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UNSW signs deal with SJTU

In the media
INTERVIEW: The University of New South Wales has signed a research partnership with China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

UNSW signs deal with China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University

The University of New South Wales has signed a research partnership with China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

UNSW said the partnership established a joint investment fund to provide seed funding for collaborative research across areas including materials engineering, computer science and biotechnology.

News of the deal emerged on the same day SJTU released its latest world university rankings, and the day after Chief Scientist Ian Chubb highlighted the need for a science strategy to guide research links with China.

The agreement is expected to see the two institutions collaborating on research commercialisation in both countries. UNSW sees it as “a potential breakthrough” for technology transfer and research commercialisation in China.

It could also see SJTU adopting the principles of Easy Access IP, a scheme promoted by UNSW in which universities offer most of their intellectual property to industry for free.

“The research agreement with Shanghai Jiao Tong gives UNSW a front row seat at the centre of China’s development,” UNSW vice-chancellor Fred Hilmer said in a statement.

“It provides another mechanism for both institutions to make a shared contribution to the knowledge partnership between the cities of Sydney and Shanghai in the Asian Century.”

UNSW’s director of China strategy and development, Laurie Pearcey, said it was a coup for Australia. “China (is) on track to overtake the US as the world’s largest investor in research and development by 2020, and Chinese universities (are) driving much of China’s innovation.

“China’s rise will hit the US-centric model of patenting and research commercialisation head on. Easy Access IP is fundamentally about university research making a tangible direct impact on society and the economy.”

UNSW became the first Australian university to adopt Easy Access IP following the recruitment of the system’s founder, Kevin Cullen, to head up the university’s commercialisation offshoot NewSouth Innovations.

This article first appeared in The Australian.