Last edited 06 Jan 2021

China-UK research deal for sustainable cities

BRE Tsinghua Evergrande.jpg

Day-two of Chinese President Xi Jinping's Official State Visit saw the signing of a £200 million collaborative research deal. UK building science centre BRE, China’s top university Tsinghua and one of the country’s largest property development companies Evergrande signed the agreement in London with the aim of helping China build sustainable low-carbon cities.

Designed to support China’s sustainable urbanization and national green building programme, the projects will receive more than £3m in funding from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); a figure matched by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

With the overriding objective of reducing the carbon emissions of existing technologies, the projects will also include R&D on new green materials, the reduction of energy demand, and post-occupancy evaluation studies, all with a focus on how to improve the energy efficiency of cities.

The four projects are:

  • Low carbon transitions of fleet operations in metropolitan sites (Newcastle University, Imperial College London Southeast University).
  • City-wide analysis to propel cities towards resource efficiency and better wellbeing (University of Southampton, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology).
  • The ‘total performance’ of low-carbon buildings in China and the UK (University College London, Tsinghua University).
  • Low-carbon climate-responsive heating and cooling of cities (University of Cambridge, University of Reading and Chongqing University).

Chief Executive of BRE Dr. Peter Bonfield said, "Our Chinese partners have the ability to affect real change in the built environment. They currently deliver buildings, homes and communities on an unprecedented scale quickly and cost effectively. They will take the learning from this collaborative programme and deliver a sustainable built environment without compromising on cost and speed – something that hasn’t yet been done anywhere else in the world. We look forward to playing our part in what will be a transformative research partnership."

Minister of State for Universities and Science Jo Johnson said, "China is one of our most important international partners and at the last China-UK trade summit our Governments agreed to boost collaboration on science and technology. This project is a direct result of that commitment, and I look forward to seeing it progress."

Professor Che Chengwei, deputy director general, department of engineering and material Sciences, NSFC said, "This latest programme…will build substantially stronger links between Chinese and UK research communities in relevant areas. It will also brighten the future bilateral collaboration between both countries."

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