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Relationships with China go from strength to strength

Published: 11 December 2017
Relationships with China go from strength to strength

Since its inception Science Bridges China, a University of Bradford-RCUK international research platform in advanced materials for healthcare, has been responsible for many major research successes and highly valued relationships with China, and continues to go from strength to strength.

During the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held last month, an interview with Professor Phil Coates, the Director of Bradford-RCUK Science Bridges China, was broadcast on China Central Television (CCTV). Professor Coates spoke about the success of SBC, his experience collaborating with China, and he praised China’s growth in technology and innovation, and the “can do” spirit. It was another step forward for the visibility of Bradford in China.

The RCUK-Bradford Science Bridges China platform was founded via a £1.25m RCUK grant in 2009, combining our polymer engineering, pharmaceutical and cancer research areas. It is led by the world-class Polymer IRC, which incorporates our University centres of excellence in Advanced Materials Engineering, Polymer MNT Pharmaceutical Engineering Science, and Materials Chemistry); the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics is also associated. The Polymer IRC has 3 joint international research laboratories in China.

In 2012, following a very successful initial 3 years developing relationships with a wide range of leading Chinese partners and gaining a further £3m of EPSRC and Chinese government funding, the UK-China Advanced Materials Research Institute (AMRI) was established. Co-directed by Professor Phil Coates, and Prof Guangxian Li of Sichuan University, AMRI is a collaboration between 5 Chinese Universities and Institutes and the UK Polymer IRC Universities of Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield and Durham.

Most recently, our extensive China links have attracted the formal involvement of the EPSRC UK Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices (MeDe), comprising five UK universities, Leeds, Bradford, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.The SBC, AMRI platform has achieved:

  • over 200 research members
  • 3 joint patents
  • 40 joint high quality publications
  • over 25 funded collaborative projects (including a Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellowship)
  • 19 open innovation projects
  • over 150 international conference presentations
  • over 50 UK-China researcher exchanges

Professor Coates said: “Science Bridges China continues to be an opportunity to take the University’s warmth of relationship with China to a new level. Science Bridges has for us become ‘People Bridges’ – it is a real community of researchers, celebrating friendship and internationally leading science. It is an honour for us to have become so involved in the upward trajectory of science in China, bringing our strengths to theirs, and promoting increased co-operation between our countries.”

We are continuing to build the community, both in the UK and China, aiming for further active members, new grant support and continuing high quality outputs in journals and conferences. We aim to continue to be a top UK-China collaboration platform.

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