Aston University has signed an agreement to establish an industry-led research hub in Hong Kong.

The Birmingham institution signed the agreement with the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong to take its applied PhDs to East Asia – one of the most dynamic manufacturing regions globally.

The partnership will see the two institutions working together with a range of organisations to offer industry-based PhDs and research degrees in engineering, sustainable technologies, digital technologies and materials science, innovation and enterprise.

Initially focused on Hong Kong and mainland China, the industry-focused research degrees supported by Shenzhen Leadus Education Ltd will engage industry professionals in research programmes. The company has strong partnerships with manufacturers in the UK, EU and US.

As part of the Aston 2030 strategy, the University is committed to expanding its international reach and impact, bringing its applied research focus to the world’s future growth regions and markets.

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“We are excited to collaborate with THEi in creating an innovative global research hub in East Asia,” said Professor Aleks Subic, vice-chancellor and chief executive of Aston University. “Together, we aim to harness the 4th industrial revolution in one of the world’s most advanced manufacturing regions.

“Through this partnership with THEi and our industry partners we will bring our research expertise to this dynamic region and create new opportunities for businesses engaged with the Birmingham Innovation Quarter.”

Professor Alan Lau, president of THEi, said: “This marks an important milestone in the development of a tripartite arrangement between industry and academic institutions from the UK and China’s Greater Bay Area. 

“Our aim is to cultivate high-level research talents and translate their research results into real-world applications.”

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