partnership might form at the faculty or college level, or as a consortium of universities. In industry, partnerships may form at the level of multinationals, local firms, or industry associations. In government, partnerships may involve cities, states, regions, and entire countries, raising the complexity of the average partnership far beyond what it was 10 or 20 years ago. The research park, he said, fills the need for a multipurpose structure where partners from multiple sectors can interact in the physical proximity so important to innovation. For a university, a park can bring about a powerful expansion of the university’s mission.
The openness of the University of Maryland has led to one unusual international partnership based on the research park concept—the UM-China Research Park. This partnership originated in 2002, when Chu Wang Wa, then Minister of Science and Technology, was looking for a site in the United States to develop a university-industry-government partnership. The University of Maryland was selected, agreeing to provide services from both the School of Engineering and the School of Business, along with a university outreach group. Staff members were sent from China to help develop the park, and last summer the university sent two vice presidents and two deans on a tour to recruit Chinese companies. Working in Beijing, Shanghai, and Suzhou under the sponsorship of the Ministry of S&T, Maryland recruited about ten companies for the new park.
This partnership has produced a number of additional programs, said Dr. Mote, including a flexible training program for Chinese middle-management executives. These executives may design their studies from a wide range of topics, including the U.S. government, management, Olympic games management, democracy, banking, and finance. About 1,000 people have come for two months to a year of training.
The university also hosts a Confucius Institute Program, created after China’s admission to the World Trade Organization. Set up by the Chinese national Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, its purpose is to help other countries learn about Chinese culture and language. After a pilot program at Maryland in 2004, the program is now held at more than 30 sites in the United States and 200 around the world, all of them under the auspices of the UM-China partnership. It offers degree programs in Chinese in business, engineering, journalism, criminal justice, agriculture, and public policy.
The entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of the university has led to activities with many partners. One of these is the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute, a partnership between UM and the state of Maryland. For more than 20 years, the Institute has carried out economic development activities for the state. One