On December 26, the Annual Academic Conference 2020 of the International Campus, Zhejiang University, was held at the Campus’ Multimedia Hall. Over 300 participants were present at the Conference, including responsible persons, experts and scholars from 10-plus colleges of ZJU, faculty members and students from the Joint Institutes and administrative offices of the International Campus, sharing academic accomplishments, promoting cross-disciplinary collaboration, and jointly witnessing the remarkable academic research achievements made by the International Campus since its inception.
“Embracing the World, Shaping the Future”
The Conference, themed on “Embracing the World, Shaping the Future”, covered a variety of research areas, ranging from biomedicine and health, intelligent engineering and innovative materials, to global economic development. It has accelerated the efforts to build an innovation system in the world’s forefront of scientific and technological development, and to create an ecological system for research innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration. The Conference started with the Opening Ceremony, Plenary Lectures and CrossX Young Scholars Forum in the morning, continued with 3 concurrent sub-forums in the afternoon, and concluded with a folk music performance in the evening. During the Conference, members of the Second Academic Affairs Committee were announced, and awards for outstanding academic achievements presented. Leaders and department heads of CPC Haining Municipal Committee and Haining Municipal People’s Government, as well as responsible persons of the International Campus’s partner companies were also present at the Conference.
Professor HE Lianzhen, Vice President of Zhejiang University, Secretary of the Communist Party Committee and Dean of the International Campus, pointed out in her welcome speech that the International Campus has all along been committed to building a first-class internationalized academic environment, striving to create enabling conditions for outstanding young talents’ growth, and constructing an open and collaborative platform for internationalized research teams. She hoped that the Conference will help disciplines deepen exchanges and interactions, explore collaboration models, share academic achievements, inspire wisdom and build consensus. “‘Shaping the Future’ is an ambitious goal we have set.” She also expressed the wish that the participating faculty and students will uphold the scientist spirit, put into practice ZJU’s motto of seeking truth and pursuing innovation, be committed to promoting research breakthroughs, solving future problems, and leveraging wisdom and cooperation to converge a strong force to advance academic innovation and technology progress.
Partner universities, international students and other departments of ZJU were provided with live streaming of the Conference at Chinese and English channels. Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party Committee ZHUGE Yang and Vice Dean LI Erping respectively chaired the Opening Ceremony and Plenary Lectures. Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party Committee WANG Yufen, and heads of the joint institutes and administration offices were present at the Conference.
Spurring with long-term accumulation: initial academic achievements emerging
During the Conference, OUYANG Hongwei, Executive Vice Dean of the International Campus presented the Academic Progress Report of the International Campus. Through 4-plus years’ efforts, the academic research has maintained a momentum of high level, high quality and scaling up. The International Campus has recruited 49 full-time and nearly 100 adjunct faculty members worldwide, and constructed research labs covering a floor space of 50,000 square meters, 3 public technology platforms, 2 national bases for international collaboration, 4 provincial bases for international collaboration, 1 provincial engineering research center, and 3 university-industry R & D center. In addition, the Campus has been carrying out in-depth research collaboration with world-class universities, such as Stanford, Havard, Cambridge, and Imperial College London, and the cross-disciplinary research areas, including engineering, biomedicine and BME, have taken the initial shape.
Professor OUYANG Hongwei, on behalf of the International Campus, presented the Awards for Outstanding Academic Achievements 2020. The winners are the faculty members and researchers from ZJE, ZJUI and ZIBS, and the international research centers on the Campus, and their academic papers have been published in top academic journals, such as Nature Science Review, Nature Electronics, and PNAS.
International cooperation + cross-disciplinary collaboration: new distinctive paradigms for research
“Cooperation” and “cross-disciplinary collaboration” are the keywords most frequently mentioned during this Conference.
“ZJU is very large. Many of us are experts in our respective areas, but we seldom meet. However, we meet today on the International Campus.” XU Zhikang, Vice Dean of Faculty of Engineering, sighed with emotion. The Conference is exceptional in ZJU’s history in terms of the variety of the disciplines and the number of first grade disciplines represented. “Big shots” from disciplines of arts, science, engineering, agriculture, medicine and business gather together to discuss the bright prospects of discipline development and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
WU Xiaobo, Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, Zhejiang University, WANG Jian’an, Secretary of the Communist Party Committee of the Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, and XU Zhikang, Vice Dean of Faculty of Engineering were invited to make plenary lectures. 3 concurrent sub-forums, namely “ZJE BioMed-X”, “ZJUI Engineering+” and “ZIBS DigiFin-Global”, were organized, covering 3 disciplines. Nearly 60 academic presentations were made, which centered on 7 topic areas: Infection and Disease, Cell and Technology, Industrial Big Data and AI, Applied Materials: Physics and Devices, Smart Energy, Global Finance, Digital Economy and Industrial Practice, and 128 academic posters were exhibited. Chinese and international scholars gathered together to stage an “international” and “cross-disciplinary” academic feast.
Members of the Second Academic Affairs Committee of the International Campus were announced. They are from ZJU’s 7 faculties and a dozen of first grade disciplines, and will provide strong guidance for the international collaboration and cross-disciplinary innovation on the International Campus.
OUYANG Hongwei pointed out that in the future, the International Campus will further optimize the innovation ecology, keep exploring models for international collaboration and science and technology innovations, and coordinate discipline clusters to forge a strong force, and develop new distinctive paradigms for research characterized by “international cooperation and cross-disciplinary collaboration”, so as to enable the Campus to become a strategic hub for international innovation.
Imparting knowledge and resolving doubts: helping young faculty to grow
The Conference also included CrossX Young Scholars Forum, during which WU Xiaobo, XU Zhikang, WANG Qingqing, Dean of School of Basic Medical Sciences, and LI Erping, Vice Dean and Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee of the International Campus, answered questions raised by young scholars at the Conference. The professors shared their insights on a number of questions, such as “how the newly established Department of Cross-disciplinary Sciences should be perceived”, “whether it is feasible to apply for cross-disciplinary research projects in the short term”, “what is the future direction for cross-disciplinary development”, and made some suggestions for young scholars on how to actively participate in and promote cross-disciplinary collaboration.
Professor XU Zhikang in his plenary lecture, based on his experience, shared with young scholars his views on how to balance learning, teaching, research and life, and how to plan and adhere to research directions, and his experience in research team building and management.
Folk music performance: promoting the convergence between arts, humanities and sciences
Zhejiang University WenQin Art Troupe staged a folk music performance during the Closing Ceremony. Melodious stringed and woodwind music and familiar melodies added a touch of culture to the academic Conference, highlighting the crossover and convergence characteristics of the Conference, and also indicating a prosperous future of the academic development on the International Campus.
Article: XIA Ping
Translation: YU Jianqing