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  • Sun Yat-sen University

    Carnegie Mellon

    Joint Research Institute

  • Foshan: Lets Do Business The following report investigates local research and development opportunities in Foshan, using the Sun Yatsen Carnegie Mellon University Joint Research Institute as an example of the citys unique investment environment. Described by McKinsey & Company as a city which will contribute more to global growth than Zurich, Madrid or Milan, Foshan is the center of industrial innovation in South China. The report was compiled by the International Department of the Foshan Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA), Chinas first Sino-Foreign government department.

    One of Chinas most dynamic cities. Located at the heart of the Pearl River Delta, Foshan is one of Chinas most prosperous and dynamic cities. Since the beginning of the countrys reform and opening-up process, foreign investment has been a vital tool for Foshans economic development. Combining a sound business environment with the forward thinking mindset of local leaders has contributed to the success of enterprises across Foshan, both foreign and domestic.

    A strong local market. With a GDP per capita higher than that of Shanghai, and even some European Union members, Foshans population of nearly 8 million residents has the purchasing power to match international markets. From Foshan, a manufacturer can reach over 65 million of Chinas wealthiest consumers in less than two hours.

    A modern economy powered by the private sector. There are almost 400 thousand private companies in Foshan. As highlighted by The Economist, that is an average of approximately one private company for every twenty residents.

    Chinas richest district. Located to the south of the city, Shunde is the richest district in China and the production powerhouse of Foshan. Shunde is home to some of Chinas most famous brand names, such as Midea, Galanz and Country Garden.


  • What is the JRI? An international partnership. The SYSU-CMU International Joint Research Institute (JRI) is a three-way partnership between the Shunde Government, San Yat-sen University, and Carnegie Mellon University. The JRI acts as an incubator for research and development teams from world-renowned institutions. The research conducted here aims to have an immediate industrial impact.

    Collaboration and cross-cultural cooperation. As a sister institute of the SYSU-CMU Joint Institute of Engineering (JIE) and CMU-SYSU Innovation Research Center (CIRC) in Guangzhou, the JRI offers postgraduate education in engineering. Simultaneously, it aims to facilitate the development of impactful industrial technologies through cutting-edge research and intercultural collaboration.

    Real-time research impacting industries across the world. The goal of the JRI is to provide a space for industry experts, researchers and students to come together and improve lives around the world. The international base of the JRI has facilitated high level collaboration projects, aiming to encourage the commercialization of technological innovations locally and globally.

    An expansive talent pool. The city also has a large pool of international researchers, participating in projects with research centers around the world, encouraging high tech development in all areas of industry. With nearly 300 postgraduate students, taught by over 35 professors and supported by over 60 researchers, the JRI produces highly talented, internationally-minded engineers and technicians, ready to directly impact Foshans industrial development. Around 120 students graduate each year from the JRI, with a high post-graduate employment rate.


  • The JRI facilities make up a truly world class modern research environment, and within the Pearl River Delta we find so many related industries where high level research can have a big impact. The research we are doing here in Foshan involves making fundamental advances in the field of computer vision and autonomous

    perception. Our research can have impact in local industries while also impacting the

    global economy. - Dr. Gary Overett , Assistant Professor


  • Shunde: Chinas Richest Talent Pool Top for business, top for talent. Built upon an advanced industrial foundation, the Shunde District of Foshan is not only the richest district in China, it is a regional leader for entrepreneurship and innovation. The wealth of Shundes talent resources has attracted over 2,000 foreign enterprises, many of whom transfer their facilities from other Chinese cities, in favor of Shundes business environment.

    Second-tier prices, first-tier talent. Not only does Foshan boast a highly professional and well-trained workforce, it also offers such an incentive at a far lower cost than its first-tier city counterparts. While drawing on the human resource strengths of cities like Guangzhou and Hong Kong, Foshan is home to key technical institutions for engineering and mechanics.

    High level of tertiary education. In the Shunde District alone, there are 13 vocational schools and one major polytechnic institution, providing nearly 13,500 professional technicians each year. With the establishment of institutions like the SYS-CMU partnership, the quality of postgraduate talent has developed rapidly.


    The Facts in Figures

    Shunde HR Association

    116 Recruitment fairs in Shunde

    7,900 Enterprises using the fair

    90,000 Participants in attendance

    The Facts in Figures

    Shunde Polytechnic

    92% Postgraduate employment rate

    97% Postgraduate employer satisfaction rate

    15,000 Over 15k students each year

  • The JRI: Making an Impact Shaping South Chinas knowledge economy. Universities in south China are taking the lead in an array of reforms aimed at making academic centers and scientific collaboration more international and more dynamic. The JRI is helping South China to strengthen its position as a global leader in science and engineering. The Sun Yat-sen Carnegie Mellon partnership was formed to create a more globalized university, combining human and technological capital from across the world.

    A variety of post-graduate courses with real impact. With professors specializing in subjects ranging from artificial intelligence to new materials and nanoparticle synthesis, the JRI offers a post-graduate education with real-life applications. The work at the JRI is indicative of Foshans exemplary research environment, researchers are eligible for government scholarships and bursaries, and individual enterprises are subsidised for upgrading industrial processes, creating a ready market for products and technologies developed by institutions like the JRI.

    Celebrated professors and international researchers. The JRI is home to world-renowned professors like Dr. Andrey S. Andrenko, the JRIs Principle Investigator. With an academic record spanning a quarter of a century, Dr. Andrenko has previously worked for the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation R&D Center and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd in Japan. Author of 76 international publications, and 28 patents in Japan and the U.S., Dr. Andrenko has actively contributed to research areas including:


    Wireless Sensor Networks __________________________________

    RFID Systems __________________________________

    Antenna Integrated RF Circuits __________________________________

    RF Energy Harvesting __________________________________

    The Internet of Things

  • Real-life applications for cutting edge technology. Though only a young institution, the JRI has already filed for patents on technologies having a real impact across the Chinese industrial landscape. Applications for JRI patented products vary from industrial use to commercial. For example, researchers are currently using the Internet of Things and a LiFi system to connect the lighting in supermarkets to advertising screens built into a customers shopping cart. The aim is to provide customers with location-dependent product information as they move around the supermarket.

    Kinetic energy harvesting and smart applications. Another example of real-life applications of JRI products is the work of Kai Wang in developing a Piezoelectric device for tactile sensing and energy harvesting. Researchers at the JRI have been developing a product to convert mechanical vibration and force into electricity, for application in an industrial setting. Targeting Guangdongs strong variety of high-tech industries, Kai Wangs patented technology is fully compatible with the TFT-LCD manufacturing process, and instantly applicable to industrial needs.


    We aim to strengthen production, study and research in cooperation with the dominant industry in Shunde and the Pearl River Delta. Delivering a world-class postgraduate education in engineering, we build on innovation, scientific research and technology transfer to provide first-class research professionals at home and abroad.

    - Hong-Zhou Tan, Director of the JRI

  • Smart grid research is a major scientific and technological innovation for the 21st

    century. At the JRI we are making significant achievements in theoretical and experimental research in the area.

    One project proposes advanced techniques that enable integration of high

    levels of renewable energy that will reduce Chinas reliance on polluting coal

    power generation. - Dr. Yinliang Xu, Assistant Professor


  • R&D: Computational Medicine & Neuroscience Xiaoying Tang, Director of Computational Anatomy & Neuroimaging Lab

    I'm an Assistant Professor at the SYSU-CMU Joint Institute of Engineering, the SYSU-CMU Shunde International Joint Research Institute, and an Associate professor at the S