Shenzhen University (SZU) made a giant leap by becoming the higher learning institution in China with the most PCT applications in 2016, according to a report released by the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva.

The other two Chinese universities to make the top 20 list globally in terms of PCT numbers are Tsinghua University and China University of Mining and Technology, the report said.

“The number of patent applications at Shenzhen University has been increasing over the last few years,” said Wen Zhenkun, director of the university’s science and technology department and a doctoral supervisor.

The number of PCT applications in 2012 was 246 and has been growing by 40 percent each year. Last year’s PCT application number was 604 and will continue to grow, said Wen. He added that the fruitful achievements of research were closely associated with the university’s comprehensive intellectual property system.

To encourage students and faculty members to dive into research projects, Shenzhen University has released an array of regulations and incentive policies to ensure its research teams have enough funds to submit PCT and technology transfer applications and to access consulting on the protection of intellectual property rights.

Xie Ning and a few other members of his team from the College of Information Engineering submitted 10 successful PCT applications on telecommunications last year. “Applying for a PCT is the by-product of conquering research missions, but it’s also very encouraging for our team,” said Xie.

The research projects undertaken by Xie and his team were mainly tasks given by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong and the Shenzhen government, concerning signal transmission and information security.

In Wen’s eyes, talent utilization is another key factor that drives the university’s development of innovation, and Shenzhen University has been making good use of its variety of talents from different age groups as well as backgrounds.

According to Wen, the university is still endeavoring to lure talents from both home and abroad. The university has more than 700 postdoctoral researchers who are engaged in dozens of research projects.

One of the nine provincial-level research platforms established in 2016 was a research center on wireless big data and future network engineering. The head of the research center, Wu Kaishun, is a young professor only in his early 30s.

“Young people working at the university receive a lot of encouragement and support,” said Wu. “I am experiencing an unprecedented atmosphere of innovation.” The young professor joined Shenzhen University through a national talent initiative called the Recruitment Program of Global Experts in 2011 after he obtained his doctorate in computer science and engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Wu has expanded his research team from one to more than 50 researchers from different countries in the three years since he came to the university. His team now has a lab that covers an area of over 300 square meters and has submitted over 10 PCT applications annually over the last three years.

Another research team that submitted two fruitful PCT applications last year was a team led by Professor Yan Peiguang and his six students from the College of Optoelectronic Engineering. The researchers would often forget about eating and sleeping, as their sole focus was on carrying out their research projects, said Yan.

“Doing scientific research requires whole-hearted passion. Although we are still a small team at the moment, I believe we will verify more of our thoughts with a few postdoctoral researchers’ joining us soon,” said Yan. He added that the university had provided resourceful platforms for the research teams by matching them with corporations.

The team has developed a cooperative relationship with a laser company in Wuhan and the two parties will continue to explore new materials in the field.

The university has been working closely with more than 60 large-scale corporations in Shenzhen including Huawei, Tencent, ZTE, Han’s Laser, DJI, Mindray and Huaqiang Group.

(Source: Shenzhen Daily)