Productive bilateral relationships and multidisciplinary collaboration between Australian and Chinese researchers are aims of a new Sydney research institute that has received a $1.8 million donation from a prominent Chinese philanthropist and business leader.
With a range of commercial interests in China and Australia, Founder and Chairman of the Yuhu Group, Mr Xiangmo Huang presented the donation to UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Ross Milbourne this week at a celebration that included senior state and federal government dignitaries.
The generous funds will go to the newly-created UTS Australia China Relations Institute, enabling the appointment of a prominent senior academic to direct the Institute and guide collaborative research on Australia/China relations, particularly in economics, business, education and social challenges.
Mr Huang’s company includes more than 15 subsidiaries specialising in real estate development and management, energy, water and multi-channel investments. With headquarters in Shenzhen, Guangdong in China, the company’s Australian operations include property development and real estate, and most recently, a shopping mall.
UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Development) Professor William Purcell said the work of the new research institute would add an additional focus to the rich and varied China-related research and educational engagement already underway at UTS.
“As well as allowing new areas of research to be undertaken in issues affecting both our countries, the donation will allow us to appoint a globally renowned research leader, award a post-doctoral research fellowship to Australian or Chinese candidates as well as three PhD scholarships,” Professor Purcell said.
“The Institute will also encourage greater public involvement in the research it conducts. A comprehensive report will be published yearly to stimulate debate and discussion, with two forums to be held annually dealing with economic relations, youth leadership and social issues of mutual concern. There will be an emphasis on developing the next generation of researchers and business leaders.”
Mr Huang said he felt proud to support significant new research at a university that has a progressive and creative approach to engaging with China and already provides opportunities for cross-cultural student experiences and researcher collaboration.
“We share a vision to produce high-quality research that will have worthwhile results for both our countries’ relationships in important business and societal spheres,” Mr Huang said.
“UTS clearly demonstrates a commitment to pursuing research that has impact – that reveals insights that can lead to new ways of doing things and achieving valuable outcomes.”
Professor Ross Milbourne said Mr Xiangmo Huang was a man who had achieved great success from humble beginnings and who appreciated that growing knowledge fostered innovation.
“Mr Huang’s contribution will enable UTS research insights and discoveries help inform national and international policy and contribute to progress and prosperity in both our countries,” Professor Milbourne said.