The University of Oxford has launched its first overseas centre for research in physical and engineering sciences in China.
Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research launched today in Suzhou to academic guests from Oxford and China, along with other universities across the world.
The purpose of OSCAR is to establish a paradigm of scientific excellence focused on global challenges – an ambition that is said to be greatly assisted by the location in Suzhou.
Professor Zhanfeng Cui, founding director of OSCAR, said: “OSCAR offers an exciting new frontier for the University of Oxford to develop and showcase its research excellence in physical and engineering sciences, with a dedicated Centre in a unique, globally-focused environment.
“By locating a significant body of research activity in Suzhou, OSCAR will also provide an important window for citizens of South East Asia to better understand the true nature of Oxford’s research mission.”
Initial research will focus on four areas: biomedical engineering and healthcare, environment and biotechnology, nanotechnology and functional materials, and mathematical and quantitative finance.
Louise Richardson, the vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, said that cooperation with China provided an exciting opportunity and that she looked forward to more achievements in innovative and new areas.
Establishing strategic partnerships with China has become a focus of many British towns, counties and universities in recent months.
In particular, Oxford’s counterpart Cambridge has made significant moves to connect with China.
The Cambridge China Centre set up a Cambridge-China forum to bring together Chinese and British businesses and individuals for business development.
Jinzhao Li, Managing Director of Cambridge China Centre, said: “We wanted to build on our expertise in the international education, culture and tourism sectors, extending this reputation to connect entrepreneurs, governments and business associates, giving members opportunities to transfer knowledge, drive opportunities, build relationships as well as creating a powerful UK/China business network.”