A group of 15 postgraduate research students from IBSS, mainly studying MRes Management, attended a cross-disciplinary conference at Fudan University in Shanghai on Tuesday 20 October 2015.
The “Building Bridges for Science” conference brought Chinese and Austrian together scientists to discuss trends in research and international research cooperation.
The conference was hosted by the Austrian Center Shanghai at Fudan University and commemorated its 10-year anniversary.
A central topic of the conference was the transfer of research findings into real-life application, building bridges between different academic disciplines, as well as between theory and practice or academia and the public.
Innovation and how it can help to tackle societal challenges such as climate change and ageing populations was also a key discussion.
IBSS Associate Professor Florian Kohlbacher, Programme Director of MRes Management and Deputy Director of the PhD programme at IBSS, was an invited speaker and addressed the business implications of ageing populations in his talk.
He organised the field trip to the conference so that students could understand how knowledge transfer across disciplines and from academia to practice can foster innovation. He emphasised to students that their research should not only be academically rigorous, but also relevant.
“Bridging the rigour vs relevance chasm can be challenging but it is necessary to fulfil the IBSS mission of contributing to society,” he said.
Huan Chen, an MRes Management student in the first semester of her studies, thought the conference was well organised and featured many “informative and insightful” speeches. She said: “The focus of research, innovation and application on hot topics such as aging society also inspired my research.”
Alex (Chang-ti) Loh, also from the MRes Management programme, commented that the highlighted topics addressed “critical, pressing and relevant” societal challenges, while Steed (Zhuang) Ma, who is in his final semester, added: “What impressed me most were researchers' efforts to make their innovations research applicable to actual situations.”