College of Engineering opens innovation center in Shanghai

A new center now open in Shanghai will strengthen the College of Engineering’s research and educational partnerships with academic and industry colleagues in China. The Shanghai Zhangjiang Berkeley Engineering Innovation Center, or Z-BEI, was formally launched in a Nov. 15 ceremony presided over by officials from UC Berkeley, Zhangjiang High-Tech Park and the Shanghai-area government.

Director of China Partnerships Connie Chang-Hasnain (left) leads a tour of the new Z-BEI center.“The College of Engineering engages in partnerships with innovators around the world to develop new ideas, new technologies and new products to benefit global communities,” said Constance Chang-Hasnain, Whinnery Professor of electrical engineering & computer sciences and the College’s recently appointed director of China partnerships. Chang-Hasnain will oversee the initial round of programs to be launched at Z-BEI, from industrial research collaboration to professional and executive education. “We are very excited about this opportunity to deepen our engagement in one of the world’s most dynamic innovation ecosystems,” she said.

Z-BEI is located in Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, a technology park in the Pudong district of Shanghai that has been likened to Silicon Valley. Chang-Hasnain spoke at the opening ceremony, as did Lei Ding, deputy governor of the Pudong New Area.

“Having Z-BEI in Zhangjiang will greatly elevate the transformation of foreign and domestic high-level research results and their commercialization capabilities,” said Ding. “It is yet another symbolic event for Zhangjiang’s “open innovation’.”

Z-BEI is an innovation platform jointly established by the Shanghai Zhangjiang Group and Berkeley Engineering to support cooperation in executive education and advanced technology research exchange. “Our goal is to gather and integrate resources to cultivate innovation and translate research results into real-world solutions,” said Chang-Hasnain.

Z-BEI’s initial slate of research and educational programs includes such topics as information engineering, systems engineering, bioengineering, precision manufacturing, green technology, innovation and entrepreneurship and engineering leadership.

Berkeley Engineering has been active in Shanghai and elsewhere in China for several years now, from individual faculty collaborations to professional and executive education programs on such topics as entrepreneurship, innovation management and marketing for the integrated-circuit design industry. The new Z-BEI center, with distance education and multimedia facilities, will facilitate the expansion of these offerings and, at the same time, facilitate the placement of Berkeley Engineering students as interns in Shanghai-area companies and start-up ventures.

More information can be found on the Z-BEI FAQ page.

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