LONDON, March 27 (Xinhua) -- A strategic collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the Chinese city of Nanjing was launched Tuesday to research technologies to support 21st century "smart" cities.
The university's Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope signed an agreement to formalize a strategic partnership with the Nanjing city government, according to a statement issued by the British university.
It has paved the way for the creation of the Cambridge University-Nanjing Center of Technology and Innovation. This will entail the establishment of a joint research center and the sharing of revenue derived from the commercialization of intellectual property.
The University of Cambridge described the joint agreement as their first overseas enterprise at this scale.
Funded by Nanjing city for five years in the first instance, the project will have its own dedicated building in Nanjing's Jiangbei New Area, a pilot urban development based on high levels of technological innovation.
At the heart of the new center's activities will be research into technologies that support a modern 21st city with integrated IT, health care and building management.
Innovations emerging from the center will enable the development of "smart" cities in which sensors, applied at the individual level and all the way through to the level of large infrastructure, will enable sustainable lifestyles.
As well as supporting health and wellbeing in new cities, the new center will help deliver efficient energy use through its academic and entrepreneurial activities.
The agreement will fund positions in Nanjing, both academic and management, and will allow Cambridge-based academics to engage with specific, long-term projects in the Chinese city.
It will also support the establishment of a professorship, based in Cambridge, with responsibility as the center's academic director.
The project has been driven by the Department of Engineering, at Cambridge.
Speaking in Beijing, Toope said: "This is only the most recent example of our collaboration with Chinese partners, but it is by far the most ambitious to date, according to the statement.
"We see it as an essential part of Cambridge's contribution to society to tackle some of the great world problems. But we cannot do this on our own. We can only accomplish great things by working together, which is what we will be doing with Nanjing."