Across China: University collaboration boosts NE China's industrial development-Xinhua

Across China: University collaboration boosts NE China's industrial development

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-10 17:46:30

CHANGCHUN, May 10 (Xinhua) -- At the bustling workshop of Hongqi, China's iconic sedan brand, in Changchun, capital of Jilin Province in the northeast, the rear floorboard of an EH7 model was successfully crafted using a single die casting process.

This new technique has boosted car body production efficiency for Hongqi, known as "red flag," a brand under China's leading automaker FAW Group Co., Ltd., by over threefold.

The development of this die casting process stems from cooperation between the automaker and prominent higher education institutions in the province, such as Jilin University and the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Two decades following China's strategy to revitalize the northeast region, the three provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning are set to embark on a new journey aimed at enhancing quality development, with pivotal support from academic institutions.

Home to over 250 higher education institutions, the country's northeastern region boasts a dozen or so elite universities that have consistently contributed to national strategies and regional revitalization, ranging from China's first nuclear submarine and recoverable satellite to the Long March carrier rocket series and the self-developed large passenger aircraft C919.

In a fresh initiative, provincial education departments have partnered with their counterparts in science and technology to establish a platform that fosters collaboration between academic experts and industries, with the aim of turning research findings into tangible products.

As a result of the platform, in 2023, a seed fund of 10 million yuan (approximately 1.41 million U.S. dollars) and factory workshops spanning 3,300 square meters were designated in Jilin to facilitate the commercialization of a smart chassis technique capable of enabling lateral movement or spin turns for vehicles.

According to Jin Liqiang, a professor of automotive engineering at Jilin University, the technique was developed as early as 2017 but had remained on the cusp of commercialization.

In 2023, universities in Jilin undertook nearly 1,300 projects related to the application and services of research results, culminating in the signing of over 450 technology transfer contracts. Heilongjiang Province backed 150 significant research initiatives, spurring enterprises to invest 526 million yuan in R&D.

Meanwhile, universities in Liaoning completed the commercialization of over 7,600 scientific and technological research results, with contract value reaching nearly 4.03 billion yuan.

Furthermore, professors and doctoral students were organized to visit enterprises and offer "one-on-one" technical advice and consultation.

Shi Zhaohui, an official of the department of science and technology of Heilongjiang, said such collaborations can help solve issues hindering the commercialization of scientific and technological achievements, generating huge economic and social benefits.

Over the past five years, the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) has collaborated with the Beidahuang Group for the application of various AI technologies on the region's rich black soil, covering areas such as remote sensing, pest and disease detection, and weed recognition, to achieve automated farming.

"We have been continuously promoting the interdisciplinary studies between agriculture and industry, deepening research and application of big data and AI, and fostering agricultural development," said Jin Jing, deputy director of the HIT Institute for Artificial Intelligence.