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In association with Juanhu Lake International Science Park Committee, Zhejiang University – University of Edinburgh Institute will help build a Biomedical Translational Research Centre which aims to translate academic research into technologies to improve healthcare.

The centre will be based near the Institute in Haining, China.

Fang Wang, Juanhu Lake International Science Park Director said “We want to be a server for innovation and collaboration platforms. The science park will cover three key areas, enlarged health, new generation information technology and new materials. Our goal is to provide a smart, ecological, international and most importantly, high-end service inside the campus, and align this with collaborations outside the campus.”

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed this week by the University of Edinburgh, Zhejiang University and the Juanhu Lake International Science Park Committee.

The agreement was witnessed by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Mayor of Haining Municipal Government, Cao Guolaing.

The First Minister said of the event: "I welcome this agreement, which opens up great opportunities for the University of Edinburgh to work with their Chinese partners to develop new health technologies."

First minister giving a speech

The agreements build upon existing links between the two universities – after the agreement in 2015 to establish a joint undergraduate programme in Integrative Biomedical Sciences, and the recent establishment of a second undergraduate programme in Biomedical Informatics, and a dual PhD programme in Biomedical Sciences.

The degree programme offers a curriculum reflecting the full breadth of biomedical science, including infectious diseases, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology and reproductive biology.

Professor Sue Welburn, Executive Dean of ZJE Institute said: “This new commitment between Zhejiang and Edinburgh reflects the strong and innovative collaboration between our two universities, both in terms of education and translational research. The new research centre at Haining campus is a fantastic opportunity to link the collaborative research of the Zhejiang-Edinburgh Institute with a concerted drive towards commercialisation and improvements in healthcare provision.”

The City of Haining has invested $500 million in an international campus that officially opened last year as part of an innovative partnership with Zhejiang University and various international partners, including The University of Edinburgh.

When full, the campus will house over 5000 students.

International campus Dean, He Lianzhen said: “We had a lot of choices in which area to put the International Campus, but Haining is one of the most economically developed areas, with a rich cultural heritage. We are leaders in collaboration initiatives worldwide and with the establishment of this centre we are trying to create a synergy between the various institutions on campus. We want to set a framework for future collaborations.”