The National Energy Metal Resources and New Materials Key Laboratory Officially Establish at GEM
Publish Date:2024-04-30 Hits:164

On April 29, 2024, the unveiling ceremony of the National Energy Metal Resources and New Materials Key Laboratory (hereinafter referred to as the 'National Key Laboratory'), jointly established by Central South University and GEM, was grandly held at the GEM Jingmen Park. Professor Chai Liyuan, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Vice President of Central South University, Chen Jiawei, Deputy Secretary of the Jingmen Municipal Party Committee and Mayor, Professor Lai Yanqing, Director of the National Key Laboratory for Energy Metals Resources and New Materials and Director of the Asset Management Office of Central South University, and Professor Xu Kaihua, Board Chairman of GEM, jointly unveiled the National Key Laboratory. Zhou Junjie, Deputy Mayor of Jingmen City, Secretary of the Party Working Committee of Jingmen High-tech Zone, and Secretary of Duodao District Committee, Professor Zhang Yimin, Director of the Academic Committee of  Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Professor Jiang Liangxing, Director of the Institute of Light Metals and Industrial Electrochemistry, School of Metallurgy and Environment, Central South University, Mr. Yu Wenwu, Director of the Office of Education and Development of Central South University, Professor Liu Jianhong of Shenzhen University, along with Ms. Wang Min, Co-founder, Joint Actual Controller and Board Director of GEM, attended the ceremony as witnesses.

The flag of Central South University flies proudly in the breeze above the GEM industrial Park. The arrival of Academician Chai Liyuan and his delegation was warmly welcomed by representatives of Central South University alumni from Hubei, representatives of the second and third batches of the CMMAI-GEM-CSU joint engineering master's international training class in material science and metallurgical technology, as well as over a hundred enthusiastic alumni of Central South University from GEM.

During the unveiling ceremony, Professor Lai Yanqing, Director of the National Key Laboratory for Energy Metals Resources and New Materials and Director of the Asset Management Office of Central South University, delivered the opening speech. Professor Lai Yanqing introduced the important strategic background behind the establishment of the key laboratory. To meet the needs of ensuring national energy security and promoting high-quality development, Central South University, leveraging its rich historical accumulation and professional foundation in the field of new energy, collaborated with leading enterprises in the field of new energy materials such as GEM, focusing on the demand for ensuring the security of the energy supply chain and industrial chain, the university jointly established the key laboratory. Among nearly 200 applying units, it stood out and became one of the first six key laboratories to be directly approved and constructed, symbolizing a pioneering initiative in this field. In the future, the key laboratory will mainly focus on four directions: efficient extraction of new energy resources, efficient recycling of new energy metal resources, high-efficiency energy conversion materials, and electrochemical energy storage materials. It aims to build itself into an internationally leading talent training and technology development center in the fields of new energy resource recycling and new energy materials, fostering talent and facilitating technology transfer.

Chairman Xu Kaihua first expressed heartfelt gratitude to all the visiting leaders and guests, and then shared his dream of establishing a national key laboratory, which he had cherished for a decade. Ten years ago, GEM established The National Engineering Research Center of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Recycling. Now, after a decade, we have realized the dream of establishing a national key laboratory, and moreover, in collaboration with our alma mater. Once again, this proves that with the support of our alma mater, dreams can be realized, great achievements can be made. It reaffirms that in crucial moments when venturing into the world, our alma mater always serves as a guiding light, helping alumni achieve brilliance.

Chairman Xu Kaihua expressed that in life, he has made three right decisions. First, studying at Central South University (formerly Central-South Institute of Mining and Metallurgy) over 40 years ago, which was the right choice. Second, starting his entrepreneurial journey in Jingmen 20 years ago, which was also the right decision. And third, studying metallurgy, which was the right path.

Chairman Xu Kaihua shared his insights on seizing opportunities amidst unprecedented changes and intense competition within the industry. In his remarks, he emphasized the importance of clarity regarding one's pursuits. He highlighted that green and circular economy industries are the future, with new energy being akin to a "bullet train". Therefore, he advocated for focusing on new energy materials, green initiatives, and circular economy endeavors. Next, he addressed the question of how to proceed. In an era marked by fierce competition and intense industry consolidation, innovation is the only path to success. He emphasized that national-level innovation platforms represent the best opportunities for innovation. Crucially, he stressed the importance of fostering collaboration between industry, academia, and research institutions. This, he suggested, requires leveraging the strength of the alma mater, relying on the resources and expertise of Central South University for innovation. He viewed this as the correct choice for both the alma mater and its alumni in the new historical context.

Chairman Xu Kaihua made three commitments. Firstly, he pledged to firmly grasp the historic opportunity of establishing the National Key Laboratory for Energy Metals and New Materials. He expressed his determination to collaborate in building the laboratory in line with the vision of creating world-class university and enterprise. He emphasized the goal of developing the laboratory into a world-class research and development facility that serves both the nation and the industry in the new era of competition and the development of new productive forces, supporting the development of universities and enterprises. Secondly, he committed to using the National Key Laboratory as a platform to build bridges between China and the world, particularly fostering exchanges between China and Indonesia in industries, technology, and culture. He underscored the significance of GEM's venture into Indonesia for refining laterite nickel ore to produce new energy materials, essentially refining new energy metals. He emphasized that venturing into international markets still relies on the strength of the alma mater, leveraging the endorsement of the National Key Laboratory. He envisioned GEM spreading its wings globally with the support of Central South University, using the power of the university and China's engineering technology, particularly energy materials technology, to illuminate the world. Thirdly, he pledged to utilize the National Key Laboratory as a platform to initiate new extensive collaborations with the Jingmen municipal government. This collaboration aims to propel the upgrade and transformation of Jingmen's new energy and new quality productive industries, facilitating the transition of Jingmen's new energy and energy metals industries from a local to a global scale. This endeavor is envisioned to make greater contributions to the development of Jingmen.

Ten years ago, Academician Chai Liyuan attended the establishment ceremony of The National Engineering Research Center of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Recycling at GEM. Today, he returned to GEM to witness the unveiling of the National Key Laboratory. Academician Chai Liyuan congratulated GEM on its rapid alignment with the nation's major needs over the past decade, achieving a breakthrough development from electronic waste processing to the remanufacture of new energy and new materials. “Professor Xu Kaihua, an outstanding alum of Central South University, has created a remarkable enterprise that has had a significant global impact!” Academician Chai Liyuan expressed his feelings of "moved," "proud," and "shocked" during his visit to GEM, and summarized the significant role that GEM plays in the field of circular economy in three sentences. “GEM is a great example of implementing the national strategy of building a waste-free city and society." General Secretary Xi Jinping praised GEM during his inspection in 2013, especially commending GEM for its “Turn rubbish into resources, transform waste into wealth”. This fully demonstrates GEM's commitment to national major strategies and the strategy of protecting national resource security. “GEM is an exemplary practitioner of the innovation-driven strategy." This is evident in GEM's integration of production, living, and ecology, as well as innovations in concepts, culture, refined management, and technological advancements. From traditional, short-process technologies to high-end, intelligent manufacturing, GEM has created "unmanned factories" and "lighthouse factories," leading the nation's rapid advancement in innovation-driven strategies and guiding the global technological development of the new energy industry. “GEM is an exemplary practitioner of the 'Belt and Road' initiative." From Jingmen to the whole country, and from China to the world, GEM has embarked on a journey of integrated development in industry, technology, and culture. This mode of development epitomizes the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's "Belt and Road" initiative. In particular, the International Master Program in Metallurgical Engineering jointly established by Central South University, the Indonesian government, and GEM has played a crucial role in leading China's education to the world. In conclusion, Academician Chai Liyuan extends his best wishes to GEM under the leadership of Chairman Xu Kaihua, hoping it will achieve the goal of transitioning from 30 billion RMB to 30 billion USD. Furthermore, he anticipates that through deep cooperation between Central South University and GEM, comprehensive integration of industry and academia will be promoted. Together, they can build world-class universities and create world-class enterprises, making outstanding contributions to global metal and energy resource security, waste-free urban and low-carbon strategies, thus establishing a joint legacy of excellence in both academia and industry. Mayor Chen Jiawei pointed out in his speech that the establishment of the National Key Laboratory in Jingmen is a significant milestone in the city's history of scientific and technological innovation. Over the past 20 years, GEM has made remarkable progress in Jingmen. Leading enterprises like GEM have contributed to making Jingmen the city with the most companies listed in the "Top 500 Chinese Enterprises" in Hubei Province, after Wuhan. Currently, Jingmen City is actively responding to the positioning of the Provincial Party Committee and Provincial Government to "build a demonstration zone for industrial transformation and upgrading" in Jingmen. It is promoting leading enterprises like GEM to focus on key industrial chains such as new energy battery recycling, aiming to create technological innovation industrial chains and supply chain platforms. Moreover, it is actively pushing GEM to become the only world-class enterprise in Jingmen City. Mayor Chen Jiawei expressed his hope that with the unveiling of the National Key Laboratory today, cooperation between Central South University, Jingmen, and GEM can reach new heights.

The National Energy Metal Resources and New Materials Key Laboratory is among the first batch of national energy research and development innovation platforms announced by the National Energy Administration for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period. The laboratory will address the significant strategic demands for the security and stability of China's new energy industry chain and supply chain. Its goal is to build an internationally leading platform for research and innovation in strategic metal resources and new materials for new energy. It will focus on four key directions: efficient extraction of strategic metal resources for new energy, recycling of retired secondary resources for new energy, advanced energy conversion materials, and advanced electrochemical energy storage materials. This focus aims to achieve original innovation and breakthroughs in key technologies.

GEM has a strong foundation in the field of energy metal resources and new materials. This joint collaboration with Central South University is a significant step towards advancing scientific progress in the national energy sector. It marks the third time that GEM has been approved for a national-level innovation research and development platform, following the establishment of The National Engineering Research Center of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Recycling and the National Enterprise Technology Center.

Representatives from the Central South University Alumni Entrepreneur Association, Central South University alumni, Government officials from relevant departments of Jingmen City and its districts, as well as representatives from the second and third batches of the CMMAI-GEM-CSU joint engineering master's international training class in material science and metallurgical technology, and all alumni of Central South University from GEM, attended the event.

The unveiling ceremony of the National Energy Metal Resources and New Materials Key Laboratory

Academician Chai Liyuan, Mayor Chen Jiawei, Professor Lai Yanqing, and Chairman Xu Kaihua jointly unveiled the National Key Laboratory

Academician Chai Liyuan delivered a speech

Mayor Chen Jiawei delivered a speech

Professor Lai Yanqing delivered a speech

Chairman Xu Kaihua delivered a speech

Academician Chai Liyuan and his delegation visited the "Urban Mining" Museum at GEM

Academician Chai Liyuan and his delegation visited the GEM International Training Center, where they had friendly exchanges and took photos with Indonesian students studying there

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