this new agreement with Zhejiang University will provide strong opportunities for progress.”

"We envisage cutting edge research collaborations in Food Science and Nutrition; Environment: flooding, flood risk management and remote sensing; and Chemical Engineering - supported where possible by joint PhD studentships and visiting scholarships."

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