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Last modified: Friday, November 30, 2007

IU strengthens ties with Zhejiang University in China

Nov. 30, 2007

HANGZHOU, China -- Indiana University and Zhejiang University, one of China's leading universities, held their first-ever joint symposium focusing on university research commercialization and technology transfer and involving senior leaders of both institutions.

Symposium participants explored the challenges posed and opportunities afforded to both institutions by international research and industry partnerships operating at the interface between universities and the global marketplace.

McRobbie China agreement

Zhejiang University Vice President Jun Zhu, President Yang Wei, IU President Michael McRobbie and Vice President Patrick O'Meara (l-r) conduct the signing ceremony

Print-Quality Photo

The symposium was jointly opened with addresses by IU President Michael McRobbie and Zhejiang University President Yang Wei. McRobbie emphasized the opportunities for partnership and collaboration between both institutions.

In addition to the symposium, McRobbie and President Yang formally strengthened the partnership between their two universities by signing a new agreement that renews for five more years, an agreement first signed in 1982.

Situated in the city of Hangzhou, one of the ancient capitals of China, Zhejiang University, with an enrollment of about 43,000 students, is considered to be one of the top five institutions of higher education in China. It is located in Zhejiang Province, known as China's Silicon Valley, and has among the strongest economies in all of China.

"I strongly believe that there are opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between our two universities. We have had a long and productive partnership that has been further strengthened today," McRobbie said in his opening address. "But I believe in many ways we have only begun to realize the possibilities that our partnership can offer. The potential for expanded cooperation in many areas such as the life and health sciences, entrepreneurship and law is tremendous."

President Yang focused his remarks on the strengths of his university as an international partner and explained that academic and student exchanges are very important steps for his institution in establishing closer ties between his country and the United States.

Other senior IU leaders presenting at the symposium included Lauren Robel, dean of the IU School of Law-Bloomington; IU School of Informatics Dean Robert Schnabel; Patricia McDougall, associate dean of faculty and research at the IU Kelley School of Business; and IU Vice President for Engagement Bill Stephan.

In sessions that also featured faculty and administrators of Zhejiang University, symposium participants compared their different approaches with areas such as advanced technology, technology transfer, entrepreneurship and the commercialization of intellectual property developed by university researchers.

IU's agreement with Zhejiang University provides for implementation plans for collaborations in specific disciplines that include student and faculty exchanges and joint research.

The first such plan was finalized during this trip and will establish a collaboration between the IU School of Law-Bloomington and the Zhejiang University Guanghua Law School. Additional discussions were held to establish collaborations with various units at Zhejiang University and with the Kelley School of Business, the School of Informatics and in the area of research commercialization and technology transfer.

Zhu Jun, vice president for international affairs at Zhejiang University, presided over the signing ceremony. IU Vice President for International Affairs Patrick O'Meara, who helped to facilitate the agreement, also participated in the ceremony and spoke about the importance of global partnerships to the futures of both IU and Zhejiang University.

This is IU's second high-level trip to China in a little more than a year. While serving as IU interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, McRobbie led a delegation to China in July 2006.