Imperial strengthens 'People-to-People' ties with China


Imperial's Chinese community

Imperial has 2,600 Chinese students - the largest group other than Britons

Imperial leaders and researchers met with Chinese politicians and academics last week to strengthen links between Imperial and China.

The fifth annual UK-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue is a key pillar in the UK-China relationship, providing a forum to celebrate ties between the two countries, and a platform to drive greater co-operation.

The four-day Dialogue is chaired by Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt and Chinese Vice Premier Madame Liu Yandong, the most senior female politician in China.

Science and innovation

Imperial’s Director of the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery, Professor Guang-Zhong Yang showcased his work to Madame Liu, among other delegates at the UK-China Science and Innovation Forum.

Professor Yang

Imperial's Professor Yang


The Hamlyn Centre plays an active role in international collaboration, as well as in the training of surgeons and engineers in robotic technologies.

The event launched the new UK-China Joint, Science Technology and Innovation Strategy, announced by the UK and Chinese governments to strengthen collaboration in science and innovation.

The new strategy will support partnerships between academics, researchers and businesses in both countries to create new opportunities to tackle global challenges.

The UK has a history of successful collaboration with China and we are increasingly looking to strengthen this partnership.

– Jo Johnson MP

Science Minister

An annual Flagship Challenge Programme to fund collaborative research will be launched as part of the strategy. Its focus will be guided by the outcomes of successive rounds of discussions between China and Britain.

The UK science minister Jo Johnson signed the deal with his Chinese counterpart Wang Zhigang.

Mr Johnson said: “The UK has a history of successful collaboration with China and we are increasingly looking to strengthen this partnership.

"This new joint strategy is a central part of the UK-China bilateral relationship, underpinning our mutual commitment to drive growth and tackle global challenges through science and innovation.

“The recent launch of our Industrial Strategy underlines our commitment to ensuring science and innovation remains at the core of the UK’s future ambitions.

"It is international partnerships like this that are a testament to our ongoing commitment to propel Britain towards global leadership of future industries.”

Imperial’s partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Health was presented at the Health Dialogue event. It showcased work in the field of policy and specifically in strengthening the China’s health system including managing chronic conditions and selecting effective technologies for reimbursement.

Professor Kalipso Chalkidou

Professor Kalipso Chalkidou

Professor Kalipso Chalkidou, the Director of the Global Health and Development Group at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, attended the talks.

Her team recently moved to Imperial and are helping governments build technical and institutional capacity for improving the value for money of their healthcare investment.

Professor Mary Ryan, Vice-Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Engineering, attended the Women’s Roundtable Dialogue.

Professor Xuetao Cao, President of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, gave a lecture at Imperial about medical research and future development in China.

The researcher from Peking Union Medical College has particular interests in innate response and immune regulation, immunobiology of APCs (dendritic cells, macrophages), cancer immunotherapy.

Meanwhile, Imperial Business School’s Professor of Marketing and Strategy George Yip took part in a panel at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech International conference in Guangzhou, China.

The conference convenes world leaders to discuss innovation, technology, and the economy. The panel discussed how China’s education system must adapt to cultivate future entrepreneurs.

Academic collaboration

Imperial and Beijing’s Tsinghua University announced a joint seed fund to support early-stage bold scientific ideas, to coincide with the People-to-People Dialogue.

Prof Chen visits the Centre for Bio-Inspired Technology

Prof Chen from Tsinghua University launched new fund with Imperial


The Tsinghua-Imperial Research and Innovation Fund aims to kick-start innovative research projects and concepts that are showing signs of promise but are at an early stage in development and need funding to progress.

Imperial is the UK’s top academic research collaborator with China. Imperial researchers have co-authored more than 3,000 publications with their Chinese peers over the past five years.

Imperial has 2,600 Chinese students – the largest group other than Britons –and 225 Chinese staff, including world renowned scholars like Professors Yike Guo, Jianguo Lin, Xiaodong Zhang and Guang-Zhong Yang. Imperial has more than 7,000 alumni in China including Mayor of Beijing Chen Jining.


Stephen Johns

Stephen Johns
Communications Division

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China, International, Strategy-collaboration, Strategy-decision-makers
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