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University launches R&D institute for VR industry

By Zhuan Ti | China Daily | Updated: 2016-06-22 07:58

The opening ceremony for the Research Institute of Beihang University in Qingdao, Shandong province, took place on May 28.

Located in Qingdao's Laoshan district, the institute, which will incorporate a key national laboratory, is positioned to lead the research and development activities of China's virtual reality industry.

Five academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering - Zhang Jun, Xu Huibin, Zhao Qinping, Wang Huaming and Fang Jiancheng - will participate in the project.

Goertek Inc, an acoustic and electronic products maker, will sponsor and take part in the building and operation of the institute.

The Laoshan district government will partner with Beihang University to explore technological breakthroughs in information technology, the oceanic environment and smart manufacturing by building a key national lab for virtual reality, a big scientific infrastructure research base and an innovation center for oceanic biomimetic materials - which are materials developed using inspiration from nature - and a national smart hardware manufacturing innovation center as well as an unmanned system research and development center.

"Laoshan district will strive to build itself into the capital of virtual reality in China leveraging the research capability of Beihang University," said Qi Jiabin, the Laoshan Party chief who is also a member of the standing committee of the CPC Qingdao.

Zhao Qinping, director at the National Laboratory of Virtual Reality Technology and Systems, said the institute will work with its partners, including the district government and Goertek, to develop an entire VR industrial chain with an estimated combined value of 100 billion yuan ($15.2 billion).

"Together we will set up an industry fund to finance the technology research and build the Goertek Qingdao Technology Park and a VR industrial town, and eventually make the industry thrive here in Qingdao," said Zhao, who is also an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Laoshan is also leveraging its growing financial industry to sponsor the development of high-tech sectors in the district.

By far, there are 120 funds managing a combined fund valued at 100 billion yuan. More than 360 financial institutions and financial companies are operating in the district. Profits generated from the district's financial sector reached 7.02 billion yuan in 2015.

Laoshan is also home to more than 60 universities and research institutions, including three key national laboratories, and 37 laboratories at ministerial and provincial levels.

There are 167 certified high tech companies operating in the district, including leading Chinese electronics companies Haier, Hisense and Goertek.

(China Daily 06/22/2016 page10)

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