By McGill Reporter Staff
Joining Quebec Premier Phillippe Couillard on a mission to China at the end of October, McGill’s Vice-Dean of Life Sciences, Philippe Gros, signed four agreements with research partners there, while Occupational Health Professor Paul Héroux signed a fifth.
Couillard’s mission had two broad objectives: promoting Quebec business exports to China and a teaching and research component promoting Quebec universities active in China.
Gros represented Principal Suzanne Fortier on the trip. Héroux joined the mission because of his extensive collaborations with researchers in China. McGill’s presence on the trip was designed to strengthen relationships with key partner universities in Shanghai and Beijing and to promote McGill’s research and innovation strengths in order to develop new partnership opportunities.
McGill researchers have a long tradition of partnering with peer institutions in China and McGill faculty members are actively working in research partnerships in China in areas such as biofuels, aerospace, communication technologies, genomics and biomedical sciences as well as in cultural studies.
Gros signed agreements with Fudan University (Shanghai); Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai); Beida Jade Bird Group (Beijing) and Beihang University (Beijing). Héroux signed an agreement with Qingdao University in the Shandong Province.
The agreements with Fudan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University will support occupational health training programs Héroux has developed or is developing with these institutions. Héroux already trains students from Fudan University, one of the best medical schools in China, and hopes to expand his program to Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
The agreement with the Beida Jade Bird Group is both academic and commercial. The company has established a manufacturing operation in St. Bruno, and it has invested in an LED company, Enraytek, which would like to collaborate with Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Zetian Mi.
A Memorandum of Understanding with Beihang University builds upon existing collaborations between Beihang and McGill’s School of Continuing Studies and McGill’s Institute for Aerospace Engineering.
McGill’s representatives covered a lot of ground, both physically and in terms of subjects discussed at various academic and business meetings during the five working days in China.
Topics ranged from delivering health care in the far north of Quebec through McGill’s participation in the Institut Nordique du Quebec, to exploring ways to expand a program that provides Chinese graduate students the opportunity to study at McGill with funding.
Under an agreement signed with the Chinese Scholarship Council in 2013, the CSC sponsors up to 20 visiting PhD students (up to 48 months) and 20 Graduate Research Trainees (up to 12 months) per year. In addition, 10 postdoctoral fellow and 10 visiting scholars can be accepted under this program for up to one year of study at McGill.