In partnership with the Management Committee of Guangzhou Nansha Economic and Technological Development Zone, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University launched the XIPU Innovation and Education College (GBA) in Guangzhou on 31 May.
Designed to become an ecosystem for education, industry and innovation, the College will integrate interest-driven learning, lifelong learning, research and development, and industry training to become an international science and technology innovation hub with global influence in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).
Four entities will be built in the first phase of the College’s development, including the Academy of Future Education (GBA), XIPU HeXie Academy (GBA); XIPU University-Industry Ecosystem Institute (GBA); and XIPU-IPwe IP+ Institute (GBA).
During the launch ceremony, XJTLU Executive President Professor Youmin Xi said the Greater Bay Area is the perfect fit for XJTLU as the region shares the University’s vision for future-focused development.
“The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Development Plan highlights the area’s ambition to build collaborative communities and cutting-edge science and technology platforms in order to create an optimal innovation environment,” he said.
“This aligns with our own strategic goals. We have recently launched the XJTLU 3.0 model, which focuses on developing an ecosystem for education, research, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“That’s why XJTLU has come to GBA – we want to combine our resources with local government and businesses to help build a global science and technology innovation centre in the region.”
Xiaohong Ruan, Deputy Mayor of Nansha District, Guangzhou, shared Professor Xi’s sentiments in her own address at the launch. She said XJTLU’s educational philosophy keeps pace with rapidly changing times.
“XIPU Innovation and Education College (GBA) will play an integral part in supporting the Guangzhou Nansha District to build a major collaborative platform that links Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao,” she said.
A blueprint for future education
The new College builds on XJTLU’s groundbreaking education journey, which has seen the University develop the XJTLU Entrepreneur College (Taicang) and more recently establish several industry-linked academies in Suzhou, including XJTLU Wisdom Lake Academy of Pharmacy, XJTLU-JITRI Academy of Industrial Technology, Academy of Future Education, and Academy of Film and Creative Technology.
In addition, the University launched the XJTLU Learning Mall in May, an online and offline lifelong learning platform open to learners around the world. XIPU Innovation and Education College (GBA) will be home to one of the Learning Mall’s onsite learning centres.
Professor Xi said the College will be an experimental site to develop the XJTLU 3.0 education model and a place where others can learn from the University’s educational philosophies.
"XJTLU model 3.0 will further extend the boundaries of the University, allowing us to integrate into society; to play the roles of connecter and driver and to harness resources and new knowledge,” he said.
In some ways, the move into the Greater Bay Area began two years ago when IPwe, the company behind the world’s first patent market, got in touch with XJTLU. Those initial conversations have led to a strong partnership that sees IPwe joining XJTLU down south to build the XIPU-IPwe IP+ Institute.
According to Zhitao Wang, Executive Dean of the Institute and President of IPwe China, XJTLU is an exceptional partner.
“As a platform-based internet company dealing with intellectual property rights, we’ve had 21 years of continuous research and development,” he said.
“We now have an extensive digital infrastructure that offers solutions in patent value mining and evaluation, classification, commercialisation and application. This allows us to discover cutting-edge technologies and innovative companies quickly. That’s why we’re partnering with XJTLU, a dynamic leader in higher education.
“Through the ecosystem created by XJTLU 3.0 model, XIPU-IPwe IP+ Institute can not only collaborate with universities and research institutes to commercialise technologies, taking them from laboratory to market. We can also help the local government attract innovative companies that match the development priorities of the Greater Bay Area.”
Dr Xiaojun Zhang, Executive Dean of the newly announced Academy of Future Education (GBA), agrees that XJTLU's innovative ideas and education models give the University a competitive edge.
“Even with advanced ideas, it is still a hard task to create a new way of doing things, but I don’t think what we’re planning to create here is mission impossible,” he said.
“XJTLU's exploration has previous models and is now evolving to 3.0. We’ve faced challenges and made mistakes along the way, but this has given us rich experience to learn from.”
Dr Zhang said the Academy of Future Education (GBA) will work with local partners and resources to build an environment that supports lifelong learning, interest-oriented learning, innovation, and entrepreneurship through teacher development and research into education and teaching.
The first programme offerings from the new XIPU Innovation and Education College (GBA) will include Master of International Education, Master of Child Development and Family Education, and Master of Operation and Supply Chain Management.
Promotion of entrepreneurship
The new XIPU Innovation and Education College (GBA) will also house the XIPU HeXie Academy (GBA) and the XIPU University-Industry Ecosystem Institute. The former will concentrate on applying harmonious management theory, while the latter will focus on innovation and entrepreneurship with an emphasis on attracting young people from Hong Kong and Macao to start businesses in Guangdong.
A hub for the exchange of innovation and entrepreneurship among young people, XIPU University-Industry Ecosystem Institute will establish an entrepreneurial mentor alliance, provide guidance and training to young entrepreneurs, develop design and maker spaces, and offer consulting services to industry.
Tian Kun, Executive Dean of XIPU University-Industry Ecosystem Institute, said strengthening the deep integration of industry, academia and research will be key to GBA’s development and success.
“The XIPU Innovation and Education College (GBA) will partner with government and enterprises to inject resources, knowledge and innovation into the strategic industries of the Greater Bay Area,” she said.
“This will be a space where education, research, industry and society come together, a place to incubate new ideas and access professional services and consultancy, and, of course, a destination for talent seeking to upskill and new students wanting to become the leaders of tomorrow.”
During the launch week of XIPU Innovation and Education College (GBA), several online and offline forums were held in Suzhou, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, including ‘Healthy Greater Bay Area, New Healthcare Opportunity: Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Healthcare Forum’ organised by XIPU University-Industry Ecosystem Institute and Hong Kong Management Association; the first ‘China Industrial Innovation Ecosystem Forum’ organised by XIPU HeXie Academy; and AMT Group, and the first ‘Greater Bay Area International IP and Technology Transfer Summit’ organised by XIPU-IPwe IP+ Institute.
By Wei Zhang, Bo Kou and Luyun Shi