The University of Cambridge has signed an agreement with one of China’s largest universities to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in one of China’s fastest-growing high-tech clusters.

The agreement between Cambridge and Shandong Universities was signed earlier this week, and will establish the Shandong University School of Innovation Intermediary and the Innovation Institute in Qingdao. Qingdao is the largest city in Shandong province and supports a rapidly-growing high-tech sector: Shandong University opened a campus there in 2017. The new school will be supported by Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation arm, Shandong University and Qingdao Municipal Government.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Professor Fan Liming, President of Shandong University and Professor Eilís Ferran, Cambridge’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations.

As part of the agreement, Cambridge will bring its expertise in commercialisation to aid technology transfer processes and encourage entrepreneurship in Shandong Province. The two universities will explore ways to improve interactions, build a world-class institution and cultivate talent. They will also support faculty and students to put their results into practice.

“We will help to establish an enterprise team in Qingdao and share our experience and knowledge to help businesses innovate and thrive, improve the university campus and support the city’s development,” said Dr Tony Raven, chief executive of Cambridge Enterprise.

In her speech, President Fan Liming said that innovation and technology transfer are of great importance to the university’s development and its responsibility to give back to society. The signing of the agreement is an important beginning for the two universities to promote the construction of the School.

With the support of Qingdao government, both sides will work closely to promote the development of the School in accordance with the framework and plans that both have agreed upon. It will help to contribute to the social and economic development both at local and national levels, and will also enhance the people-to-people exchanges between China and the UK. Professor Ferran expressed her appreciation to President Fan Liming for her strong support to the cooperation between the two universities.

“Cambridge attaches great importance to the cooperation with Shandong University,” she said. “This agreement will deepen the relationship between our two universities and our two countries through the collaboration of universities, industry and governments.”

Tony Raven, the CEO of Cambridge Enterprise, and Sun Fengshou, Director of the Department of International Affairs of Shandong University, signed the agreement. 

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