Through this Academy, Covestro and Tongji University aim to conduct research on exploring and innovating industry-academia cooperation models with a view towards industrialization of innovation achievements in the area of transportation and construction. Furthermore the Academy wants to enhance the public awareness in China for the importance of environmental protection, energy saving, quality and safety issues.
Based on the strong foundation of Tongji University, one of the oldest and most prestigious educational institutions in China, and Covestro, among the world’s largest polymer companies with approximately 16,200 employees, the academy in its first 5 years term comprises three pillars: education, innovation and talent development.
Covestro, with investing around 2.2% of its turnover in R&D per year, and Tongji with more than 4,200 academic employees, put a strong focus on innovation. In this aspect we conduct joint academic research and development projects in the field of construction and transportation with respective high-performance materials. Furthermore we support Tongji students to conduct their own innovative training projects.
It is our commitment to support China in overcoming the challenges of today and tomorrow through strengthening science and education. We wish the Academy will become a prime partner in educating industry professionals of today and tomorrow as well as the broader public, and become a platform for technology innovation and a bridge for international exchange in the field of construction and transportation, and last but not least a bridge for deeper friendship between Germany and China.
Tongji University is one of the leading universities in China under the direct administration of the Ministry of Education, listed on “Project 985” and “Project 211”. With a history of over a century, Tongji has valued the balanced development of four functions, i.e. education, research, outreach, and culture inheritance and innovation.
The history of Tongji can be traced back to 1907, when the German Medical School was founded by Erich Paulun, a German doctor in Shanghai. After being renamed Tongji German Medical School in the following year, it was formally established as a university in 1923. It became National Tongji University in 1927, one of the seven earliest national universities of China. Around 1949, Tongji already boasted five colleges of natural sciences, engineering, medical science, liberal arts and law, and enjoyed a fine reputation as a comprehensive university both home and abroad. Following a nationwide campaign of restructuring universities in 1952, Tongji became an engineering-intensive university with top-notch strength in civil engineering and architecture, which is second to none in terms of scale and number of disciplines. Since 1978, “two transforms” were launched, namely, the transformation to an international university by restoring links to Germany, and the transformation from a university focusing mainly on civil engineering to a multidisciplinary engineering university. In 1995, Tongji declared to be jointly built by the Ministry of Education and the Shanghai Municipal Government. By 2007, when it was celebrating its centennial, Tongji had become a comprehensive, international, research-oriented university with distinct features and global influence. In 2013, the university proposed its vision of “a sustainability-oriented, world-class university”.
The university now covers 10 broad categories of academic disciplines, including engineering, science, medicine, management, economics, philosophy, literature, law, education and arts. The number of faculty stands at 2,786, of which 855 are professors, and 997 associate professors. The university now registers 18,581 full-time undergraduate students, 13,762 graduate students, and 4,279 PhD candidates. Another 2,197 international students are pursuing their degrees here.
The university offers 75 undergraduate majors (50 of which are enrolling students according to 17 broad disciplinary categories). It can grant master degrees in 55 broad academic disciplines, together with 15 professional Master’s programs and 26 engineering Master’s programs. It also grants PhD degrees in 31 broad academic disciplines with 3 professional PhD programs and 25 post-doctoral mobile research stations. Of all the disciplines, 3 are first-level national key disciplines, 7 second-level national key disciplines, 3 second-level national key disciplines (incubated), and 17 first-level Shanghai disciplines. There are 3 state key laboratories, 1 national engineering lab, 5 national engineering (technology) research centers, and 26 ministerial/provincial-level key labs and engineering (technology) research centers as well as 7 affiliated hospitals and 4 affiliated high schools. Since its founding, Tongji has turned out nearly 300,000 graduates, among which many are extraordinary political leaders, scientists, educators, social activists, business leaders, medical specialists, and engineering technology experts. Over 140 alumni are academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, or the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
First of all, I would like to express my sincere thankfulness to your great support of Covestro-Tongji Eco-Construction and Material Academy in the past five years. Under the current framework of cooperation, it has achieved lots of successfulness in Education, Innovation and Talent Development. It set a good example of high-level industry-academia collaboration not only in Tongji University, but also in China.
Established in 2011, the Academy was founded by Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) and Tongji University, with an aim to enhance awareness in China for the importance of environmental protection and building energy efficiency. Education, R & D projects as well as Talent Development were the focus of the Academy during its first 5 years.
From 2017, we changed the scope of our cooperation and decided to continue our co-operation under the name of Covestro-Tongji Innovation Academy. The new Academy will move closer to the markets, and with innovative industry-academia cooperation models aims towards commercialization of innovations in the Chinese key industries of transportation and construction.
To echo China’s 13th Five-Year Plan and its business implications, the Academy will continue to make efforts on enhancing environmental protection with innovative technology, fostering a sustainable lifestyle with new solutions and developing talents by providing scholarships and internship programs.
On behalf of the Academy, I extend my best wishes to all of you and look forward to another successful 5 years to take industry-academia collaboration to a higher level.
Prof. Dr. Christian Haessler
Dean, Covestro-Tongji Innovation Academy