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Aarhus University enters into new partnership with Chinese hi-tech region

Science and Technology at Aarhus University and Viborg municipality have signed a cooperation agreement with the Chinese region, Wuhan East Lake National High-Tech Development Zone (WEHDZ). The aim is to establish a partnership based on the activities at Foulum.

Sustainable food production, food safety, green energy supply and intelligent use of resources from agriculture. These are just some of the topics in focus in a new collaboration between Aarhus University, Viborg municipality and the Chinese region, Wuhan East Lake National High-Tech Development Zone (WEHDZ).

On Tuesday, 26 June 2018 a delegation from WEHDZ visited Aarhus University, and signed a joint MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to establish joint innovation activities at Aarhus University in Foulum.

Initially, the objective is to expand and intensify cooperation within green tech and innovative food technology to benefit companies, universities and, not least, the populations of both Denmark and China. It is hoped that in the long term the partnership can be extended to include other sectors.

Starting point for businesses in Denmark and China
As part of the future cooperation, the aim is also to establish two incubation environments; one in Foulum and one in Wuhan. In this context, there are good opportunities for significant cooperation between young start-up companies and researchers at Aarhus University and in the Hubei Province. The intention is that both Danish and Chinese businesses will be able to use the facilities as a springboard to international markets.

At Tuesday's meeting, the dean of Science and Technology, Niels Christian Nielsen, made it clear that he hopes that the new partnership can result in new Danish and Chinese joint ventures in areas where Aarhus University is already an international leader.

“The university is keen to contribute to developing ground-breaking, knowledge-based solutions to global grand challenges in areas such as sustainable food production, green energy and the bio-economy. And the new partnership with WEHDZ is spot on. The cooperation agreement will help strengthen the already strong bonds with our Chinese colleagues, and we welcome the opportunity to support new Danish and Chinese cooperation.”

The Mayor of Viborg municipality, Ulrik Wilbek, signed the agreement earlier in the day:

"We see great potential in this agreement. We hope for Chinese investments in both research and new businesses in Foulum. To start with, working with AU and our partners from Wuhan, and with support from Invest in Denmark, we’ll be setting up a concept that suits both the Chinese and AU."

Further information
The cooperation between Aarhus University, Viborg municipality, Wuhan East Lake National High-Tech Development Zone (WEHDZ) has been with support from Invest in Denmark.

Wuhan is the principal city of the Hubei Province in central China. Wuhan East Lake High-Tech Development Zone was established in 1988, and in 1991 it was recognized by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China as one of the first national high-tech regions. 30,000 companies are based in the area, which is also regarded as having one of the largest pools of talent in China.

Read more about Wuhan East Lake National High-Tech Development Zone  (WEHDZ)


Further information:

Niels Halberg, director of DCA - Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture

Erik Steen Kristensen, head of department of the Department of Agroecology

Ulrik Wilbek, Mayor of Viborg, tel. +45 40 78 88 00, e-mail: sni@viborg.dk