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Ulster in Partnership Link-Up With Southwest Jiaotong University

6 September 2013

Dr Paul Hanna, Head of School of Computing and Mathematics, Ulster; Professor Gefu JIANG, Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor, SWJTU; Professor Anne Moran, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Educational Partnerships and International Affairs), Ulster and Professor Bryan Scotney, Director of CSRI, Ulster at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding

The University of Ulster has signed a partnership agreement with China’s renowned Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU), which will broaden co-operation and intensify collaboration in academic and research-related activities.

A high-powered delegation of leading academics from the university has been visiting the Jordanstown campus to formalise the alliance by jointly signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The partnership will forge close links between Ulster’s Artificial Intelligence and Applications Research Group (AIARG) at the Computer Science Research Institute (CSRI) and the Intelligent Control Development Centre (ICDC) in SWJTU.

The link will serve as the basis for creating a Collaborative Research Centre on Advanced Machine Intelligence (AMI), which aims to achieve internationally recognised status as a centre of innovation and excellence.

The focus of AMI is to bring complementary expertise from AIARG and ICDC together to conduct high quality joint research on current and emerging topics in Artificial Intelligence.

Professor Anne Moran, Ulster’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Educational Partnerships and International Affairs) said: “Internationalisation is at the core of the University’s work.

“Continually developing sustainable international partnerships is one of the key supporting objectives of Ulster’s Internationalisation Strategy.

“I am delighted to see the launch of this new collaborative platform, which will undoubtedly broaden and enrich the collaboration in academic and research-related activities between SWJTU and Ulster.

“I look forward to following the two groups as they enhance their research capacities towards achieving a a long-standing, successful, sustainable and internationally recognised centre of innovation and excellence, to ensure the development of advanced machine intelligence to support human society.”

Professor Gefu Jiang, Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor at SWJTU, said the new agreement has shown an advanced and significant stage of collaboration between the two universities.

"SWJTU opened in 1896 and is the second oldest national university in China. It has played an important role in recent developments in the country, including the transportation and railway system and in particular, the key technologies involved in high-speed trains," he said.

“Ulster has been recognised as one of the leading research institutes in the UK with an international reputation for excellence, innovation and regional engagement.

“The collaboration between SWJTU and Ulster will bring the two universities into a win-win position.

“I strongly support the advancement of the AMI centre and SWJTU will support it as much as possible with all available resources. I’m also looking forward to more collaboration with Ulster in many areas including student and staff exchange.”

The partnership between Ulster and SWJTU has been reached in accordance with the following provisions:

  • to develop the undertaking of common studies and joint research projects in fields of shared interest and to promote their implementation;
  • to exchange research materials and information under the protection policy of Intellectual Property, Confidentiality and Publication;
  • to promote the joint publications of research studies on topics of mutual interest;
  • to foster the spread of knowledge and organisation of lectures, meetings, seminars and courses;
  • to organise joint workshops and/or jointly organise international workshops/conferences on relevant research topics or to participate in scientific conferences and events;
  • to conduct joint international academic enterprise (resource share, software development, knowledge transfer and consultant service) under the protection policy of Intellectual Property and Confidentiality;
  • to realise the exchanges of academic staff, post-doctorate researchers, PhD, masters and undergraduate students related to the implementation of joint research activities and projects on the basis of short visits (less than three months).