Jim Woodell, APLU’s Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement, recently led a delegation of APLU member universities to China. The four universities — North Carolina State University, Northern Illinois University, State University of New York, and the University of Massachusetts Boston — are all designated APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Universities. Economic engagement leaders from the institutions were representing the IEP Universities program as part of the trip.
Representing the institutions were Lesley Boney, Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues and Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement (NC State); Anne Kaplan, Vice President for Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development (NIU); Heather Hage, Vice President for Industry and External Affairs (SUNY); and Cynthia Orellana, Director of the Office of Community Partnerships (UMass Boston). Jessica Sebeok, Associate Vice President and Counsel for Policy at the Association of American Universities (AAU) and Bill Chang, Special Advisor for the Asia Pacific Region at University of Hawai’i System, also joined the delegation.
The delegation visited multiple sites between Shanghai and Beijing. In Shanghai, the group celebrated the launch of a new university-affiliated business incubator and visited with university, industry, and government leaders in Shanghai’s Jainding New Town economic development district. While traveling from Shanghai to Beijing, the group stopped in Xuzhou – where they helped inaugurate a new innovation center and visited with leaders of the China University of Mining and Technology. In Beijing, the delegation was joined by Dan Mote, President of the National Academy of Engineering. The group visited with Vice Minister of Education Tian Xuejun, and participated in the 2017 International Innovation Forum, presented by the International Universities Innovation Alliance. The Forum included a half-day workshop for Chinese university representatives focused on the IEP Universities program and process.
Throughout the visit, IEP Universities representatives shared lessons learned and effective practices in university engagement in economic development efforts. Chinese colleagues also shared information about university- and industry-engaged economic development in China. American and Chinese participants explored ideas for collaboration around innovation and entrepreneurship, including student engagement in these activities and broader economic engagement efforts.
An excellent summary of the visit is provided by delegation member Lesley Boney on his blog for the NC State Institute for Emerging Issues.