As a leading university in China, LZU focuses on researching issues relevant to China’s western regions. It is concerned about serving national and regional development via theoretical, empirical, and experimental studies. Its research strengths lie in fundamental research with broad applications across industries, including the military.
LZU boasts several field observation stations spread out around the intersection of the Loess Plateau, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Inner Mongolia Plateau, to serve research needs called forth by the “Belt and Road Initiative.” Meanwhile, it adheres to the principles of “observation, research, demonstration, education, and communication.” LZU boasts multidisciplinary advantages in geoscience, biology, ecology, pratacultural science, atmospheric science, as well as environmental science. It has set up a network of 17 field observation stations with efficient real-time data transmission and sharing. The network guarantees explorations in laws of nature, as well as the storage of open-sourced data collected from field observations to benefit public research and the sharing the technological resources in the long run.
In recent years, LZU has been committed to fully utilizing its educational, scientific, technological and human resources to fully carry out jointly innovative projects with the local governments, large enterprises, and research institutes. The aim is to facilitate localized applications of research results, to promote technological transfer, and to provide scientific support for the development of the eight modern industries of new materials, new energy, bio-industry, information technology, advanced equipment manufacturing, energy conservation and environmental protection, new coal-based chemical industry, and modern services.
Over the past five years, LZU has also provided intellectual support to guarantee the security and stability of Central Asia and its frontiers by offering information on decision-making. Specifically, it has demonstrated unique research strengths on issues related to the ethnic minorities in China’s northwest, the evaluation of government performance, local governance, the economic and social development of China’s western regions, as well as circular economy. It has also set up relevant research institutes. Among them, the Center for Studies of Ethnic Minorities in Northwest China, the Western Asian Institute, the Research Institute of Economic Construction along the Silk Road, and the Research Center on the Management of Chinese Government Performance were listed in the China Think Tank Index (CTTI). CTTI is a database co-sponsored by Nanjing University and Guangming Daily offering data (2017-2018) from Chinese think tanks. In June 2017, the County and Regional Economic Development Research Institute of LZU was established to provide policy advice and consultation for all levels of government in Gansu to promote county economic development. In July 2017, the Belt and Road Research Center of LZU was established to provide intellectual support for the central government in its decision-making on issues relevant to the “Belt and Road Initiative.”