Wed 4 Sep 2019

MOU on new energy sharing technology

A Memorandum of Understanding between a high-powered Chinese university delegation and Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki could bring significant economic benefits to both institutes.

The leader of a four-strong delegation from Liaoning University of Technology in the city of Jinzhou, Professor Chuncheng Liu and WITT Chief Executive John Snook signed the MOU at WITT on 30 August. Mr Snook said Liaoning and Taranaki were both energy-rich regions which were transitioning to new energy and had a lot in common.

“WITT was looking for a partnership that looks at student and staff exchanges as well as linking our technology.

“On September 16 we’re opening four new schools at WITT, one of which is Engineering, Energy and Infrastructure. The Government is about to spend $28 million for the National Energy Centre in New Plymouth, so the timing is right.

“The University of Technology at the forefront of a similar transition towards new sustainable energy sources, the relationship promises to be of mutual benefit," he said.

Professor Liu agreed.

“We arrived in New Zealand on Thursday night and the only place we are visiting is Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki and we go back to China tomorrow. 

“Our two schools have a lot in common, especially in engineering from a new energy perspective. We believe we will work together very closely. ‘’

Professor Liu, who is Secretary of the Party Committee and a former Governor of the city of Jinzhou, was keen to extend the relationship beyond the academic level.

“When I go back I will work towards greater co-operation between our staff, students and technology at different levels. I also support our two cities and regions co-operating at a higher level.’’

Professor Liu issued an invitation to John Snook and his team to visit Liaoning University.

“The CEO, all other relevant staff are welcome to visit us when they can and I can introduce our team and the work we are doing on new energy

Mr Snook was quick to accept.

“Because of the energy centre in your city and the one that is about to be built in New Plymouth we would like to establish a meaningful relationship and we would take our Mayor as well.’’

New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom was enthusiastic about the new relationship and said he would do whatever he could to help.

“WITT is hugely important to us and of course the council and I will do whatever we can to support it.’’

WITT International Director Carol Allen said WITT’s proud record of producing skilled graduates was also a key topic with senior staff accompanying Professor Chuncheng Liu.

“We’ve focused on growing our international relationships this year.  This visit certainly strengthened WITT’s ties in China and provided an opportunity for WITT students to connect and learn from different cultural experiences.’’ 

The visit was arranged by Kingsley Wang, WITT’s China Regional Director.