China visit aims to deepen Wisconsin’s engagement

University of Wisconsin–Madison Interim Chancellor David Ward is leading a Wisconsin delegation to China, where he will inaugurate UW–Madison’s first overseas outpost and participate in events aimed at deepening engagement with Chinese partners.

The delegation, which includes UW–Madison representatives along with state of Wisconsin and state business officials, will travel to Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong from June 8-20.

The delegation’s makeup shows that international interests and activities have spread across the Madison campus, as well as increasing in importance for Wisconsin’s state government and business communities.

Other participants include Paul Jadin, CEO and secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; Ben Brancel, secretary of the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; and Kurt Bauer, president of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

During the visit, Ward will open the UW Shanghai Innovation Office, developed under a new partnership with Shanghai’s Minhang District. Participants will also take part in the Entrepreneurs Roundtable and an Innovation Conference.

The Entrepreneurs Roundtable, the kickoff event in Shanghai, aims to connect Chinese partners and UW-Madison experts in discussions on innovation and entrepreneurship in China.

The two-day Innovation Conference that follows will showcase the value of partnerships between UW-Madison and Chinese institutions.

“I see the opening of the UW-Madison office in Shanghai and these related events as ways to continue strengthening our engagement across East Asia,” Ward says. “We hope this visit will also help open doors for Wisconsin’s business community in an important region.”

In Shanghai, Ward will discuss an agreement to create a new research consortium between UW–Madison and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, one of China’s leading universities. He also will sign a letter of cooperation between UW–Madison’s Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development and the Shanghai Dairy Group, one of China’s largest dairy producers.

In Beijing, Ward will join in discussions at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and with American businesses working in China. The delegation also will welcome the third cohort of world-class athletes in the Chinese Champions Program, as they prepare to travel to UW-Madison for six months.

In Hong Kong, the chancellor will participate in an international forum on “The Public Interest and the Future of Public Higher Education in the 21st Century” at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.