Write the future with digitalization and connectivity

ABB announces winners of 7th annual University Innovation Contest
The 7th ABB University Innovation Contest (UIC 2018), themed "Look into the future, digital and connected", was successfully concluded in Beijing today. Dr. Chen Xu from Jilin University stood out in the final defense from the 19 shortlisted teams and won the first prize. The second and third places prizes were awarded to five teams, and the remaining 13 teams were awarded finalist prizes. In addition, 30 teams won the outstanding achievement awards this year.

The 2018 UIC has attracted 968 teams from over 200 universities to compete in the past 8 months. A total of 181 projects and proposals around the 3 main topics of "Smart city", "Smart grid" and "Smart factory" were received, covering such subtopics as big data, infrastructure for electrical vehicles, intelligent building and smart home, artificial intelligence (AI) application in power equipment, interaction of electric vehicles and power grids, new-energy grid interconnection, smart factory solutions and industrial robot applications.

In the final round, contestants presented their innovative designs to the judges through presentations, defense and demonstrations. Some participants applied AI technologies in their designs in a creative way while others utilized augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies to present their designs. The combination of creative engineering thinking and systematic research and design perfectly fit the aim of contest: encouraging innovation that changes the world a little bit but makes a big step forward.

The quality of the works received this year surged new highs. It could be found out that the candidates have a serious thought about the combination of digital technology and innovation of industry, many of which have achieved practical explorations, such as the multi-output wireless charging table of high-efficiency & low-radiation designed by Dr. Chen Xu from Jilin University.

The judges were particularly impressed by the contestants' creative applications of digital technologies across various segments. Based on the analysis of market demands, some contestants explored technological breakthroughs and delivered many novel designs to serve the market's needs. Some works are committed to making the future city smarter and more comfortable such as the control and motion system for disabled based on visual and voice guidance. Some works explore interconnection for new-energy technology, such as high dynamic response to bidirectional flyback circuit by artificial muscle of DE materials. Some others provide concrete solutions to build digital factories, such as SPW intelligent-display welding mask, remote operating manipulator based on Vive VR.

Professor Wang Zheyao, Tsinghua University

In the past several months, several experts from ABB and industry were invited to provide online and face-to-face training to give the contestants access to new technologies and valuable mentorship. As an expert of UIC's review panel, Professor Wang Zheyao from Tsinghua University commented, "Since the ABB UIC was started in 2012, a large number of talented entrepreneurs with innovative spirits have stood out. Their works reflect the observation of real life and exploration of digital interconnection technology. The contest provides such a good platform that helps students think and solve problem comprehensively, as well as improves their innovation practices and their ability to work as part of a team."

Mr. Alain Gaschen, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland in China

Alain Gaschen, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland in China, has attended the award ceremony for three consecutive years and expressed that ABB is the typical model of Swiss innovative technology and culture. As an international company headquartered in Switzerland and deeply rooted in China, ABB has been serving as a bridge for the partnership between the two countries on innovation. The UIC embodies ABB’s commitment to China and innovation as a whole. Switzerland is a country with a long history of innovation. During the Swiss Embassy’s "Innovation Week" in Beijing this July, more than 30 students were invited to the event to experience the innovative culture and technological developments that are being made in the country.

Dr. Qianjin Liu, Head of the ABB Corporate Research Center in China and Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Qianjin Liu, Head of the ABB Corporate Research Center in China and Chief Technology Officer said at the ceremony, "The rapid development of the digital era brings about new challenges for young talents. They not only need to accumulate solid technical knowledge, but also acquire the capability to go digital. The Contest is providing an ideal platform that opens a window to the world of leading technology and rich resources, where they can practice their digital thinking, accumulating application experience so that they can play a part in driving future digital transformation and contributing to the Smart Manufacturing in China."

The delegation from the ABB B&R shared their experience of promoting university-enterprise cooperation and production-learning-research at this event. They introduced the Math Open Online Course (MOOC) initiated together with Northwestern Polytechnical University, which aims to improve the mechanical and electrical integration of soft start system engineering design quality. They also introduced the Academic Union Conference for university students and automation-themed competitions, which encourages students to participate in activities that nurture and develop innovation.

The UIC was launched in 2012 with the goal to build an open stage for college students to inspire passion, cultivate innovation and display their achievements. The previous contests were: Power of Innovation, Innovation Powers the Future, Smart Technology, Intelligent Upgrading, Innovation for a better world, Intelligence, Interaction, Collaboration and Innovation and Link Digitalization to Our Future. In total, the contest has attracted more than 8,000 participants from over 200 universities in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.


ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 18,000 employees located in 142 cities, 40 local companies, and online and offline channels across over 300 cities.



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