The Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) has officially launched China’s first Master of Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation (METI) program, with more than 30 students taking the inaugural class at CKGSB’s Shenzhen campus. Delivered in collaboration with UC Berkeley and the Songshan Lake International Robot Industry Base—China’s leading R&D center for industrial robotics—the METI program is the only one of its kind in China to incorporate engineering with business.
The METI Program is the brainchild of CKGSB Finance Professor and Associate Dean for Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Gan Jie (pictured above), and is the first Chinese business school program that centers on Artificial Intelligence (AI), smart manufacturing and smart products. With China’s stated goal to become one of the leading countries in AI by 2020, and to be the world leader in the field by 2030, this program couldn’t have come at a better time. Incorporating engineering with business by bringing on board world-class engineering and business professors as well as industry leaders, the METI program aims to nurture a new generation of high-tech entrepreneurs, who can address future challenges and needs both in China and worldwide.
Not only does Professor Gan Jie run a quarterly, large-scale survey on China’s industrial economy, but she also sits on the board of leading global technology companies, such as dronemaker DJI and Quotient Kinematics Machine (QKM), making her the perfect person to lead the program. She draws on both her research and industry experience in the METI program, resulting in a combination of original knowledge, up-to-date case studies and hands-on experience for students.
“Chinese manufacturing has not lacked entrepreneurship,” explains Professor Gan, “But the problem now is that Chinese entrepreneurship lacks innovation. The METI program tackles precisely this issue, meeting the need for technological entrepreneurs during the transition from the ‘Made-in-China’ of yesterday to ‘Made in China 2025’—also known as intelligent manufacturing—of the future. At the same time, today’s engineering lacks strong leadership skills and effective corporate governance, which the METI program also addresses.”
With a unique curriculum that offers students two toolboxes—one in engineering and one in business—the METI program is a project-based learning experience, in which students enter the program with a startup idea that they can develop throughout the program. Students are comprised of experienced engineers or business executives who have worked in tech firms. Students can also design their own projects based on what they have learnt from innovative case studies, connecting with major players in areas such as the supply chain, manufacturing, financing and global markets. Based in Shenzhen in the heart of China’s rapidly-growing Greater Bay Area, the program naturally aligns with China’s strategy for the region by promoting the latest trends in innovation.
“The METI program is suitable for people who have a certain technological ability and a startup idea, but need to improve their entrepreneurship and leadership skills or their insights into technology and the market. We’ll help our candidates to realize their business concepts by developing and testing those ideas in the market, so as to enable a potential startup to take shape,” emphasized Dr Gan, who earned her PhD at MIT.
She continued, “Robotics, AI and smart manufacturing are becoming a disruptive force in the business world and the combination of technological innovation and business is a must for companies that seek growth.”
From Left to Right: Associate Dean Gan Jie, Associate Dean Juliet Zhu, Prof Lode Li, Founding Dean Xiang Bing and Associate Dean Yan Aimin in attendance at the Opening Ceremony for the METI Program.
Founding Dean Xiang Bing, who was present in Shenzhen at the opening ceremony for the METI program said, “CKGSB is the first business school in China to target both manufacturers and engineers by combining engineering and business education and our new METI program successfully closes the gap between education and industry. It is also the perfect complement to CKGSB’s existing offering of tech-focused programs, including those run by the CKGSB’s Chuang Community—which has already partnered with tech giants Tencent, Baidu and JD.com—and the China Start program, run by the school’s European office, while the school also co-founded the CKGSB Innovation Center with Columbia Engineering in the US. By combining with UC Berkeley and the Songshan Lake International Robot Industry Base, the METI program is another step along the road to CKGSB’s goal of building a global innovation and entrepreneurship platform.”
Commenting on the groundbreaking program, Professor Ikhlaq Sidhu, Founding Director & Chief Scientist of the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology—part of the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Department (IEOR) at UC Berkeley—said, “CKGSB is an excellent business school. It holds a unique vantage point that allows it to combine original insights with corporate resources to advance China’s technology innovation sector. With UC Berkeley’s advantage in Silicon Valley, we can build a platform that connects Chinese and US technology startups and innovative entities. This will not only grant more CKGSB students the opportunity to study at UC Berkeley, but it will also allow CKGSB and UC Berkeley to form a bilateral bond between technological innovation and business.”
For more information on the METI program, please contact Cindy GONG at firstname.lastname@example.org