Gift to China Data Center promises increased access and collaborations


The China Data Center (CDC) at the University of Michigan has received a gift of $30,000 over three years to support its new Research Lab for China Studies. Shuming Bao, CDC director, said that the gift will help CDC develop the operations of the Research Lab, make more data available by offering a more secure data environment, and attract new data collections from universities, government agencies, and other institutions in China.

The gift from Zekuan Yang, chairman of the Kingzone Estate real estate company in Gansu Province, China, is the first private donation that the CDC has received. Yang's wife, Jinyuan Li, an assistant professor at Lanzhou University, Gansu Province, is a visiting scholar at CDC specializing in art and history, with a focus on western China.

"This is just a start," Yang said. "We'd like to provide more support in the future. And we'd like to encourage collaborations, not just with schools but also with corporations."

CDC has been housed at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), part of the Institute for Social Research (ISR), since last year, when the two organizations began a partnership designed to take advantage of each other's strengths. CDC integrates historical, social, and natural science data on China and offers an online geographic analysis system. ICPSR maintains the world's largest archive of digital social science data.

"We are especially pleased that your gift will support a new initiative that can do wonderful things to increase our resources on China and our ability to collaborate with organizations in China," said ICPSR Director George Alter.

James Jackson, ISR director, cited the need to increase interactions and alliances with China, given that country's importance to the future of social and behavioral sciences. CDC's work, he said, is an important step in that direction. 

2013-04-04

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