UCL Innovation and Enterprise


UCL showcases research at China Science Festival in Beijing

18 August 2014

The inaugural China Science Festival was held at the Beijing Exhibition Center from 18th July to 3rd August, hosting a range of educational and outreach activity, covering a total area of 20,000 sq. m. The UK was invited to showcase expertise in science, technology and innovation, with the British Embassy asking UCL to be the main contributor from the higher education sector.

UCL’s participation was led by Dr Michael Morris (UCL Corporate Partnerships), who brought together projects from across the college. Current students and several alumni gave up their time to man the stand and promote UCL to the festival’s thousands of visitors. Additional support was offered by colleagues from Space Syntax and UCL Earth Sciences’ collaborator in China, the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences).

The stand was made up of both digital and physical examples of UCL’s research. The Petrie Museum presented 3D scans of some of their artefacts through the IOS app, Tour of the Nile, while the Wellcome Trust Centre of Neuroimaging at UCL demonstrated The Great Brain Experiment. The Bartlett was represented through data visualisations of spatial analysis from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL Enterprise contributed a poster exhibition of its work with companies, and there were also dinosaur bones on display, sent by the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology and discovered in China.

The centerpiece of the stand was Lego2Nano, an atomic force microscope built by the Institute of Making. The device was created by PhD students at a week-long summer school held in Beijing in 2013, with the intention of bringing nanoscience to class rooms at a low cost. Several Chinese companies who attended the fair are now interested in commercialising this project to be used in high schools across the country.

The event helped to raise awareness of the UCL brand in China, the British Ambassador visiting the stand in the first week. China Central Television (the national broadcaster) also conducted interviews with students manning the stand (to be broadcast in September 2014), and Professor Xuo, UCL Pro-Provost for China, delivered a keynote speech at the festival.

China Science Fair

Sir Sebastian Wood KCMG (British Ambassador to China) with Ning Liu, Space Syntax