SFU President’s Office: China-Canada innovation & big data partnerships highlight SFU’s Asia mission

November 13, 2015

This week I and others from SFU travelled to China and Hong Kong to build and strengthen our relationships with partners, institutions and SFU alumni.

The region is a high priority in SFU’s International Engagement Strategy, and home to many ground-breaking programs and partnerships.  

One of the highlights of our trip was the signing of an MOA between SFU and Hanhai Zihye Investment Management Group (Hanhai) and partners to create the Hanhai – SFU China-Canada Commercialization & Acceleration Network (C2-CAN).

The C2-CAN accelerator program will support commercialization of advanced technologies in China and Canada. It will connect technology innovators and entrepreneurs with the people, programs and resources needed to accelerate venture growth in both countries.

In addition to linking to SFU’s new VentureLabs® facility in Vancouver, SFU and Hanhai will explore opportunities to establish R&D facilities at SFU, and support innovation and commercialization in the clean technology and life science sectors. It’s the latest initiative of SFU Innovates, SFU’s recently launched innovation and entrepreneurship strategy.

Another highlight of the mission was establishing the Simon Fraser University-Zhejiang University Joint Centre on Big Data (JCBD). The JCBD will provide a forum for faculty and students to advance big data science research in Canada and China and connect research with industry applications. Zhejiang University and SFU currently offer the SFU-ZJU Dual Degree program in Computing Science – the JCBD is a fitting enhancement of the program.

I also hosted receptions in honour of SFU’s 50th Anniversary - attended by over 300 alumni and friends - in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. 

All in all, the mission was a productive and successful one. And, in our 50th year it has set the stage for further engagement and deeper partnerships with Asia in the months and years to come.