SUZHOU, China, Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of DaytonAug. 8 launched an innovative research and education center in the rapidly growing, ultra-modern Suzhou Industrial Park, which boasts the presence of a third of the world's Fortune 500 companies.
"There's an innovative, entrepreneurial spirit in Suzhou Industrial Park that's unlike any in the world. The University of Dayton China Institute represents an extraordinary opportunity for our students, faculty and the high-tech companies in this park," said Daniel J. Curran, University of Dayton president.
Suzhou Industrial Park officials handpicked the University of Dayton to do applied research, product development and education for corporate partners in the park. The park then made a multimillion-dollar investment to customize a five-story, 68,000-square-foot building for classrooms, laboratories and project space specifically for the institute.
At the ceremony, the University signed memorandums of understanding with five multinational companies — Marian (Suzhou) Co. Ltd., Makino (China) Co. Ltd., Henny Penny (Suzhou) Corp. Ltd., Emerson Climate Technologies (Suzhou) Research & Development Co. Ltd., and Lilly Suzhou Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. Partner companies unable to attend included GE Aviation China, Johnson & Johnson Medical (Suzhou) Ltd., SAS Automation LLC, and Delphi Electronics Suzhou Co. Ltd.
The building features eight specialized science and engineering laboratories. It also includes space for a proposed Marianist Heritage Center to showcase the University's Catholic mission and rich history.
Former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft presented remarks from Ohio Gov. John Kasich saying, "The leadership of the University extends beyond our state's borders, where it serves as a national leader in higher education and research," and the China Institute "places before us a wonderful and exciting opportunity to enhance the scientific, commercial and artistic ties between China and the state of Ohio."
The park is a cooperative venture between China and Singapore located about 75 miles from Shanghai in Jiangsu province in eastern China. Nearly two-dozen universities from all over the globe have committed to establishing a presence here, but the University of Dayton has been the first American one to do so.