On the morning of September the 19th, BJUT hosted the High-End Think Tank Development Conference, with the theme of "Focusing on Technological Innovation and Pioneering a New Era of High-End Think Tanks". The distinguished attendees of the conference included Zhao Qinpeng, a Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and former Vice Minister of Education; Pan Jiahua, a Member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Dean of the Institute of Ecological Civilization of Beijing University of Technology; Xu Qiang, Director of the Science and Technology Committee of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference; Huang Baoyin, Party Secretary of the University of International Business and Economics; Xu Jing, former director-general of the Department of Strategic Planning, Ministry of Science and Technology; Li Zhimin, Vice President of the Chinese Society of Educational Development Strategy and Chairman of the Specialized Committee for Talent Development, along with university leaders, faculty and student representatives, and delegates from government agencies, higher education institutions, and research establishments. The conference was chaired by Nie Zuoren, President of BJUT.
BJUT Party Secretary Jiang Zeting stressed that under the strong leadership of the municipal government, the entire faculty and student body of BJUT have been diligently working towards achieving excellence. In their pursuit of advancing the university's high-quality development, they have charted fresh courses and achieved numerous development milestones. Seizing the opportunity presented by hosting the 5th Global Grand Challenges Summit, BJUT convened the conference dedicated to the development of high-end think tanks and officially inaugurated the Strategy Research Base of the Ministry of Education and the BJUT Think Tank Center. This represents a significant achievement for the university in further enhancing its expertise in the realm of "high-end think tanks", marking a new chapter in the university's cultivation of "soft power" and the pooling of intellectual resources. He emphasized that all faculty members and members of the student body must diligently execute the need to "strengthen strategic scientific and technological consultation". Additionally, they should utilize the Strategy Research Base of the Ministry of Education and the BJUT Think Tank Center as testing grounds for deepening the institutional mechanisms of think tank development. This will entail a focus on technological innovation, the aggregation of talent and wisdom, the broadening of international perspectives, the creation of competitive advantages, the establishment of collaborative networks, and the sustained utilization of new think tank achievements to empower the development of the university as a first-class institution, so as to contribute to the high-quality economic and social development of China and its capital city.
BJUT President Nie Zuoren provided an overview of Beijing University of Technology's role as a Strategy Research Base of the Ministry of Education, outlining its background and tasks, as well as the positioning and objectives of the BJUT Think Tank Center. He highlighted the integral role that high-level think tanks play in first-class universities, serving as crucial avenues for universities to contribute to national development. He also noted the university’s recent achievements in producing high-quality think tank research. He expressed optimism that the High-End Think Tank Development Conference would serve as an opportunity to harness collective wisdom and resources, foster organized think tank development, explore novel pathways for interdisciplinary collaboration and talent development, and help think tanks better integrate themselves into, and serve, national development strategies as well as Beijing's vision to develop itself into an International Science and Technology Innovation Center.
Zhao Qinpeng underscored the significance of the Strategy Research Base of the Ministry of Education within the university's innovation ecosystem. He described this as providing a pivotal platform for the Ministry of Education to coordinate high-level strategic research, bringing together outstanding talents from both domestic and international spheres, facilitating academic exchanges and collaborations, and nurturing innovative minds. Zhao emphasized that establishing a Strategy Research Base of the Ministry of Education at Beijing University of Technology would enable the university to better align itself with, and contribute to, the development of Beijing into an International Science and Technology Innovation Center. He expressed his hope that the university would gradually transform the Strategy Research Base of the Ministry of Education into a specialized high-end think tank, distinguished by its unique characteristics and commitment to the forefront of technological advancements. He encouraged the university to leverage the resources of the Strategy Research Base of the Ministry of Education while drawing upon its own disciplinary strengths, to focus on global scientific and technological frontiers, and make new contributions to think tank development.
Shi Sheng, the Director of the Secretariat of the Science and Technology Commission of the Ministry of Education, officially announced the approval of the establishment of the Strategy Research Base of the Ministry of Education at Beijing University of Technology.
Distinguished guests in attendance unveiled both the Strategy Research Base of the Ministry of Education and the BJUT Think Tank Center, and awarded appointment letters to those experts joining the Strategic Guidance Committee. After the unveiling and appointment ceremony, Vice President Chen Shujun hosted the keynote presentations and the roundtable forum.
During the conference's presentation session, Pan Jiahua presented on the topic of "Beijing's Path to Carbon Neutrality by 2050: Integrated Transformations Across Economic, Social, and Energy Sectors". He stressed that achieving carbon neutrality signifies a profound and comprehensive systemic overhaul of economic and social structures. It necessitates a systematic outlook and a methodical, well-organized approach. Currently, Beijing is well-positioned to achieve carbon neutrality and should lead by example by addressing questions such as "Which carbon emissions can be reduced, and how to reduce them?". He added that it is important to assess the potential economic and social repercussions of carbon neutrality, as well as the costs associated with phasing out high-carbon activities, and that this will facilitate the creation of a top-level blueprint for reshaping the city's development paradigm.
Xu Qiang delivered a presentation titled "Beijing's Emergence as a Pivotal Global Hub for Technological Innovation". He discussed Beijing's role as an international center for scientific discovery and technological innovation, and the major steps which need to be taken to ensure relevant development goals are met. He emphasized that to cultivate China's strategic technological prowess, Beijing's advantages in science and technology resources and talent must be leveraged. He added that it is imperative to uphold the principles that science and technology are the primary drivers of productivity, talent the most valuable resource, and innovation the foremost catalyst. Beijing should be purposefully nurtured as a significant hub for talent and innovation on a global scale, thus bolstering its high-quality growth.
Li Zhimin delivered a presentation titled "Building an Educational Powerhouse: Prioritizing Institutional Development". He emphasized that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation requires coordinated advancement in education, science, technology, and talent development. He added that at present there are still challenges in attaining high-quality development in higher education, demanding alterations to various educational operational systems, and that it is imperative to optimize investment effectiveness, fully harness the emerging technologies of the Internet and digital age, and introduce innovative educational and administrative mechanisms that are in line with the principles of a socialist market and the widespread accessibility of higher education.
Following the keynote presentations, Zhao Qinpeng, Pan Jiahua, Huang Baoyin, Xu Jie, and Li Zhimin participated in a roundtable forum, engaging in extensive and deep discussions centered around the theme of "Establishing Novel High-End Think Tanks within Universities".