Clean energy and a sustainable environment have been the top priorities of the Chinese government economic development policy and after more than a decade of heavy investment and consistent effort, China has now become one of the leading nations in these research fields. In a significant development in Griffith University’s efforts to expand international research collaborations, Professor Ian O’Connor, Vice Chancellor and President signed an Memorandum of Understanding on 21 September 2012 for a 4-way partnership with prestigious institutions to establish a joint laboratory in Energy and Materials together with Professor Weiping Cai, Director of the Institute of Solid State Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; and Professor Shilun Qiu (representing Professor Yuanyuan Li, the President of JLU) Jilin University; and and Professor Min Zhu, Vice President, South China University of Technology (pictured). Each partner has made real cash commitments to the joint centre and Griffith has committed $150k each year over the next 5 years for joint research projects in clean energy, environmental and material sciences. The initiative is already in operation with exchanges of postdoctoral students across institutions. Griffith will also host the first international conference under the agreement at the Gold Coast in February 2013.
Prof Huijun Zhao and Assoc Prof Xiangdong Yao are leading the collaboration from Griffith, and discussions are underway on specific joint projects. The expertise combined will create a powerful consortia in this field. The joint laboratory will seek to facilitate the sharing of new research ideas, access to broad expertise, world-class research facilities that are unavailable in Australia and other resources to enhance GU research capability and the ability to tackle major national and international projects.