Selina Liang is the new Executive Director of the Sino-Finnish Research Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation

Posted on 12/10/18.

Selina Liang is the new Executive Director of the Sino-Finnish Research Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation

Dr Liting (Selina) Liang has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Sino-Finnish Research Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation (the Sino-Finnish STI Centre) at the University of Vaasa.

The centre was cofounded in 2017 by the University of Vaasa and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institutes of Science and Development (CASISD). The mission of the new centre is to build an international think thank that conducts policy studies and provides expertise for policy makers and businesses in Europe and China.

"As part of the cooperation agreement, each party has appointed an executive director for managing the daily operation of the joint centre. I will be cooperating with Dr Guo Wen, the Executive Director of the Centre at CASISD", tells Selina Liang.

"As the Executive Director I will assist the Rector in the centre’s strategic planning, lead the development of the centre as a strategic initiative of the University of Vaasa. My task is also to secure external funding for the centre and initiate cutting-edge policy studies in the science, technology and innovation domains."

As an executive director Selina Liang will also liaison with internal and external stakeholders such as scholars, businesses, policy makers and citizens in promoting Sino-Finnish Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation. She will also promote the centre’s contribution to the University of Vaasa research and education cooperation with top Chinese universities.

"The Sino-Finnish STI Centre is a strategic initiative for the University of Vaasa and we look forward to developing ambitious and mutually beneficial projects with our partners. Science, technology and innovation policy plays a key role as driver of energy transition. I trust that Dr. Liang as executive director of the Sino-Finnish STI Centre will achieve excellent results in this field", says rector Jari Kuusisto, University of Vaasa.

Innovation scholar with a multicultural background

Selina Liang was born in China and lived many years in the UK where she worked in both the consulting industry and higher education. She received her PhD in Innovation Management from Manchester Institute of Innovation Studies at the University of Manchester.

At the end of 2012 she joined SC-Research – a research group of the University of Vaasa located in Lapua, Finland. Dr Liang is an associate professor at the University of Vaasa. She has done research in strategic management of innovation, with the specific focus on business model innovation, demand and user-driven innovation, innovation ecosystem and industrial and innovation policy. For example, she has just completed a policy study on “Energy Transition in Finland and China in collaboration with the researchers at the University of Vaasa and CASISD.”

"The University of Vaasa is making significant investments in world-class research activities. It is both a great honour and a significant opportunity for me to lead the Sino-Finnish STI Centre at this time. I believe my multicultural background and years of experience in international consulting and research will enable me to ensure the achievement of the Centre’s strategic objectives", says Dr Liang.

EU funding for the Sino-Finnish STI Centre’s capacity building

The Sino-Finnish Research Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation has recently received project funding from the European Regional Development Fund. The two-year project, led by Dr Liang, aims to develop the operating model of the Centre and energize the innovation ecosystem of the Vaasa region by fostering regional Sino-Finnish capacity building. The total budget of the project is around 424 000 euros.

“As a first step, the project team, including myself and Dr Arja Kuusisto and project researcher Pirjo Yli-Viitala from SC-Research, is investigating the current status of the Sino-Finnish cooperation in business, education, policy and civil society in the Vaasa region and seeking to identify the demand of the local stakeholders. We are also exploring resources matching the local demand. I will soon visit five potential partner regions in China for this purpose”, says Dr Liang.

She also tells about aiming to engage members of the University of Vaasa staff and students in the project.

“In addition we are preparing for the recruitment of a post-doc researcher and doctoral student for the project.”

Further information

Liting (Selina) Liang, Executive Director, Sino-Finnish Research Centre for Technology, Science and Innovation, University of Vaasa, tel. +358 29 449 8372, liting.liang(at)univaasa.fi

Jari Kuusisto, Rector, University of Vaasa, tel. +358 29 449 8291, jari.kuusisto(at)univaasa.fi

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