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In 2010, the University of Michigan (U-M) and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) joined forces on a program that provides seed funding for collaborative research to develop new technologies. Initially, the program focused on research involving reduction in global carbon emissions and climate impact, as well as development of biomedical technologies to promote human health. Later, the program expanded to include nanotechnologies in all areas.
Projects involve co-investigators from SJTU and U-M. The universities each have committed to spending up to $3 million on their part of the collaborative research over the initial five-year period. Review panels identify projects that have commercial potential and are likely to attract follow-on research funding from the U.S. and Chinese governments, as well as from industry.
The research partnerships between U-M and SJTU are part of a broader relationship between the two schools. In 2005, U-M and SJTU formed a joint institute to manage and direct degree-granting programs offered by both universities to students of both nations.
On April 10, 2016, the U-M Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute celebrated its tenth anniversary with festivities in China. The award-winning partnership has become a model for joint ventures in education in the Asian nation with the world's second-biggest economy.
Each year, more than 1,000 Chinese undergraduates study mechanical or electrical and computer engineering at the institute in Shanghai. For U-M students, the institute has become a popular place for education-abroad opportunities.
"U-M is proud to be part of this long-running, fruitful and growing partnership with SJTU," said James Holloway, vice provost for global and engaged education at U-M. "Together, we have created unique educational platforms and undertaken important joint research projects whose results will benefit all. We have good friendships with many colleagues here in Shanghai, and are proud to celebrate this anniversary with them."