The University of California’s Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) will establish a new global innovation center in Hangzhou, China, under a five-year, $90 million partnership that the Bay Area Council was instrumental in bringing together. Del Christensen, the Council’s Chief of Global Business Development, recently joined Costas Spanos, CITRIS Director, and Zhao Xikai, Deputy Director of Future Sci-Tech City in Hangzhou’s Yuhang District, in signing a memorandum of understanding formalizing the partnership.

CITRIS is a world-leading innovation institute that works to translate cutting-edge information technology research among various UC campuses, including at Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz and Merced, into new products, companies and industries aimed at solving some of society’s biggest problems, including in the areas water, energy, transportation, health, education, robotics and cybersecurity, among others.

Through our office in Hangzhou, the Council introduced CITRIS to leaders of Future Sci-Tech City, one of China’s premier technology and innovation centers that was established by the Hangzhou and Zhejiang provincial governments, and facilitated the many months of discussions that produced this exciting partnership. Under the MOU, Zhejiang will work with to establish a program at the Future Sci-Tech City modeled after the CITRIS program. The agreement also outlines an ongoing and robust exchange of research and collaboration in the development of new technologies.

Separate from the MOU, Hangzhou’s Yuhang District is also looking to establish its own business organization modeled after the Council’s to convene business and civic leaders in addressing key challenges and promoting economic growth.

CITRIS was founded in 2001 as a public private partnership, and its primary research center at UC Berkeley was funded in large part with a $20 million donation by Bay Area Council Executive Committee member and Marvell Technology Group Co-Founders Weili Dai and her husband Sehat Sutardja. To engage in the Council’s Global Initiatives work, contact Chief of Global Business Development Del Christensen.

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