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CQU's Efforts in Making Research Achievements and Training Innovation-minded Talents to Support the Development of New Quality Productive Forces Featured in a Full-page Story on Chongqing Daily

On April 22, 2024, Chongqing Daily published a full-page story in its sixth page Chongqing Daily Focus, highlighting CQU's commitment to developing itself into a world-class university and its efforts to help develop Chongqing's new quality productive forces with its scientific research achievements and innovation-minded talents. The full story is as follows:

This is the 95-year-old CQU

This is the rendering of "Ultrafast Transient Facility," the first large scientific facility in Chongqing Municipality

Core tip

Given the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial restructuring, the proposal of new quality productive forces has provided scientific guidance for China to shape new momentum and new strengths for high-quality development.

Chongqing's determination to develop new quality productive forces is self-evident. To do so, Chongqing has set a series of targets and tasks, including the "3-3-6-18" modern manufacturing cluster system initiative and the "4-16" science, technology and innovation network initiative. The aim for Chongqing is to generate new industries, new patterns and new driving forces with subversive and cutting-edge technologies, and to accelerate the formation of new quality productive forces in a modernized new Chongqing.

Colleges and universities are an integral part of the efforts to accelerate the formation of new quality productive forces.

As a part of China's "double first-class" initiative, CQU has always been guided by the CQU spirit of "being a pioneer in rejuvenating the Chinese nation" as stated in the CQU anthem composed by the second president of CQU, Mr. Hu Shuhua, in 1936. Based in Chongqing and committed to serve the development of Chongqing, CQU, under the all-round leadership of the CPC, gives full play to its leading role as a model university for national Party building, adheres to train people for the great causes of the CPC and the country, and pushes forward the implementation of the moral education project for new generations of people. With a focus on the strategic plan for education, science and technology, and talent, CQU is making every effort to foster a sustained breakthrough in the construction of first-class disciplines, with a significant improvement in the capacity for self-dependent innovation, and an accelerated influx of high-caliber talents. With a mindset of supporting the construction of a modernized new Chongqing in all respects, CQU is capitalizing on its strengths of producing high-quality scientific research outputs and nurturing high-quality innovative talents for the development of new quality productive forces in Chongqing and even across the country, in an effort to chart a new course for the high-quality development of a century-old yet new CQU.

Reaching a new height

Optimizing disciplines and specialties to "better fit" the needs of development

Amidst the Healthy China Initiative and the development of a new medical program, many of the "export terminals" for high-end professionals are closely related to the life sciences field.

In order to better meet the people's needs for better life and health, in June 2018, CQU resumed the establishment of the School of Medicine and set up the Health Science Center, constructed medical disciplines from a high starting point, and added eight affiliated hospitals, such as Chongqing General Hospital, Cancer Hospital, and Three Gorges Hospital. These efforts have helped to accelerate academic discipline development for the health of Chongqing people. In 2022, CQU was recognized to offer doctoral program for the first-level discipline of Clinical Medicine, and has established certain disciplinary characteristics and strengths in the fields of Oncology, Neurobiology, Emergency and Trauma Medicine, and so on.

"To meet the new challenges brought by the new quality productive forces to the structural arrangement of disciplines and specialties, higher education institutions should be geared to serve the high-quality development of the economy and society and strengthen their own characteristics and advantages, while optimizing the type structure of disciplines and specialties for talent training, training level and scale structure. It is also necessary to build disciplines and specialties urgently needed for the development of the country and society, so as to adapt to the urgent needs of the new era," said a CQU senior employee.

With a long-term plan, emphasis on value, and wish to improve quality, CQU has embraced an integrated approach to discipline development, which involves strengthening engineering program, consolidating science program, revitalizing liberal arts program, prospering social sciences program, expanding medical science program, improving IT program, and promoting interdisciplinary program. To cater to the market needs with its expertise and to meet the expectations with its actions, CQU has nourished AI+ disciplines such as intelligent manufacturing, intelligent energy, and intelligent zero-carbon. To foster new disciplinary growth potentials, CQU has established new interdisciplinary specialties such as New Energy and Energy Storage Science and Engineering, Intelligent Unmanned Systems Science and Technology, and cutting-edge interdisciplinary platforms such as Quantum Materials and Devices, Trans-scale Porous Materials, and Advanced Electro-energy Chemistry. Thanks to these efforts, CQU disciplines have witnessed significant improvement in their ability to solve major scientific problems or real-world issues.

With a big picture mindset, CQU is poised for original innovation research.

CQU launched an Action Plan for Excellence in Basic Science and an Action Plan for Revitalization of Basic Liberal Arts in 2020, and was approved to establish the Southwest Center for Theoretical Physics of the National Natural Science Foundation of China in 2021, and the Chongqing Research Center for Quantum Physics Basic Discipline in 2022. Supported by these platforms, CQU has conducted forward-looking and leading basic research on issues at the frontiers of science, such as the deep structure of matter, condensed matter physics, nano frontiers, and the regulation of physical states. In February 2023, CQU Mathematics Research Center started its physical operation, which brought together a pool of national talents to spotlight international research on the frontiers of mathematical fundamentals.

On its journey towards "world-class disciplines," CQU has been steadily raising its strength in its dominant academic disciplines.

In the new round of "double first-class" construction, CQU has always maintained a robust development momentum and competitive edges in mechanical, electrical, civil engineering and other disciplines, playing a prominent role in supporting the economic and social development of the local community and the country. In terms of the civil engineering program, CQU, with a mindset of actively meeting the major needs of the Three Gorges reservoir area for safety and new energy construction, is committed to pursuing innovative research in six areas: high-performance structural systems, bridges and mountainous roadbed and pavement engineering, special geotechnical mechanics and mountainous geotechnical engineering, engineering dynamic catastrophe and safety prevention and control, and intelligent construction and operation & maintenance, in order to contribute to the construction of a new and modernized Chongqing.

CQU has promoted the optimization and adjustment of disciplines by categorization, created top-notch disciplinary heights, and continued to promote the modernization and transformation of traditional engineering disciplines. These have resulted in impressive achievements in discipline construction, and continued improvement in performance in third-party evaluations. According to ESI, CQU had its Engineering program in the ESI top 1 globally, Materials Science program and Chemistry program in the ESI top 1‰ globally, and 12 programs in the ESI top 1% globally. According to Shanghai Ranking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, CQU had 9 programs in the global top 50 programs, making CQU's Engineering program world-class.

Making breakthroughs in innovations

Strengthening scientific and technological research in order to serve the local "strategies"

Built on mountains and rivers, Chongqing has a variety of intertwined and complex supply pipelines, making it extremely difficult to conduct inspections mainly by manual labor. Given this circumstance, CQU research team has developed the high coherence narrow linewidth laser" to facilitate ultra-precise intelligent sensing.

Wushan plum is not only the "Chinese famous fruit," but also the "golden fruit" produced by the local people to get rich and increase income. However, the picked plum is fresh only 4-5 days. With this in mind, the CQU research team volunteered to provide free scientific and technological services. Independently designed and developed by the CQU research team, the air-discharge free-radical fruit and vegetable preservation system allows Wushan plum to be preserved for up to 14 days.

Serving urban development and helping rural revitalization. CQU's success stories are not just heart-warming and vivid, but also steeped in sci-tech value. According to the list of winners of Chongqing Science and Technology Award 2022 announced in July last year, among the 100 award-winning entries, CQU won 10 first prizes and 8 second prizes, which accounted for 40% of the number of first prizes in Chongqing. It is evident that CQU has made important contributions to Chongqing's science, technology and innovation in terms of scientific discovery, technological invention, and promotion of scientific and technological progress.

"As education supports the national strategy, it is necessary at first to identify the priority and focus areas to serve the regional economic and social development." To do a good job in building itself into a world-class university based in Chongqing, CQU, by giving full play to its comprehensive advantages in disciplines, talents and scientific research, will continue to be closely involved in the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing Twin City Economic Circle, the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and the national strategic hinterland, as well as the high-quality development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

At the end of last year, spearheaded by CQU, the first large-scale scientific project in Chongqing, "ultrafast transient facility" pre-study project main structure was officially capped, marking the phased progress of the project. CQU's other platform construction is also in full swing, as it starts from a high starting point to build the Jialing River Laboratory, Mingyue Lake Laboratory, and Institute of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, greatly supports the construction of the CQU Mathematics Center, and promotes the successive deployment of major national tasks and the clustering of high-end innovation platforms. Furthermore, CQU advances the physical operation of five state key laboratories, adds three innovative platforms of the Ministry of Education (MOE) such as the MOE Key Laboratory of Nonlinear Analytical Mathematics and Applications, accelerates the construction of high-end public experimental platforms for quantum matter, future chips, etc., and continuously improves the comprehensive service capacity of discipline-based public platforms.

Speeding up the construction of scientific research platforms while taking the initiative to offer services.

Reportedly, CQU took the lead in the establishment of the Chengdu-Chongqing Twin City Economic Circle University Consortium, and teamed up with the relevant districts and counties in Chongqing to build the circum-CQU innovation eco-system, and jointly built the Bishan Advanced Technology Research Institute, Industrial Technology Research Institute, and New Energy Storage Materials and Equipment Research Institute, etc. Backed by relevant dominant disciplines, CQU has built 22 new high-end R&D institutions and industrialization platforms with key enterprises in Bishan, Tongliang and Qijiang of Chongqing, and Suining, Deyang and Guang'an of Sichuan. These have effectively supported the upgrading of lithium-ion, gears, energy storage and health industries in Chengdu-Chongqing area.

To tackle the challenge of translating achievements, CQU has vigorously implemented the "Leading Enterprise" project, and signed strategic partnership agreements with more than 20 enterprises such as State Grid, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, etc., to build new high-end physical R&D institutes. In order to promote the transfer and translation of achievements, CQU, recognized as a national intellectual property demonstration university, has set up the Institute of Technology Transfer. This will help craft a three-tiered coordinative service system for the whole chain from cultivation, incubation to industrialization. Over the past two years, CQU has translated more than 150 S&T achievements, which amounted to 200 million yuan, and attracted more than 1 billion yuan of social investment. In the field of advanced manufacturing, for example, the professor team of CQU College of Optoelectronic Engineering has witnessed its S&T achievements being applied to businesses through translation, attracting tens of millions of funds from the society. With an estimated valuation of more than 500 million yuan, the team's achievement has contributed to the optimization and upgrading of the structure of the chip industry, and has facilitated the high-quality development of the local economy.

Building great platforms, undertaking great tasks, and making great contributions. In order to actively play its part as a first-class university, CQU has committed itself to the important mission of accelerating the realization of high-level scientific and technological self-reliance and self-improvement, and endeavored all its efforts to serve the local high-quality development.

Making new progress in talent training

High-quality talents serve as "strong internal force" for the new quality productive forces.

Since its inception, CQU has always prioritized talents and regarded talent training and talent acquisition as its core functions. Shouldering the responsibility to cultivate "industry elites and national pillars," CQU has trained and produced more than 400,000 high-caliber talents for the country and society, represented by the outstanding alumnus, Mr. Ren Zhengfei.

In any era, talents are the crucial cornerstone for the development of the country. During the new journey in a new era, CQU is dedicated to expediting the formation of a high-quality education system, strengthening the self-dependent cultivation of top-notch innovative talents, and comprehensively improving the quality of self-dependent cultivation of talents, so as to continuously deliver high-quality talents to promote Chinese modernization. In 2023, CQU was approved to host the National Innovation Platform for Industry-Education Integration of Energy Storage Technology. As another major national teaching and research base of CQU, the platform will help foster high-level innovation-minded talents in the field of energy storage urgently needed by the country, promote the development of the energy storage technology industry, and safeguard the country's energy security.

In August 2022, CQU was selected as the only university in SW China (10 universities in the first edition) for the construction of the National Elite Institute of Engineering (EIE). EIE is committed to establishing itself into a national model institute for the training of elite engineers with demonstration and pioneering effect in the country, with a focus on talent cultivation innovation, technological innovation, and industrial innovation.

Over the past 2 years, the CQU EIE has been working tirelessly to make progress. Supported by the state key laboratories, engineering centers and other scientific research platforms of CQU and enterprises, EIE has set up 8 laboratories for IoV, Advanced Robotics, Energy Storage Technology, etc. Thanks to the innovative talent cultivation mode, EIE has enrolled 411 master's and doctoral students in 13 programs, such as intelligent energy, artificial intelligence, intelligent networked new energy vehicles, etc. This is conducive to the formation of a favorable scenario in which enterprises ask questions, colleges and universities answer questions, and academia and enterprises work together on R&D projects. Finally, the "model" can turn into a "demonstration."

Accelerating the cultivation of innovative talents and empowering the development of new quality productive forces. To deliver the top-notch undergraduate education, CQU has been comprehensively promoting the cultivation of innovative talents, while promoting the deep integration of "general education, professional education and innovation and entrepreneurship education." CQU's efforts to establish Hongshen Honors School, Peng Huanwu Academy and Liberal Arts College, deeply implement the Strengthening Basic Disciplines Program and the Top-notch Undergraduate Training Program, and push forward the cultivation of successive undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral program students, have helped CQU explore a long-cycle integrated cultivation mode, and foster top-notch talents in basic disciplines for the country. By deepening the reform of engineering education and creating a new engineering program-based talent cultivation model featuring interdisciplinary studies, crossover integration, diversified design, and individualized development, CQU has created what is known as a best CQU practice in China's new engineering education, and has promoted the true translation of talent elements into a surging momentum driving the development of new quality productive forces. In 2023, CQU as a leading player won one first prize and seven second prizes in the National Teaching Achievement Award.

In terms of talent attraction and cultivation, CQU maintains the philosophy of "showing true concern for talents, training talents with great devotion, attracting talents with utmost dedication, and deploying talents with great care," positively creates an atmosphere conducive to satisfying talents near and far, and structures the twin towers of talent attraction and cultivation with seven categories of talents in four levels.

Focusing on serving the national strategy and aligning with the needs for the development of Chongqing in the new era, CQU is vigorously implementing the core strategy of enhancing the competitiveness of the university through talent development. Centering on the national strategic needs and the Chongqing's 4-16 science, technology and innovation network initiative and 3-3-6-18 modern manufacturing cluster system, CQU seeks to recruit top-notch and urgently-needed talents to address bottleneck problems in key and frontier areas. Backed by the National Major Talent Project of China, Yuyue Talent Action of Chongqing, and New Chongqing Talent Attraction Program, CQU has made great efforts to cultivate and introduce high-level talents to support the development of new quality productive forces. In 2023, Prof. Liu Hanlong was elected as academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and 52 new national talents of various types were recruited throughout the year.

Top talents head teams to build world-class R&D centers; outstanding talents play their part actively in building high-capacity STI platforms; and young talents perform enthusiastically and play a leading role in scientific research. These attest to the thriving talent programs at CQU campuses.

In terms of talent channeling, CQU, in association with the Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology, the Municipal Education Commission, the Municipal Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security and other authorities at all levels, has proactively conducted campaigns such as the Starry Sky Software Talents Double Choose Recruitment and the Million Talents Program in Chongqing, to encourage graduates to retain and work in Chongqing. Nearly 40% of CQU's graduates base themselves in Chongqing every year, and more than 17,000 CQU graduates have retained their jobs and started their own businesses in Chongqing over the past five years. These passionate, smart and creative minds have contributed to the economic prosperity of the mountain city.

The year 2024 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 95th anniversary of the founding of CQU. The new journey has entrusted a new mission, and the new starting point calls for a new commitment. CQU will further increase the awareness of being a "national team," shoulder the mission to act as a "national team," and focus on China's double first-class initiative. With concerted efforts and dedication, CQU will strive to chart a new chapter of high-quality development of a century-old yet new CQU by delivering success stories in running education programs, developing science and technology, and nurturing talents. This will enable CQU to make new and greater contributions to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in all respects through Chinese modernization.

Portrait of actions

CQU has established the National Elite Institute of Engineering, and explored a new paradigm for the cultivation of successive undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral engineering program students with Chinese characteristics.

CQU has continued to pick up speed in the construction of CQU Science Center and Ultrafast Transient Facility, and initiated the construction of Jialing River Laboratory, Mingyue Lake Laboratory, and Institute of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies in full swing.

With an eye on cutting-edge technologies, CQU has prospectively deployed cutting-edge interdisciplinary platforms for researches on quantum materials and devices, advanced electro-energy chemistry, bio-construction and artificial intelligence, as well as high-end public experimental platforms for quantum matter, future chips, and intelligent and Internet-connected supercomputing.

CQU has implemented the special action of "Strategic Research and Major Tasks" to enhance the comprehensive ability of large platforms to bring together great teams, undertake great tasks and produce great outcomes.

CQU has continued to explore the "university-market" two-way mode of translating scientific and technological achievements, promoted the deep integration of "innovation chain-industry chain-funding chain-talent chain," and made every effort to serve the high-quality development of the country and the local community.