Beijing Institute of Collaborative Innovation (BICI) is a non-profit innovation institute jointly established by 14 universities including Peking University and Tsinghua University in 2014. The mission of BICI is to conduct research, commercialize advanced technologies and cultivate innovative talents.
BICI is industry-oriented and has set up 18 Innovation Centers focusing on robotics, optoelectronics, structural and functional materials, energy technology, water treatment and biomedical engineering. Each center carries out research work in one of the following three models: self-owned laboratories, joint laboratories with universities and collaborative research with university faculties.To better serve global innovation and development, BICI has initiated numerous research collaborations with top universities in the United States and United Kingdom, established joint laboratories and started research projects in four top US universities to carry out research projects continuously and systematically in focused areas.
Three types of projects can be submitted to and then supported by BICI once approved--translational research projects proposed by university faculties based on previous work, projects planned and developed at BICI internally according to market trend forecast, and projects proposed by industry partners according to current market needs.Commercialization can be realized through technology transfer, licensing and forming start-up companies. So far, around 150 projects have been invested since the establishment of BICI, among which 108 projects have been commercialized upon completion
Meanwhile, BICI has set up a four-billion RMB investment fund to support the commercialization of completed projects and to make direct equity investment in other deep-tech startup companies.
In talent fostering, BICI has initiated the “Innovation Elite Program” collaboratively with Peking University, University of Michigan and other universities to bring innovation training to graduate students. Students enrolled in the program will first study theory courses in universities, and then will conduct capstone project independently or as a team in one of the three types—Independent research project; Commercialization project based on existing technologies in BICI on specific applications; Development project according to technology needs proposed by industry. BICI will review and provide project funding for students to perform research and commercialization work relatively independently under the guidance of experienced mentors. The research and commercialization work will be jointly reviewed by BICI and universities before degree can be awarded. At present, around 200 master and doctoral students are being trained each year.
BICI is committed to working and establishing long-term close relationship with top universities and industry-leading enterprises to become the “hub for breeding original technologies, hub for promoting industrial technological advances, technology innovation center for large companies, and product innovation center for small and medium enterprises”.