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Chinese City Named a Sister City of Newark at NJIT Ceremony; Delegates Set Up Agreement with NJIT to Learn More of Sustainability, Solar Energy

A delegation from Ningguo in the People’s Republic of China was named a Sister City of Newark on Nov. 18, 2010 during a special visit to NJIT.  Donald H. Sebastian, PhD, senior vice president of research and development, represented Newark during the later signing since city officials were unable to attend.

Earlier in the day, the group toured technology laboratories at NJIT to learn more of sustainable urban living and solar energy. 

The delegation led by Zheng Dong Sun, the economic counselor of Ningguo People’s Government, wants to see Ningguo, in eastern China in the province of Anhui, transformed into China’s “Solar City.”  The Chinese delegates’ trip followed a visit this past July from an NJIT delegation led by Sebastian, in which an agreement was signed with Ningguo city officials to help them achieve their goals.  Ningguo has a population of 380,000.

During the recent ceremony, Sun, spoke in Chinese to the assemblage. NJIT Physics Professor Ken K. Chin translated Sun’s comments which included the following.

  • His dream to set up a joint research institute with NJIT to study energy.
  • His vision of how with the help of NJIT a technology business incubator will be created in his city to help Chinese students there learn more about technology. NJIT, home to the Enterprise Development Center (EDC) New Jersey’s oldest and largest high-technology business incubator, is in a good position to offer this advice. The EDC gives early-stage start-ups an edge in meeting the many challenges of commercialization.
  • To interest companies in Newark to invest in research in Ningguo.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to work with a city that has set aggressive goals for renewable energy use,” said Sebastian.  “NJIT is deep in expertise on sustainable urban living and we see many benefits in deepening relations between our university, Newark and Ningguo.”  

Chinese dignitaries who attended the event included Wang Pu, vice mayor of Ningguo People’s Government, Tang Junhuai, general manager of Ningguo Huapu Building Material Co. Ltd., Zhang Jinlong, general manager of Anhui Ruitai New Material Science and Technology Co. Ltd, Wu Yi, director of Ningguo Economy and Information Committee, and Yang Anfeng, director of Ningguo Tourism Bureau.

Recent solar energy initiatives at NJIT have included:

NJIT received last May from Apollo Solar Energy, Inc. http://www.njit.edu/news/2010/2010-075.php, of Chengdu, China, a three-year, $1.5 million grant to establish a solar research center at NJIT. The company mines and refines tellurium (Te) and high-purity tellurium-based metals for specific segments of the global electronic materials market.     

In July, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded NJIT $468,495 http://www.njit.edu/news/2010/2010-249.php to create a comprehensive series of four courses to train and teach mechanical engineers in the region how to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings.  The NJIT Center for Building Knowledge is organizing and running the training sessions.

This past fall, NJIT and Building Media Inc. (BMI), a DuPont subsidiary, http://www.njit.edu/news/2010/2010-284.php will lead one of 15 research and deployment partnerships to help dramatically improve the energy efficiency of American homes ─ the Building America Retrofit Alliance (BARA). The 15 teams, appointed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), will receive a total of up to $30 million for the initial 18 months to deliver innovative energy efficiency strategies to the residential market and address barriers to bringing high-efficiency homes within reach of all.

NJIT students now live in a state-of-the-art, energy efficient, renewable energy building, thanks to $1.6 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). http://www.njit.edu/news/2010/2010-008.php

The university’s Oak Residence Hall upgrade project has been approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the U.S. Department of Energy as one of seven projects in the $20.6 million State Energy Program.