In September 2015, Ian Jacobs, President of the University of New South Wales (UNSW), visited China and met with persons in charge of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). The two sides had in-depth exchanges on strengthening cooperation in science parks. In November 2015, with the guidance of MOST, a technology fair jointed staged by the UNSW and the Zhangjiang High-Tech Park was held at the Z-Art Center in Zhangjiang, Shanghai.
In January 2016, the UNSW Delegation led by President Ian Jacobs visited the Torch High Technology Industry Development Center (Torch Center) of MOST. Both sides discussed the idea of building a Torch innovation precinct at the UNSW campus as a win-win mode for Chinese and Australian technology industries to cooperate in R&D and tap the market in Australia. The precinct would also promote the trans-border flow of resources and provide new momentum to bilateral cooperation.
The Torch precinct plans to gather enterprises in three leading fields: energy and environment, advanced materials and bio-technology. These fields are not only key to China-Australia technology cooperation, but also areas where the UNSW boasts world-class academic excellence. The first task of the precinct is to build a 1,000 m2 incubator on the main campus of UNSW, to accommodate one hundred staff and provide services for Chinese enterprises.
To facilitate the development of the project, the Torch Center organized a Partner Meeting on March 1st, 2016. The event was attended by some 60 representatives from 25 enterprises and institutions in Beijing, Shenzhen, Xi’an, Shijiazhuang, etc. Companies such as the OriginWater Technology Co., Ltd., Kohood New Energy Co., Ltd., Rentian Communications Group and Tianjushi Engineering Technology Group, expressed their intent to cooperate with the UNSW.
Corporate representatives said that the meeting had been pragmatic and efficient. Chinese enterprises and the UNSW had sufficient communication and reached consensus on cooperation. The UNSW promised to continue talks with these enterprises and invited all participants to visit its campus. The Torch Center will look for potential Chinese enterprises to promote the development of the Torch Innovation precinct and help Chinese enterprises to go global.
The meeting featured the presence of Zhang Zhihong and An Daochang, Director General and Deputy Director General of the Torch Center, and Counsellor He Fuxiang from the General Office of MOST. Representatives from the UNSW included Dr. Jim Henderson, Chief Operating Officer of New South Innovations, Mr. Warwick Dawson, Director of the Research Strategy and Partnerships Office, Mr. Laurie Pearcey, Director of International Strategy (Greater China & India), and Ms. Rachel Wei, Country Manager of the UNSW China Representative Office.