Another four convergence research projects under Innovation 2030 launched

2020-04-09 Global Communications

On April 8, Zhejiang University announced the launch of additional convergence research projects on four areas of focus, i.e. Smart Ocean, Precision Medicine, Hypergravity Field and New Matter Discovery and Fabrication. This is the third batch of projects released under the Innovation 2030 Research Framework of ZJU, a strategic movement to advance the construction of “Double First-Class” Initiative.

According to the University administration, Innovation 2030 is drafted to serve the strategic needs of China and address pressing world challenges. Drawing upon the broad research portfolio of ZJU, Innovation 2030 is committed to propelling the University’s research excellence to a new height, promoting cross-disciplinary innovation and creating an innovation ecosystem that stimulates the interplay among disciplines, talents and research.

Smart Ocean Convergence Research Project (Smart Ocean Project)

To resolve global climate change and increasing conflicts between land  resources, environment, energy demands and population, people speed up the exploration, development and management of the ocean. Smart Ocean Project, the marine intelligent technology revolution 4.0 is ushering in the marine intelligent technology revolution 4.0, which resonates with the industrialization trends characterized with mechanization, electrification, digitalization, and intellectualization. By applying cutting-edge information technology into ocean environment, marine equipment, human activities and management entities, Smart Ocean Project pushes forward ocean informatization and opens a new chapter in the development of ocean science and technology.

To meet the major national demand for ocean environment security and deep-sea equipment development, the Smart Ocean Project will focus on several strategic areas such as ocean environment sensing, intelligent ocean equipment and ocean security. The Project also encourages scientific exploration and collaboration across broad-span disciplines to promote innovative fusion of informatics, AI and big data, as well as breakthroughs in core technologies. The Project endeavors to materialize a ZJU plan on “Smart Ocean” system as an integration of sky space, land, ocean surface, underwater space and ocean bottom.

  "The Smart Ocean Project responds effectively to the national strategy of building Maritime power, provincial development priority and the University’s goals for “Double First-class” initiative. Leveraging  comprehensive disciplines of ZJU, the Project will cooperate closely with prominent institutes to establish a vibrant ocean research ecosystem to promote world-class research teams and deliver disciplinary excellence."

   - Prof. PAN Delu, Chief Scientist of the Project and a member of CAE

Precision Medicine Convergence Research Project(Precision Medicine Project

Represented by the fusion of life science and information science, the technology convergence offers new solutions to human health problems. The exploitation of more advanced methods for accurate diagnosis and treatment of diseases will inevitably push forward a transformation of the paradigm. Driven by specific clinical needs, Precision Medicine aims for the high-resolution differential analysis on patients’ genomes and personalized disease phenome, by applying systems biology, multi-omics and intelligent analysis of big data. A brand-new chapter of disease diagnosis and treatment as well as human health will thus begin in the near future.

Underpinned by the construction of ZJU Medical Center, the Precision Medicine Project will focus on the two thematic areas, multi-omics based molecular diagnosis and genotype of diseases, innovation and translation of precision diagnosis and treatment. Key precise diagnosis and prevention technologies will be explored for undiagnosed complex diseases and major chronic diseases. The Project aims to create a well-connected innovation ecosystem that facilitates fundamental discoveries in theory and makes major breakthroughs in clinical translation and applied research, thereby protecting the health and supporting the livelihood.

  "The pursuit of precision is the strong demands of medical development as well as national health protection. Focusing on undiagnosed complex diseases, the Project will build up a clear technical route for accurate diagnosis and treatment and offer a theory basis for multi-level disease analysis, thereby encouraging breakthroughs in the research on the pathogenesis of major chronic diseases and the paradigm change of diagnosis and treatment. A series of original core technologies will be achieved, and the international multi-center clinical study will be promoted, which will serve as the source of knowledge and technology innovation in Precision Medicine, making important contributions to the better health of people in China and around the world."

   - Prof. LIU Zhihong, Chief Scientist of Precision Medicine Project and a member of CAE

Hypergravity Field Convergence Research Project(Hypergravity Project)

Gravity plays an essential role in the formation and evolution behavior of multiphase media. The length/time scale-reducing and intensified phase separation effects, induced by hypergravity, can effectively deepen our understanding of natural phenomena and offer a novel approach for discovering new laws and phenomena from matter movement. In the studies of hypergravity, a myriad of scientific and technological breakthroughs is expected to offer exciting prospects and transformative tools for research and innovation in multiple fields, such as disaster prevention and mitigation, exploitation of deep-land and deep-sea resources, utilization of underground space, development of new materials and studies of geological processes.

Along with the construction process of Centrifugal Hypergravity and Interdisciplinary Experiment Facility (CHIEF) and the developing knowledge of hypergravity science, this “Hypergravity Project” will go deep into the hypergravity effects on multiphase media, hypergravity multiphase evolution of rock and soil masses, geo-environmental mechanics, hypergravity experiments with geological processes, experimental earth sciences, hypergravity materials science and engineering. Another objective of the Project is to establish a globally leading innovation center for hypergravity science and technology. All these will serve to fulfill the strategic needs of China on the construction of major national projects, disaster prevention, and mitigation, as well as the promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative, thereby boosting economic and social development.

 "The hypergravity science and technology would open a new window to decipher the mystery around the physical matter. Focusing on the deep integration of multiple disciplines (geotechnical engineering, earth science, chemical engineering, environmental science, and life science), the Project will bring about significant breakthroughsin the fundamental research and original discoveries, and lead the research field of hypergravity science on multiphase media and applications by talent recruitment and cultivation."

   - Prof. CHEN Yunmin, Chief Scientist of the Hypergravity Project and a member of CAS

New Matter Discovery and Fabrication Convergence Research Project

(Gold Experts Project)

New matter discovery is the very driver for original scientific discoveries and disruptive technologies. It provides indispensable physical support for scientific breakthroughs and industrial revolutions, thus driving the global development and human civilization. The scope of new matter discovery and fabrication includes the identification of unknown matter and new functions of known matter, as well as novel matter fabrication methods. The new research paradigm using big data and artificial intelligence provides new methodologies and approaches for physical sciences, bringingmomentum and broad prospects for their revolutionary development.

The Project will address key scientific and technological issues in new matter discovery and fabrication throughsynergistic innovations of research paradigms, basic theories and applications. The implementation of this Project will significantly advance the synthesis, characterization and application of new matter, lay solid foundation for the development of intelligent manufacturing, synthetic biology, and intelligent medicines, thereby supporting China's major scientific engineering programs and industry upgrading.

 "The Project will harness the remarkable foundations of physical sciences, information sciences, and life sciences of Zhejiang University, as a driving force to accelerate research paradigm shift in physical sciences. A multi-scale, full-chain innovation platform for new matter discovery and fabrication will be established to create a world-class institute for physical sciences, attract top scientists around the world, as well as cultivate a new generation of interdisciplinary talents in this field, elevating the status of related sciences at Zhejiang University to a higher level."

   - Prof. HUANG Feihe, Chief Scientist of Gold Experts Project

In September 2018 Zhejiang University announced Innovation 2030 Research Framework, which is firmly rooted within core disciplines of the University. Since then, this research framework has set our ambition for Brain Research and Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing and Sensing, Conservation of Ecology and Environment, and Agricultural Breeding by Design. After more than one year of its release, the new mode of cross-disciplinary convergence has been actively explored, and cutting-edge innovations have begun to emerge from new frontiers of converged disciplines, which strongly support the achievement of institutional goals set for the "Double First-Class" Initiative.