The Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) is a partnership between the University of Oxford and the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) in China's Jiangsu Province to establish Oxford’s first overseas centre for research in physical and engineering sciences. A collaboration agreement was signed by the two parties in December 2016.
OSCAR will be a multidisciplinary research, innovation and technology centre focussing on research challenges and technologies that both complement its location in SIP and capitalise on current Oxford research strengths, producing knowledge and innovation with the aim of developing the commercial potential of such technologies.
The Centre is positioned in Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District (SEID), a district in southern SIP with a high concentration of science, education and innovation activity. SEID is the prototype of higher education internationalization in China which hosts 32 local and foreign universities and institutions.
Initial research programmes will be led by groups from the Oxford departments of Engineering Science, Physics, Chemistry and Materials, with applications ranging from health informatics, tissue engineering and biomedical imaging techniques to environmental remediation, advanced materials and electronic devices. Other areas of research will be considered for inclusion at a later date.
OSCAR occupies a 20,000 m2 building provided by SIP on the industrial park, with labs, offices and incubator space spread across nine floors. Within the building will be provision for joint labs with Chinese partners for co-located, cooperative research.
Research will be directed by Oxford University academic staff, with most of the research activity to be undertaken by researchers employed locally by OSCAR. The initial programme is set to last for five years, but the aim is to work with Chinese funding agencies and Chinese academic and industrial institutions to achieve long-term sustainability, promoting collaboration with existing research partners in China and identifying new and productive partnerships.
The ambition is for OSCAR to become a paradigm of scientific excellence focused on global challenges – an ambition that will be greatly assisted by location in Suzhou.