Date: 5 February 2024By

The Keynote by HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan at the Opening Ceremony of the Global Industrial Technology Innovation Cooperation Conference (Virtual)

The following is a transcript of a keynote speech delivered virtually by HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, the former WAITRO President at the opening ceremony of the Global Industrial Technology Innovation Cooperation Conference on January 18, 2024, in Nanjing, P.R.China.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to join you virtually to celebrate the 10th anniversary of an organisation that is both innovative and inspirational, and one that I have grown to admire and respect through experience and collaboration. In just a decade, the Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute (JITRI) has travelled such a great distance, and along the way it has forged an impressive range of partnerships with organisations and individuals who share a vitally important vision. It is indeed my great honour to salute you and to congratulate you on all you have achieved.

As a proud former President of WAITRO, and as serving President of the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan, I have seen first-hand how JITRI, under the care of its honourable President, Vice-President, and staff, has built an impressive research infrastructure at home, while reaching out to partners around the world.

In this past decade, which we must remember was challenging in the most unexpected ways, JITRI has resolutely pursued its mission and succeeded in establishing over 90 specialized research institutes dedicated to areas that are both diverse and strategic, ranging from advanced materials and energy & environmental science, to information technology, intelligent manufacturing, and biology & medicine, all staffed by a total of 15,000 highly-qualified staff.

Over the course of that journey, JITRI has certainly been inspired by our shared core mission to support sustainable development and to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. You have indeed created a very special, diligent and diverse enterprise of which we may all be proud. Your gift to humanity enriches all of us who value science and research and who look to science to provide those answers that are desperately needed to solve the key challenges that face humanity today and will continue to do so in the years and decades to come.

Today, your partnerships extend across the globe and they help to invigorate so many research agendas that align with all our hopes for a brighter future achieved through science and research. You have already partnered with more than 80 leading universities and research institutes around the globe, including the universities of Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge, UC Berkley, UCLA, the University of Munich and the University of Sydney.

And I am proud to add to that illustrious list two of my own institutions – the Royal Scientific Society and the Princess Sumaya University for Technology. Indeed, we were honoured to receive in 2019 the President of JITRI, along with his delegation, here at the Royal Scientific Society, and to sign with JITRI a memorandum of understanding to advance and promote applied research and commercialisation. Our particular relationship focuses on the areas of Energy, Big Data Analytics, Water and Environment. JITRI, backed by your impressive array of cutting-edge research institutes and collaborations, gives to the Royal Scientific Society an added impetus and support to develop and implement applied research projects that to strengthen technological innovation and industrial research and development in both China and Jordan.

A separate MOU with the Princess Sumaya University for Technology, based here on our campus, seeks to develop and implement applied research projects in areas including Big Data and data sciences, artificial intelligence and robotics and computer network security. I know that we will continue to build this key relationship in many forms, and most particularly through student and expert exchanges, sharing of academic materials, collaborative conferences, seminars and workshops, and the establishment of joint laboratories and research centres.

Ladies and Gentlemen: There is no doubt that we share a mission to make innovation work for our all our people. I might add that we each share a heritage as innovators and communicators on the ancient trade routes between east and west, north and south, and that we continue to build on that history of inspirational engagement.

I know that you will agree with me when I say that the greatest resource of any nation is its people, and that future prosperity must inevitably lie in unlocking the innovative capacity of our brightest and best to explore and to create. You have certainly contributed greatly to unlocking the innovative potential and creative ingenuity of people in China and around the world, and to forging collaborations across borders that seek to enrich applied research and to make science work for the benefit of our entire world.

Both our nations, and our regions, are sorely in need of renewed innovative and scientific input. For our part, I may say that, for better or for worse, we very immediately represent and experience those growing global challenges that urgently need scientific solutions, not least with regard to water, environment, urbanisation, climate change and migration. Indeed, our problems today will be all the world’s tomorrow.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The champions we celebrate at JITRI today well understand that our world faces challenges that no single nation can solve alone, and that borders between states and cultures matter very little in our search to find sustainable solutions to global and interlinked issues.

We may all celebrate our shared belief that cooperative global science should mean not having to reinvent the wheel. The truth is, sharing knowledge, capacity and experience gives us strength and renewed hope. It carries us all forward to a more enlightened and equal future.

My dear friends at JITRI, and my colleagues and partners throughout the WAITRO family, I wish for you this week increased enlightenment and ever-greater bridge-building as you engage together in this great celebration of a landmark anniversary for research and collaboration. I am certainly with you in spirit and I am forever with you in our shared mission for humankind.

About the Author: Lei Hou

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Communication consultant

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