Published: 11 July 2019

Senior delegation from the China Agricultural University (CAU) visits University of Surrey

Based in Beijing, CAU is widely recognised as the best academic institution in China in the area of agri-food. CAU has been ranked ‘Class A’ in the new Chinese government ‘World Class Universities’ list with 9 disciplines supported to become ‘world-class’, including: Biology, Agricultural Engineering, Food Science and Engineering, Crop Science, Agricultural Resources and Environment, Plant Protection, Animal Husbandry, Veterinary Science, Agrostology.

The senior delegation from CAU visited Surrey on Friday 28th June, and was led by Professor Qin Schicheng (Vice Chair, University Council). The delegation also included Professor Li Daoliang (College of Information and Electrical Engineering/Director of the National Innovation Centre for Digital Fishery), Professor Wu Huifang (Deputy Dean, College of Humanities and Development Studies) and Mr Feng Weizhe (Director of the International Office). Delegates attended a full schedule of events including a meeting with senior staff from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, as well as representatives from the Doctoral College and the Global Engagement Office. The schedule also included tours of the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing, the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, the 5G Innovation Centre and the Department for Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The visit follows on from a Newton Fund grant awarded to Surrey and CAU in February 2019 entitled ‘UK-China Agritech: Aquaculture 4.0 Advanced Digital Precision Aquaculture in China (ADPAC)’, with Surrey as the academic lead of the project (UK budget £1.3M with £227K to Surrey, China budget RMB4.66M). Building upon this award, both Universities are keen to explore further collaborative opportunities including the possibility of a collaborative PhD programme and research projects in the area of ‘Smart Agriculture’. This important research theme can also involve other areas of specialism at Surrey, including digital technologies, smart manufacturing, satellites and 5G technology. Other areas highlighted for potential future collaboration between CAU and Surrey include Veterinary Sciences, Environment and Sustainability, Nutrition, and Food Science.

The visit culminated in a round-table discussion, summarising the main areas of interest, led by Professor Emery (Senior Vice-President, Global). A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CAU and Surrey, formalising the parties’ commitment to explore these collaborative opportunities in more detail, was signed during the meeting.

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