Westlake University partners with Shanghai Ocean University to explore the future of the blue

On 27 October, 2018, Westlake University signed an official collaboration agreement with Shanghai Ocean University to launch cooperation in research, team-building and talent nourishment in advanced deep-sea science and technology. To this end, the Hadal Science and Technology Research Center will be established to accelerate the development of the Rainbow Fish manned submersible and relevant hadal science and technology mobility laboratory projects.

Min QIU, the vice-president of Westlake University, and Jiale LI, his counterpart at Shanghai Ocean University, signed the collaboration agreement, which was witnessed by Xiaoyun ZHU, the vice-president of Westlake, and Yudong CHENG, the president of Shanghai Ocean University, and Weicheng CUI, the chair professor of Westlake.

The development of ocean economy and research is a critical aspect of China’s national strategy. Based on the demands of national and regional development, Westlake University plans to establish the research center for Hadal technology by giving full play to talent pooling. Starting with research and development into hadal facilities, applying sensor technology, smart technology, acoustic optics, micro-nano processing and inspection technology to hadal equipment and facilities with the aim of building technologically advanced large ocean probe scientific facilities and information sharing systems and promoting the development of ocean science and technology in China.

Westlake University highly values research in ocean science and technology and shares a high strategic alignment with advantageous fields at Shanghai Ocean University. In 2013, the Hadal Science and Technology Research Center of Shanghai Ocean University and Shanghai Rainbow Fish Deep-Sea Equipment Technology Co Ltd jointly initiated the Rainbow Fish 10,000 Meter Challenge program and established a mobile lab for hadal science and technology research. This lab consists of a 5,000-tonne scientific ship, the Jian ZHANG, a 10,000-meter manned submersible, a 10,000-meter unmanned submersible and three full-depth landers. So far, the Jian Zhang and the three full-depth landers have been put into use.

Notably, the signing of this agreement marks a worthy exploration of talent and resource sharing in the context of the regional integration of the Yangtze River Delta. Both sides will conduct exploratory and innovative fundamental research, and research into critical technologies on the principles of focus, complementarity, cooperation and win-win progress, and realize the long-term development of hadal science and technology. The collaboration will also boost the ocean economic corridor between Zhejiang province and Shanghai, enhance connectivity, communication and resource-sharing, and fuel quality development in the ocean economy using advanced technology.