has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Hefei University of Technology and will build an innovation institute with it.

(Image credit: NIO)

After entering into a partnership with one of China's top universities, the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), last year, NIO has entered into a partnership agreement with another university.

NIO signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Hefei University of Technology (HUT) in Hefei today to conduct in-depth exchanges and cooperation in the fields of science and technology research and development, talent training, and innovation capacity building.

William Li, founder, chairman and CEO of NIO, and Liang Liang, president of the university, attended the signing ceremony.

NIO and the HUT will jointly build an innovation institute to pool global innovation resources and turn it into an innovation center, according to an announcement made by the electric vehicle company today.

The institute plans to conduct research and development around forward-looking technologies, key common technologies, engineering application technologies, and high-end equipment manufacturing technologies for smart electric vehicles, according to the announcement.

NIO and the HUT will also cooperate in talent training, including the latter's support for NIO's application and construction of an enterprise post-doctoral workstation, as well as the joint establishment of engineering laboratories and engineering research centers in the field of intelligent electric vehicles by the two.

The HUT is one of the so-called key universities in China, which means that only the best high school achievers will have access to it.

Currently, NIO and the HUT are jointly responsible for a project related to 5G smart connected vehicles that has already reached a milestone, NIO said, adding that the two companies will build a world-class research and testing platform for smart connected vehicles.

The HUT has become the latest university to partner with NIO.

On April 30 last year, NIO signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the USTC, also located in Hefei, to cooperate in technology research and talent training. Hefei is also the home of NIO China's headquarters and the JAC NIO factory.

As part of the agreement, the two will establish a smart electric vehicle joint laboratory to conduct research on cutting-edge scientific issues, major scientific and technological issues and strategic new technology issues, according to a joint statement.

The joint lab was officially launched on August 4 last year, with the announcement of the 2021-2022 annual development plan and project operation mechanism, and the release of more than 20 intended topics including autonomous driving system engineering and autonomous driving algorithms.

USTC's research strength in China is almost comparable to that of Tsinghua University and Peking University.