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University of Massachusetts and Tsinghua University unveil Massachusetts Technology Base in China

Dr. Marcellette G. Williams, Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and International Relations for the President's Office of the University of Massachusetts, and senior officials of Tsinghua University recently unveiled the Massachusetts Technology Base at Tsinghua University Hebei Institute in China.  The ceremony was also attended by Fu Zhifang, Executive Vice Governor of Hebei Province, Wang Aimin, Mayor of Langfang City and Hu Heping, Vice President of Tsinghua University.

The technology base - a partnership between the University of Massachusetts and Tsinghua University - will serve to market the University of Massachusetts and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Hebei Province, and is designed to facilitate the provision of services and consultation for American companies operating in China and for Chinese companies doing business in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Technology Base is part of the University of Massachusetts China Strategy, a description of which is available at: www.massachusetts.edu/international .

Last year, the five UMass campuses earned more than $27 million in technology commercialization revenue (ranking UMass among the top 15 universities in the nation in technology transfer) and conducted more than $400 million worth of sponsored research.  The University's campuses are expected to be at the core of Governor Deval Patrick's recently announced plan to invest $1.2 billion in a life sciences initiative.

"Today's unveiling of the Massachusetts Technology Base constitutes a reaffirmation and a recommitment to the partnership between Tsinghua and UMass.  Both universities understand the global impact - short and long term - of the initiatives they undertake together," said Vice President Williams, during the official launching ceremony. She also delivered greetings from University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson and the University's Board of Trustees.

"In today's globally integrated and deeply inter-dependent world, for this partnership it means not just educating our students but helping all of our constituents to understand and respond to new global realities.  The emerging role of China as an economic power is among these important new realities," added Vice President Williams.  The ceremony was held on July 5th.

During a visit by UMass officials to Tsinghua University this past spring, the University of Massachusetts' new Nobel Laureate, Dr. Craig C. Mello, was named Chief Science Advisor to President Zheng Yanking of Tsinghua University Institute.  Dr. Mello is also Presidential Science Advisor to UMass President Jack M. Wilson.

Tsinghua University, with its main campus in Beijing, is often referred to as the "MIT of China" and maintains a "Tsinghua Science Park" (a technology park) at the campus in Langfang, Hebei, a Chinese province with a population of 76 million.

Last September, the University of Massachusetts signed a Letter of Intent with the Hebei-Tsinghua Development Institute which committed the two parties to:

  • Facilitate technology transfer by helping each other establish incubators in each respective State, and, within the context of their policies and respective powers, to provide services and necessary support to facilitate entry and operation of companies in each other's respective region; and
  • To provide assistance to find cooperative partners in China for Massachusetts companies; to serve as a platform to facilitate technology transfer from Massachusetts institutions to partners in China in collaboration with the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (housed at UMass and another signatory to the Letter of Intent); and to provide services and assistance... to situate in China to fulfill their respective business missions.  Specific assistance includes, but is not limited to, facilitating and setting up technology and business incubators for companies from Massachusetts.

Last year, the University of Massachusetts also entered into a formal agreement with the China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (Hanban) to establish the University of Massachusetts Confucius Institute located at the University of Massachusetts Boston campus. 

The seventh Confucius Institute established in the United States and the first in New England, the system-wide institute will support Chinese language instruction, teacher training, Chinese curriculum development and Chinese cultural events for the broader public, providing a clearinghouse of Chinese Language and cultural materials and a platform for research into Chinese language and culture.

The University of Massachusetts, established in 1863 as the Massachusetts Agricultural College, educates nearly 60,000 students each year and awarded more than 11,000 degrees this year.  An economic force in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, UMass returns eight dollars for every single dollar invested in the University by the state.

Tsinghua University, with more than 30,000 students, was established in Beijing in 1911 and was funded by an indemnity which China paid to the United States after the Boxer Rebellion.  It was first a preparatory school for students later sent by the government to study in the United States.  The faculty members for sciences were recruited by the YMCA from the United States and its graduates transferred directly to American colleges as juniors upon graduation.

Contact:  Bill Wright, 617.287.7065

7/11/07

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