CKGSB and Columbia Engineering Launch Cheung Kong Innovation Institute

April 20, 2016

Two schools aim to train rising professionals in innovation and entrepreneurship by announcing a unique hub for training and educating a new breed of industry and business professionals in exciting new partnership.

NEW YORK – Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) and Columbia Engineering (Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at  Columbia University) have launched the Cheung Kong Innovation Institute, a unique hub for training and educating a new breed of industry and business professionals in the innovation and entrepreneur space.

In a ceremony held this month at Columbia University, Xiang Bing, Founding Dean and Professor of China Business and Globalization at CKGSB; John H. Coatsworth, the Columbia University Provost; and Mary C. Boyce, Dean and the Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor of Engineering at Columbia Engineering, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to begin a sharing of intellectual and physical resources between CKGSB, China’s leading independent business school, and Columbia Engineering, one of the world’s top engineering schools.  

Mary C. Boyce, Dean of Columbia Engineering, front row left, and Xiang Bing, Founding Dean at CKGSB, right, after formalizing the schools’ innovation partnership with the signing of a memorandum of understanding in a ceremony held in the office of John H. Coatsworth, the Columbia University Provost, center. The partnership marks a rare collaboration between a business school and an engineering school.

The partnership – a rare blend of a business school and an engineering school – offers mutual benefits to both parties, given the ability of engineering frameworks and tools to deepen business knowledge and of business expertise to ensure the success of engineering projects.

“We are delighted and honored to work with Columbia Engineering because there are so many disruptive business models today,” Dean Xiang said after the MOU signing. “We want our business leaders to be well-versed in those disruptions and we will do our best to channel technological disruptions in the right direction – in a way that is positive for humanity.”

Provost Coatsworth, calling the pairing “a match made in heaven,” said the signing of the MOU capped off Columbia’s search for “partners that are comparable in quality and distinction to Columbia Engineering.” In CKGSB, China’s first private, non-profit and faculty-governed business school, he said, “I think we have found exactly the right partner.”

Dean Boyce said the combined strengths of CKGSB and Columbia would help develop new programs. “Today’s globalized economy means new ways of thinking about how do we do things together,” Dean Boyce said. “We will combine the benefits from both the East and the West to come up with new ways of making things happen.”

Comprehensive curricula

The Cheung Kong Innovation Institute is part of an effort to provide comprehensive business and engineering curricula to train and develop professionals and executives who can help entrepreneurs implement innovative ideas and turn them into successful businesses. One goal of the collaboration will be integrating elements of innovation and entrepreneurship, while managing the process that turns ideas into viable products or services.

Under the MOU, CKGSB will contribute physical space to accommodate faculty members, staff, classrooms and a liaison office to launch the Institute and support it for the first six years. CKGSB will also set up a scholarship program to fund graduate students at Columbia Engineering. Each scholarship holder will carry the title of Cheung Kong Innovation Fellow.

Columbia Engineering will contribute faculty involvement in all education, training and research programs, and a dual-degree program in innovation and entrepreneurship at the Master’s degree level.

Next-generation leaders

Following the ceremony, Dean Xiang said the partnership will help CKGSB pursue its goal to develop “new-generation business leaders” who are “truly global in perspective.” Tomorrow’s leaders must understand “how to compete globally but with compassion and empathy, and not just embrace a winner-takes-all approach,” he said.

“Many segments of the Chinese economy are already the largest globally, so innovation will be essential for their future growth. We will not only accelerate the pace of change in technology, but we will also utilize it better.”

Dean Boyce said the collaboration would combine the strengths in technology and engineering, for which Columbia Engineering is well-known, with CKGSB’s business acumen and innovative roots.

The partnership will look at how best to forge a more global perspective and how to combine technology and innovation with management to launch new businesses, she said. “In the end, it is all about our impact on humanity. The governing question in determining the Institute’s focus will be How do we influence people’s lives..”

Sun Baohong, the Dean’s Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean of Global Programs at CKGSB, cited data science as an area where the collaboration could advance knowledge in integrating business and engineering applications. “Engineers have the tools to analyze, host and manage data, but at the end of the day, they are working on business applications,” Professor Sun said. “Business people know how to assess commercial value in the marketplace, but they don’t know how to build it.”

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB)

Established in Beijing in November 2002 with support from the Li Ka Shing Foundation, CKGSB is China’s first faculty-governed and independent business school. CKGSB boasts more than 40 full-time professors, who have earned their PhDs or held tenured faculty positions at leading schools such as Harvard, Wharton and Stanford. Their research has provided the basis for over 300 case studies of both China-specific and global issues. CKGSB also stands apart for its unmatched alumni network. More than half of CKGSB’s 8,000-plus alumni are at the CEO or Chairman level and, together, their companies accounted for one sixth of China’s GDP in 2015.

Headquartered in Beijing, CKGSB is also located in Shanghai, Shenzhen, New York, Hong Kong and London. The school offers the following innovative courses: MBA; Chinese MBA; Executive MBA specializing in Finance, Healthcare or the Arts; Dual-Degree EMBA with IMD; Korean EMBA; CKGSB Business Scholar Program; and Executive Education programs.

Columbia Engineering

Founded in 1864 as the School of Mines at Columbia University, Columbia Engineering is one of the top engineering schools in the US and one of the oldest in the nation. Based in New York City, the School offers programs to both undergraduate and graduate students who undertake a course of study leading to the bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in engineering and applied science.

Columbia Engineering hosts nine departments, and offers 16 majors and more than 30 minors in engineering and the liberal arts, including an interdisciplinary minor in entrepreneurship with Columbia Business School. With facilities specifically designed and equipped to meet the laboratory and research needs of faculty and students, Columbia Engineering is home to a broad array of basic and advanced research installations, from the Columbia Center for Electron Transport in Molecular Nanostructures to the Columbia Genome Center. These interdisciplinary centers in science and engineering, nanoscale research, materials science, and genomic research are leading the way in their respective fields while individual groups of engineers and scientists across the University collaborate to solve theoretical and practical problems in many other significant areas. One of its newest initiatives is the Data Science Institute, which is training the next generation of data scientists and developing innovative technology to serve society.

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