World-class research in sights of top Chinese entrepreneur program

Members of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology Torch Program delegation with representatives of Griffith University.

A delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology’s Torch Program visited Griffith’s Gold Coast campus today (Friday) for a firsthand insight into the university’s health and science research capabilities.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement), Professor Martin Betts, welcomed the group of high-level officials which also met with the Director of Griffith’s Office for Research, Pro Vice Chancellor (Science), Dean of Research (Griffith Health), and Deputy Director of Griffith Enterprise.

Preliminary plans for an entrepreneurial precinct incorporating latest innovations in the medicine, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries have led the Chinese delegation to Queensland.

During a three-day exploratory tour of southeast Queensland, the group has met representatives of Queensland Health, Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, City of Gold Coast and the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games.

In a detailed presentation Professor Betts outlined Griffith University’s integral role in the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct in partnership with the Queensland Government, City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Health.

He described a collective vision for the creation of a globally-recognised precinct where jobs of the future based on knowledge-based opportunities will be generated.

Professor Andrea Bishop, Director of the Office for Research, detailed the highly significant contributions made by Griffith researchers in providing solutions in a 21st-century world of new technology, advanced international trade, mass migration and the prevalence of climate change.

Dr Jens Tempe, Deputy Director of Griffith Enterprise, took the delegation on a journey of innovation and engagement. “We start with a focus on important societal needs and look inside Griffith University to find ways we can create solutions. Then we connect with the outside world with the people who need the outcomes we can deliver,” he said.

A site visit of the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct followed the presentations as the future investment potential of the environs were considered in the wake of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“Griffith University’s world-class research expertise is an important component in their considerations,” Professor Ned Pankhurst(left), Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, Griffith University, said.

“During their tour of the Gold Coast campus, the Torch Program delegation will have gained an insight into the far-reaching impacts our researchers continue to have in the discovery of new drugs that fight diseases around the world.

“Key research strengths and opportunities for commercialisation were alsoshowcased and explored.”

China’s Torch High Technology Industry Development Centre is the entrepreneurial platform upon which some 150 precincts have been established in China. These world-leading breeding grounds for innovative investment opportunities have fostered more than 500,000 businesses.

Torch precincts typically account for 33% of the total industrial value of their host cities in China and often more than 20% of the local GDP.

The Torch Program is responsible for more than 11% of China’s GDP, more than 10% of the country’s total industrial value and close to 16% of China’s total foreign exports.

The establishment of a Torch Program health and medicine precinct on the Gold Coast would potentially pave the way for a series of key industry collaborations between China and Queensland.