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UNSW and China’s prestigious Shanghai Jiao Tong University will establish a Joint Innovation Hub in Advanced Materials for the Space Age.

Unveiled by the Premier of New South Wales The Hon Mike Baird MP at a special ceremony in Shanghai on Saturday, the partnership builds on the successful $1 million Collaborative Investment Fund established by the two universities in 2013.

“This new venture will leverage UNSW and SJTU’s reputations as world leaders in advanced materials and it connects our research with one of the world’s largest and rapidly growing industry clusters in space technology and astronautics,” said UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs.

“The Innovation Hub will emphasise the complementary nature of the wider Australia China knowledge partnership by capitalising on Australia’s expertise and China’s growing world-class excellence in the field with China’s rapid advances in galactic space exploration,” Professor Jacobs said.

“Academic excellence, social engagement and global impact are core elements of UNSW’s new Strategic Plan and this Innovation Hub represents an important opportunity to advance this agenda in the heart of Asia.”

Critically, the Innovation Hub will be fully supported by the well-established partnership between the UNSW and SJTU technology transfer offices to ensure that the project outputs are connected to joint networks of industry partners and potential commercialisation partners in both Australia and China.

“The OECD forecasts China will overtake the United States as the world’s largest investor in science, technology and research by 2019 and its R&D investment already equates to 2.2% of China’s GDP. This is likely to radically alter the size and shape of the world’s innovation system and Australia needs to be at the table if it is to maintain its position as a globally competitive knowledge power,” Professor Jacobs said.

“This gives a NSW-based research institution a prime position at the forefront of China’s space development program and places knowledge exchange in this highly competitive area at the forefront of the emerging research relationship between Australia and China. This is why we are so pleased NSW Premier Mike Baird has chosen to inaugurate this important Hub.”