ABB's university contest keeps innovation flame burning bright

Updated: 2014-09-03 07:24

By Zhong Nan(China Daily)

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ABB's university contest keeps innovation flame burning bright
A student demonstrates her project during the finals of the third ABB University Innovation Contest, which was held in Beijing last Friday.CHINA DAILY

As the innovative and entrepreneurial flame burns bright in China, ABB Group, the Swiss engineering group, is investing more to promote talent cultivation and technological innovation through its nationwide university innovation contests.

The finals of the third ABB UIC, themed "Smart Technology, Intelligent Upgrading", was held in Beijing last Friday. Three teams from the University of Science and Technology Beijing, Zhengzhou University of Light Industry and Taipei-based National Tsing Hua University won the first prize.

Six teams won the second prize and nine teams won the third prize.

The 2014 contest set up three conceptual topics closely related with smart technology, namely smart communities and green power, intelligent manufacturing and smart power equipment.

The participants submitted proposals that featured bold innovations and designs in a number of pioneering technology fields, including a public electric vehicle rental system, a mobile terminal-based new wireless access control system and data network-based cluster mobile industrial robot systems, as well as an application of the Google glass concept in workshop automation.

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All these proposals highlighted the wide range of potential applications of smart technology in production and daily life of the future.

Gu Chunyuan, president of ABB China, said talent is the foundation of enterprise development, and innovation is the core driving force of economic and social development.

"By working on these new projects, university students can learn know-how quickly and accumulate more work experience, as well as become young experts in the fields they study," Gu said. "They also have better chances to work in high-tech companies and institutions after their graduation."

Since its start in May, the contest attracted students from 200 universities across 29 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in the Chinese mainland, as well as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. A total of 200 submissions were received.

"We hope to establish the UIC as an important platform to demonstrate outstanding creative breakthroughs in the fields of power and automation, so as to further promote the innovative spirit of the entire industry, develop more smart technologies and contribute to China's economic restructuring and industrial upgrading," said Gu.

The UIC was launched in 2012 and has attracted the active participation of students from more than 500 universities in China.

The contest was designed to stimulate innovation among university students, and to provide a channel for participants to communicate with each other and industry experts.

Zhou Wenxia, a professor of human resource management at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said as both local and foreign companies continue to expand their footprint in China's massive market, quality professionals with innovative spirit and related work practice will be in high demand.

"It will be China's new generation who would create unprecedented business development models, technological breakthroughs in various areas, and energy-saving solutions," said Zhou. "These are key to ensuring and strengthening the nation's growth ability in the future."

Eager to enhance its innovative abilities, ABB has now established a large corporate research center in China, one of its seven global research centers. The company employs more than 2,000 research and development personnel in China.

The company has also carried out multilevel university-enterprise collaborations with several Chinese universities, including 28 research projects conducted jointly by ABB and 16 universities and research institutions.