Experts exchange views at the annual conference of the Imperial College London Alumni Association South China on Friday.
SHENZHEN is a city of innovation, but maintaining its strength in this respect is not without problems. David Gann, vice president of the Imperial College London, has an answer. "The underpinning requirement [for innovation] in the long term will come from the talents and science produced by strong universities. Besides, the collaborations between universities with companies and startups are also very important," he said.
Gann made the remarks Friday at the annual conference of the Imperial College London Alumni Association South China (ICAASC) at the Peony Ballroom of Four Seasons Hotel in Futian District.
Three leading scientists from the Imperial College London, Dr. Ceire Costello, Dr. Ben Almquist and Dr. Tim Constandinou, were invited along with Prof. Gann to share their views on cutting-edge technologies with around 140 alumni from ICAASC. They just came back from the 2017 Summer Davos, or World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, held in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, last week.
Friday's event was also attended by Ma Yongzhi, vice chairman of the United Front Work Department of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC, Captain Lin, chairman of ICAASC, and Lin Jinfeng, a Chinese investment expert.
In the sharing session, Dr. Costello explained how Big Data and data visualization can be used to prevent the large-scale occurrence of drug-resistant bacteria and thus reduce the death toll caused by bacteria all around the globe but particularly in third-world countries.
Dr. Almquist illustrated how to use cutting-edge biomedical materials to help heal diabetic ulcers.
Last but not least, Dr. Constandinou envisioned a blueprint for next-generation brain-machine interface and illustrated how technology will be able to better understand people's brains.
Followed by the three scientists, Lin Jinfeng shared his thoughts on China's economy and pointed out problems, challenges and opportunities that it is facing.
Ma said he was glad to see that ICAASC was offering a platform where Shenzhen could get first-hand experience with experts on the world economy. "Shenzhen is the origin of 'mass innovation and mass entrepreneurship.'I hope elite groups like ICAASC can contribute their strengths, in such areas as innovation, international practices and research and application in the high-tech industry, to the development of China," he said.
According to Gann, the Imperial College London has 7,000 or more alumni in China and the number is still on the rise. There are currently 2,400 Chinese students studying at the university. "Since President Xi visited the Imperial College London a year and a half ago, the university has continued to expand its relationship with China in many ways. We are the No. 1 university in the U.K. in terms of collaboration with Chinese businesses including Huawei, China Railways, China Construction Bank and most recently Hainan Airlines," Prof. Gann stated in his speech. "This indicates that China and the Imperial College London are really open to business."Gann told the Shenzhen Daily that during the three-day "Summer Davos," he mainly discussed topics such as global infrastructure, new technology, innovation and how artificial intelligence may change the way universities work. He hopes that in the future there will be more fruitful results and stronger relationships between the university and Chinese businesses.
After Prof. Gann's speech, he and Captain Lin presented certificates to the new ICAASC Council members, honorary chairmen and consultants.
The event concluded with a panel discussion session, during which the alumni and experts discussed the speeches.