SUSTech President delivers keynote speech at 2nd Sino-German Sci-Tech Forum
Chris Edwards | 11/20/2019

On 19th November, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) President Chen Shiyi gave a keynote speech at the 2nd Sino-German Sci-Tech Forum in Beijing. Speaking in front of Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (President of Western Returned Scholars Association) Chen Zhu and Vice President of the Bundestag Hans Peter Friedrich, President Chen Shiyi spoke about “The Emerging Chinese Universities in a New Global Era,” as this year’s Forum operated under the theme of “Sino-German Scientific and Technological Innovation and Development in the New Era.” More than 400 people attended the Forum, including government officials, scientists, entrepreneurs and international student representatives.

President Chen Shiyi first introduced Shenzhen in his speech. He pointed out that Shenzhen is currently striving to take advantage of the historic and unprecedented opportunities from the industrial transformation of the Greater Bay Area and the construction of the Shenzhen Pilot Demonstration Area. He reflected on the interactions between Germany and Shenzhen, as well as the long history of cooperation between universities in China and Germany. SUSTech has already established many links with their German counterparts in biomedicine, art education and the development of innovative talent pipelines.

He highlighted the new global context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, promoting interdisciplinary and integrated science & technology. Artificial intelligence, new materials, autonomous vehicles, advanced robot, biomedical technology and quantum computing will play an increasingly important role in society, and see the rise of emerging universities, much like previous Industrial Revolutions saw new higher education institutions come forward.

President Chen Shiyi used his own research experience to talk about the role of universities in previous Industrial Revolutions, adding that the rise of this new breed of emerging science and technological universities will meet the needs of society during the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Shenzhen is a perfect example of that happening, with many international science and technology industry innovation centers being established. The technological development of Shenzhen has brought with it unprecedented opportunities for emerging universities.

President Chen Shiyi spoke powerfully about the efforts SUSTech has taken in “striving for excellence with bold creativity and practical innovation,” by remaining true to its philosophical pillars of “research, innovation and entrepreneurship.” It had taken many lessons from world-class universities around the world in developing its disciplines, talent pipelines, industry-university research, pedagogy systems and international outlook programs. He pointed out that SUSTech was born from the innovative genes of the most advanced area of China’s scientific and technological needs with a focus on science, engineering and medicine, while maintaining a holistic view to its curriculum to incorporate business and the liberal arts.

At the conclusion of his speech, President Chen emphasized the symbiotic relationship between SUSTech and Shenzhen, as it serves the economic & societal development of the city. SUSTech aims to become a world-class research university rooted in China at the earliest opportunity to serve the urban modernization of Shenzhen and help lay the foundation of an innovative China. President Chen Shiyi invited German universities, institutions and enterprises to cooperate with SUSTech in areas such as academic exchanges, joint laboratories and industry-university research platforms. He closed by saying, “Shenzhen & China are developing and the Fourth Industrial Revolution is coming. Shenzhen’s technological development brings new opportunities for development and cooperation.”

As part of the Forum, Western Returned Scholars Association (Overseas-educated Scholars Association of China) Secretary-General Wang Pijun and Federal Association for Economic Development & Foreign Trade Chief Executive Officer Michael Schumann signed a memorandum of understanding that was witnessed by President Chen Shiyi.

Other keynote speakers with President Chen Shiyi were Sino German Hi-tech Park Managing Director Mike de Vries, Beijing Western Returned Scholars Association Overseas Honorary Vice Chairman Wang Zhonglin, Charite Medical University of Berlin Institute of Chinese Life Sciences Director Professor Paul Ulrich Unschuld and UISEE Technologies CEO Wu Gansha.

The Sino-German Sci-Tech Forum is dedicated to strengthening the relationship between China and Germany through scientific and technological exchanges, policy integration & cooperation and industrial project docking. The first forum was held last year in Berlin.

2019, 11-20
By Chris Edwards

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