The Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences between Nanjing University and University of Helsinki (JirLATEST) has held its scientific advisory committee (SAC) meeting at Nanjing University on the morning of October 15th.The meeting features Jian Lyu, President of Nanjing University; Zhemin Tan, Vice President of Nanjing University; Congbing Fu, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a professor of Nanjing University; Markku Kumala, a foreign academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a professor of University of Helsinki; and 15 scholars and experts from other top universities and institutes at home and abroad. The meeting also gathered the directors and principal investigators of the joint lab and the leaders of the Office of Science and Technology and the School of Atmospheric Sciences at Nanjing University.
President Lyu warmly welcomed the attendees on behalf of Nanjing University. He said, 'The JirLATEST is the first and only joint international lab at Nanjing University that has been approved by the Ministry of Education. Since its establishment, JirLATEST has achieved a series of prominent progress in frontier research and has been functioning as an important on-campus platform for the construction of 'Double First-Class Discipline' in atmospheric sciences.' Following that, Luhong Chen, Deputy Division Chief from NJU's Office of Science and Technology, announced the appointments decisions. Professor Minghuai Wang from the School of Atmospheric Sciences was appointed director of the JirLATEST, and Academician Congbing Fu and Professor Markku Kumala were appointed co-chairs for the Scientific Advisory Committee.
Professor Aijun Ding, Dean of the School of Atmospheric Sciences and former Director of JirLATEST of China side and Professor Tuukka, Director of JirLATEST of Finland side briefly reviewed the achievements JirLATEST had made in observing station construction, observation and model integration over the past three years. They were proud that the joint lab had improved the understanding of key physical and chemical process in atmospheric sciences to a new level. Professor Minghuai Wang further introduced the future development plans of the JirLATEST and aspired to build the lab into an international hub for cooperative research and academic exchanges. The experts of the Scientific Advisory Committee then offered their advices and recommendation on the development focus and direction of JirLATEST. The meeting concluded with Academician Congbing Fu and Professor Kumala's remarks, which prioritized the importance for JirLATEST to improve the competencies of its integrated observing stations.
In the afternoon, President Jian Lyu met with Professor Markku Kumala again on Xianlin campus, where both sides exchanged views about the further development of the JirLATEST. Academician Congbing Fu and the leaders from the School of Atmospheric Sciences were also present at the meeting.
President Lyu said that the joint lab had become an important window for Sino-Finnish cooperation and exchange and both sides of the joint lab had cooperated well and achieved fruitful results since JirLATEST was established in 2015. He hoped that both sides would continue their cooperation in talent cultivation, personnel exchange, and data sharing by constantly exploring new mechanisms for scientific collaboration for the benefit of the disciplinary development in atmospheric sciences.
Professor Markku Kumala spoke highly of the cooperation in JirLATEST and said he was grateful for all the support offered by Nanjing University. He hoped that the joint lab would become a leading institute in atmospheric and Earth system sciences and that the two universities would deepen their cooperation in talent cultivation, student exchange, courses development and data sharing. Academician Congbing Fu hoped that JirLATEST would become an exemplary project with a major influence both at home and abroad and the researcher would eventually put their research findings into practical use.
President Jian Lyu presents souvenirs to Professor Markku Kumala after the meeting.(Photo: Zhijun She)
The joint international lab project is part of a national plan that aims to push for a comprehensive reform in domestic institutes so that they can take the lead on the international stage. As the first and only international joint lab at Nanjing University that has been approved by the Ministry of Education, JirLATEST came to its embryonic form in 2009 and was official approved by the Ministry of Education in 2015. Within the cooperation framework of the joint lab, Nanjing University and University of Helsinki has established a long-term partnership that has proven to be fruitful. The Station for Observing Regional Processes of the Earth System (SORPES) built by the joint lab is now capable of carrying out simultaneous and coordinated observations with other SMEAR II type stations. The lab has also achieved substantial research progress in atmospheric and Earth system sciences and in the study of climate change and atmospheric environment. The joint lab has also expanded its international impact by playing a vital role in many international programs.