As part of a strategy to boost collaboration with top Chinese research institutions, the LCN co-organized a joint China-UK summer school from 5-11 September in Beijing. The topic was "Trends in cross-disciplinary nano, bio and IT research", with four lecturers and 13 Ph.D. students from Imperial College and UCL taking part.
Thanks to an award from Research Councils UK, the school was held on the campus of Tsinghua University, and also supported by the Centre for Nano and Micro Mechanics at Tsinghua University as well as Peking University Institute of Microelectronics. An equal number of lecturers and students from Peking University and Tsinghua University - two of China's top universities - participated in the school.
A unique feature of the school was an assignment in which students from the UK teamed up with their Chinese counterparts in groups of four or five to write a proposal for a project based on multidisciplinary research in bio, nano and information technologies. The proposal should draw on expertise from the UK and China. The students were encouraged to use the lectures, which focused on cross-disciplinary research topics such as quantum computing or biosensors, as an inspiration for their proposals.
Further food for thought on what motivates cross-disciplinary research was provided by study tours each afternoon to leading research institutes and high-tech companies in the region around Peking and Tsinghua Universities. This region, called Zhongguancun, is one of China's foremost high-tech corridors. The visits included the Tsinghua-Foxconn Nanotechnology Center, The National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, IBM Research China and biochip manufacturer CapitalBio.
An overview of the summer school can be found at http://cnmm.tsinghua.edu.cn/wiki