Buckingham Applied Computing Department in £1.3m partnership with technology innovation company Ten-D

18 April 2018

Ten D investment

The Applied Computing Department at The University of Buckingham has entered into a partnership with technology innovation company Ten-D Innovations to establish world-class research and development centres in China and in Buckingham.

Ten-D Innovations, based in Lingang, Shanghai, is providing £1.3 million for the centre at Buckingham and the funds needed for a series of projects.

Cutting edge research will be in the areas of data science – looking for patterns of information hidden behind huge volumes of data, and machine learning/artificial intelligence building automatic decision-making models.

A key focus will be the application of the technologies developed to emerging industries such as electric vehicles and autonomous drones for commercial use. The partnership launched with three PhD students and a MSc by Research student – all fully-funded – enrolling at Buckingham to carry out innovative projects at the research centres. Two more PhD students and a full-time research fellow will join centres in July.

Those present at the launch ceremony at the University of Buckingham included Chairman of Ten-D Innovations Chen Qifu, and General Manager Weiying Cui. Distinguished guests included Xia Jianhui, Education Minister, Chinese Embassy, Dr Zhuang Jie, Renji Hospital Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart, Richard Harrington, Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP and Buckingham Mayor Jon Harvey. The ceremony was hosted by the Vice-Chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon.

Ten D panel

The partnership comes after a generous donation from Ten-D Innovations to the University to set up electric vehicle charging stations. Buckingham alumnus Weiyou Cui, who graduated in Applied Computing in 1997, has also donated to offer scholarships and bursaries to support the Department’s initiative to increase diversity in computing. Mr Cui was awarded The Edgar Palamountain Award for Excellence for being the ‘first among equals’ in his cohort by the then Chancellor Margaret Thatcher. He is now working at Microsoft.

Chen Qifu Chairman of Ten-D Innovations, said: “Buckingham’s computer science research programmes in the areas of big data and machine learning really stands out as one of the leaders in UK. It is a perfect match for our company’s focus on building the next generation of electrical vehicles that are both practical and sustainable.”

Buckingham alumnus Weiyou Cui added: “The staff at the Department of Computer Science not only opened up my eyes to the new world of Internet, but also nurtured me along the way. It was the happiest and liberating time that I ever had as a student, and the University became my second family. It is my great honour to help the University and the department to get more connected with industry partners like Ten-D, and stay ahead of the Artificial-Intelligence Revolution.”

Hongbo Du, Senior Lecturer and the centre’s Co-ordinator, said: “This partnership provides us with a very good opportunity to apply our years of intensive research in big data, machine learning, pattern recognition and more recently medical image analysis to practical problems. Working closely with people from Ten-D Innovations, we shall solve challenging problems through a series of projects in most effective use of energy, safety management of high buildings and cancer diagnosis.”

Dr Harin Sellahewa, Head of Applied Computing, said: “The research partnership with Ten-D Innovations exemplifies the Department’s commitment to knowledge exchanges with businesses in the UK and overseas. Our work is very much aligned with the UK’s Industrial Strategy and its vision to be a pioneering nation in the 21st century.”

To mark the official launch of the project the University of Buckingham is setting up to five new charging stations sponsored by Ten-D innovations for electric cars at the University with equipment supplied by Milton Keynes company Chargemaster.