Tech Transfer eNews Blog

MIT and Tsinghua University team up to tackle China’s urban problems through research and start-ups


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 27th, 2017

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Tsinghua University in China are partnering to launch a first-of-its-kind program that will support research and start-up teams developing real-world solutions for China’s rapidly growing urban areas.

The Future City Innovation Connector (FCIC) will be hosted at MIT’s China Future City Lab, where university researchers will identify promising concepts and technologies that could be translated to Chinese cities. FCIC will run in conjunction with DesignX, a start-up accelerator under the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. The program will also engage with Chinese municipal governments and business leaders to support the research projects.

Siqi Zheng, associate professor of real estate development and entrepreneurship at MIT and visiting professor at Tsinghua University, will serve as director of FCIC.

 “I am thrilled to see the launch of this new collaboration initiative,” says MIT provost Martin A. Schmidt. “Under the leadership of professor Zheng, [FCIC] will become the new starting point of a series of engagements between MIT and Tshinghua in entrepreneurship, education and urban research.”

Research and start-up teams will address specific problem areas associated with urban sprawl such as health, housing and environmental sustainability.

 “Partnerships with city governments are most critical to the success of these teams,” says Zheng. “The [FCIC] will help the innovative urban research teams and start-ups at MIT and Tsinghua engage with the Chinese market and government resources to realize their societal impact and economic success.”

Bin Yang, vice president and provost at Tsinghua, comments, “The rich academic intellectual resources and active entrepreneurship ecosystem at both universities have huge potential to land their impact in Chinese cities. MIT-Tsinghua FCIC will build broad partnerships with local cities and industries to scale up its impact.”

Source: MIT News

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