XJTLU-Baidu alliance leads way in creating AI ecosystem

27 Sep 2023

The XJTLU-Baidu Artificial Intelligence Innovation Alliance, the first of its kind in China, was officially launched recently to support development of an open, world-class high-tech ecosystem in Suzhou and beyond.

The alliance – a partnership of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, technology giant Baidu, and Suzhou Industrial Park – aims to foster greater collaboration among society, the education sector, and industry while boosting frontier scientific research.

Unveiling Ceremony for XJTLU-Paddle Artificial Intelligence Academy, Baidu AI Cloud Qianfan Large Scale Model Platform Innovation Centre, and the Baidu AI Cloud Smart Carbon (Suzhou) Empowerment Centre

As the first comprehensive initiative in China focused on AI chips, deep-learning frameworks, algorithm models, and commercial applications, it is committed to making industries more competitive and sustainable, as well as creating regional hubs gathering elite AI talent, technology, and international resources.

Speaking at the launch ceremony in September, Dr Yiming Ding, Vice President of XJTLU, said the alliance was a “pioneering exploration” that aims to benefit the regional industrial ecology, and potentially the entire country.

Dr Yiming Ding, Vice President of XJTLU

The alliance consists of three main units: the XJTLU-Paddle AI Academy will cultivate high-level professionals; the Baidu AI Cloud Qianfan Large Scale Model Platform Innovation Centre will explore large-scale model technology research; and the Baidu AI Cloud Smart Carbon (Suzhou) Empowerment Centre will focus on energy, biological medicine, and smart city development.

Professor Xiaohong Guan, an academician in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has been appointed honorary director of the alliance, with Cheng Chang, General Manager of Baidu AI Cloud Smart Industry, serving as director of industry. Yu Pan, Party Secretary and Director of Suzhou Industrial Park’s Science and Innovation Committee, is the director of ecosystem.

Appointment Ceremony of XJTLU-Baidu Artificial Intelligence Innovation Alliance
The first group of strategic partners includes the National Innovation Centre par Excellence, GCL Smart Computing Technology (Suzhou), Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals, and the ARTS Group.

To coincide with the launch, XJTLU also hosted the Industry-University-Research Summit for the Yangtze River Delta Region, attracting experts from academia and industry to discuss intelligent solutions for traditional energy management, among other topics. The event was organised by the Suzhou government and party committee.

In a speech, Professor Youmin Xi, Executive President of XJTLU, called on education to upgrade from imparting knowledge to developing well-rounded people, focusing on the cultivation of various qualities including creativity, and empowering them to thrive in a world where humans and machines interact in study, work, and daily life.

“Universities should take advantage of their unique position and serve as bonding agents, catalysts, and boosters to promote integration of academia, industry, government, and society,” he said.

Professor Youmin Xi, Executive President of XJTLU


By Bo Kou and Huatian Jin

Translated by Xiangyin Han

Edited by Patricia Pieterse

Photos by Zuofu Wang

27 Sep 2023