Some of the UK and China's leading data scientists will team up at a new London lab thanks to a partnership between Imperial College London and Zhejiang University (ZJU).
The announcement of the Imperial ZJU Joint Lab for Applied Data Science will be made at a major ZJU-Imperial conference 'Big Data: Healthy Citizens, Smart Cities', held at ZJU's campus in Hangzhou, China, over Friday 18 and Saturday 19 July 2014.
The news comes just one month after Premier Li Keqiang visited the UK to reinforce trade, research and educational ties between the UK and China.
At the ZJU-Imperial event, globally renowned experts in science, engineering, medicine and business - from Imperial, a world top ten university, and ZJU, one of China's leading institutions - are meeting to exchange ideas on the future of data science and its application.
Sir Keith O'Nions, President of Imperial College London, will deliver the Qi Zhen lecture on 'Globalization and the 21st Century University' during the conference. He said: "Bringing together data scientists from two of the world's great universities will spur creativity and innovation as we use our respective strengths to push scientific discovery forwards.
"In an increasingly data rich world, collaborations like this help the academic community to convert data assets into useful knowledge and valuable products. Data scientists are making profound contributions to the development of new medicines, solutions to environmental challenges, and helping create better ways to live in smart cities. We look forward to working with ZJU to accelerate this process."
Professor Jinhua Lin, President of Zhejiang University, said: "The ZJU Imperial Joint Lab for Applied Data Science is a highlight of collaborative progress between the two institutions since the establishment of our partnership in May 2013.
"Data is opening new doors and spurs a revolution that will transform every aspect of lives. In a world where data is everywhere with increasing volume, velocity and variety, collaboration enables us to leverage each other's strength to make insightful discoveries. I believe the conference is a great opportunity to share expertise, but in a more important sense, to spark new ideas of using Big Data for the well-being of human society."
Professor Yike Guo, Director of the Data Science Institute at Imperial, where the joint ZJU lab will be based, said: "Data is being produced at a relentless velocity and volume. Understanding and using this data could revolutionize scientific discovery.
"The Applied Data Science Lab will allow researchers from Imperial and ZJU to better access useful data to solve major scientific problems.
"Data is fast becoming a common language, unifying key actors - from different disciplines, sectors and countries - throughout science and innovation.
"This latest addition to Imperial's Data Science Institute will help make big data an ever more integral part of the scientific process."
Kit Malthouse, Chair of London & Partners, the city's business and promotional organization, said: "It took scientists 10 years to process the human genome for the first time - now it can be done in a day. That shows how far we have come in our ability to manage large and complex sets of data, and how powerful the results can be. Collaboration is the bedrock of innovation, so it's great to see one of London's world-leading scientific institutions joining up with colleagues in China to address the challenges and opportunities of big data. I've no doubt that this work will lay the foundations for future breakthroughs that will advance knowledge and improve health worldwide."