New research expert to lead China Beacons Institute

29 December 2021

Professor Tao Wu will take on a new role as Vice Provost for the China Beacons Institute (CBI) at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC), effective from 1 January 2022. He will be focusing on the construction of CBI, utilising his strong leadership skills and international experience to introduce world-class resources to support its development.

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Professor Wu has spent approximately seven years working and studying at the University of Nottingham, during which he has established a substantial network and academic connections. During his tenure as Dean of Faculty of Science and Engineering (FoSE), he has introduced high-end talent to the faculty in the areas of new materials and intelligent manufacturing, and more than 50% of the academic papers of the FoSE are published in the top 10% journals of SCI.

Looking forward to his new role, Professor Wu said: “The China Beacons Institute is a key example of UK-China cooperation, at the forefront of future-oriented, world-changing research. I look forward to working with CBI colleagues and continuing this work.”

Professor Wu plans to first introduce the innovative research and industry resources from the UK community, integrating them with the high-quality and future-facing scientific and technological talent of the University of Nottingham global community. Meanwhile, focusing the three main research areas of CBI on smart manufacturing, green chemicals and energy, and life science and healthcare, he is now concentrating on introducing the cutting-edge scientific research team “Future Food” from the University of Nottingham to CBI. Professor Wu explained that the institute hopes to establish laboratories in the field to conduct research into sustainable food and healthy urban living - backed by the resources of University of Nottingham UK - to provide a unique interdisciplinary research platform to serve the local and global food industry.

In Professor Wu's view, CBI will always place emphasis on serving the local area and economy, with boosting the high-quality development of Ningbo at the forefront of its goals. He added that the three key areas of research focus for CBI are closely consistent with the "246" industrial cluster in Ningbo, and that CBI has recently introduced eight globally recruited experts and scholars and ten research teams.

As we move into a new year, CBI will actively explore cooperation with institutes, government, industry and the society to build an innovative system, and provide endogenous power to build upon University of Nottingham’s research credentials

Professor Tao Wu

Provost Nick Miles said of the appointment: “Congratulations to Professor Tao Wu as he takes the helm at the China Beacons Institute. His strong research background and passion for civic and global engagement will stand the important work of the CBI in good stead. We look forward to seeing the work of the Institute continue under Professor Wu.”

UNNC Vice-Provost for Research & Knowledge Exchange, Professor Patrick Chau, also paid tribute: “with Professor Wu’s vast experiences in building successful research centres, it is no doubt that he is the best colleague to be the new director of CBI and lead it to be one of the best world-class research centres in China.”

About CBI

As a key institution that enables the high-quality development of Ningbo, CBI has been jointly established by the Ningbo government and the University of Nottingham, as part of the “Beacons of Excellence” scheme initiated by University of Nottingham UK.

Aiming to incorporate top talent in multiple areas and international scientific research resources to explore the critical problems facing the world and find solutions, the Beacons project has gathered more than 300 research teams, including numerous world-renowned researchers and various interdisciplinary teams, and has made significant progress and impact around the globe. Among these projects, CBI has selected key ones in line with Ningbo strategic and industrial goals as an international platform to serve the local development.

Last May, the Institute launched at its interim location in the Ningbo National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone. Jiaxue Peng, Standing Committee member of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee and secretary of the Ningbo Municipal Party Committee, attended the launch ceremony of CBI and noted in his speech that UNNC is the first Sino-foreign university with independent legal standing approved and established during President Xi’s administration in Zhejiang, and has developed rapidly with remarkable achievements in the past 17 years. “We hope to deepen communication and cooperation in different fields with UK and continuously seek for betterment for both parties in the future.”