The University has provided 360 degree of support to encourage staff to participate in various research activities. The Fusion Investment Fund (FIF) is a brilliant opportunity to seed future research development projects and forge collaborations with internal and external partners. I was inspired to apply the FIF through a number of interesting discussions with Prof. Jian J. Zhang looking at the evidence of the increasing influence from China in both economic and scientific worlds. Links with Chinese institutions will no doubt benefit Bournemouth University through various education and scientific research activities. I also owe my gratitude to the continuous support and encouragement from Dr. Corrina Dickson, Prof. Barry Richard and Prof. Mathew Bennett during the preparation of my FIF application.
The FIF allows me to develop network activities leading to the establishment of a strategic partnership between the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) of Bournemouth University (BU) and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), and to create opportunities in joint research, enterprise and education endeavours. UESTC has been among the top ranked Chinese universities, and has been the best educational base in China for computer science and electronic engineering. It is located in Chengdu, one of the largest cities in Western China. The formation of the strategic partnership will strengthen the link of BU to China and in particular will bring BU’s influence that is currently absent to the western part of China.
I have been in contact with Prof. Zhiguang Qin (UESTC), Dean of School of Information and Software Engineering and Dean of School of Computer Science and Engineering, and the international office of UESTC to discuss possibilities on collaboration at various levels since 2010. Strong interest has been identified on the development of hardware and software algorithms of haptic devices for virtual reality applications, where the research excellence of UESTC in computer science, as a complementary element, matches well with the expertise of the NCCA in virtual reality and computer animation. The collaboration can be further extended to cover other research topics based on the mutual interest of both institutions.