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Joint Lab Program

Founded in 2006, the Microsoft Research Asia Joint Lab Program (JLP) provides the infrastructure for state-of-the-art research collaboration, academic exchange, and talent incubation at leading universities in China.

Since the inception of the JLP, 50 leading research experts in a dozen fields have completed more than 200 joint projects. More than 1,000 academic papers have been published. More than 1,000 students have participated. Each year, more than 10 JLP papers or demos won “Best” or Excellent” awards at academic conferences.

Students introduce their latest research to attendees in the third annual Microsoft Research Asia Joint Lab Symposium.Students introduce their latest research to attendees in the third annual Microsoft Research Asia Joint Lab Symposium.Joint labs help fuel China's research collaboration and talent development

Microsoft Research Asia has established 10 joint labs at universities throughout China—labs that are busy working on projects ranging from online social networks to voice-recognition software. Joints labs are places where ideas flourish, students advance, and faculty collaborates. Read more….

Joint labs

Joint labs operate at the following leading universities. Eight of these labs have been elevated by the China Ministry of Education (MOE) to the status of Key Labs, which makes them competitive with all MOE Key Labs when applying for government funds.

Lab name 

Research areas 

MOE–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Visual Perception, Zhejiang University

  • Cognitive Science
  • Image Based Rendering
  • Computer Graphics 
  • Visual Information Retrieval

MOE–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Media and Networking Technology, Tsinghua University 

  • Multimedia Information Management
  • Multimedia Information Retrieval
  • Transparent Access of Multimedia Information

MOE–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Natural Language Processing and Speech, Harbin Institute of Technology 

  • Mechanical Translation
  • Information Retrieval
  • Speech Recognition and Process
  • Natural Language Understanding

MOE–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Information Technology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 

  • Next Generation Multimedia
  • Next Generation UI 
  • Wireless and Network Technology
  • Digital Entertainment Technology

MOE–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Multimedia Computing and Communication, University of Science and Technology of China 

  • Signal Processing and Speech Recognition
  • Content Based Retrieval
  • Wireless Video Communication Testbed

MOE–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Statistics and Information Technology, Peking University 

  • Statistics and Machine Learning
  • Data and Information Technology
  • Visual Computing
  • Image Processing

MOE–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Human-Centric Computation and Interface Technologies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong 

  • Visual Computing
  • Wireless and Network Communication
  • Speech Processing and Multi-model Interaction
  • Multi-Media Signal Processing and Retrieval
MOE–Microsoft Key Laboratory of Intelligent Computing and System, Shanghai Jiao Tong University 
  • Computing of Artificial Intelligence
  • Artificial Intelligent Searching 
Microsoft Digital Cartoon and Animation Laboratory of Beijing Film Academy  
  • Digital Cartoon and Animation
  • Gaming and Graphics

Microsoft Intelligent Information Processing Laboratory of Xi’an Jiao Tong University 

  • Intelligent Computing
  • Software System
  • Network Information Processing

About Joint Lab collaborations

The following types of collaborations are sponsored through the Joint Labs Program:

Research collaboration

Direction setting
Microsoft Research Asia researchers work with leading professors in a multitude of technology areas including: Visual Computing, Multimedia, Speech, Networking, Intelligent Computing, Information Retrieval, and Digital Entertainment.

Direct funding
Microsoft Research Asia provides annual direct funding to support innovative research in specific areas. This support provides professors with the freedom and resources required for their research. Young faculty members are encouraged to apply for funding to support their professional development.

Promotion of government funding
With help from Microsoft Research Asia, many labs have won research grants from the Chinese government. In a typical recent success in this area, the Beijing Film Academy, through collaboration with Microsoft Research Asia, won its first government research grant.

Academic exchange

Annual Joint Lab Symposium
Microsoft Research Asia has organized joint lab symposia since 2006. These provide a platform for the leaders in each lab to exchange their current research results and best practices to help advance the field of scientific practice. 

The third Joint Lab Symposium in ShanghaiThe third Joint Lab Symposium in Shanghai

Academic exchange: joint workshop
Microsoft Research Asia organizes regional workshops with universities to provide an opportunity for intellectual and operational exchange with regional academia. Every year, Microsoft Research Asia has co-organized such workshops, usually involving two or three JLP labs. 
Microsoft Research Asia–Tsinghua University Workshop on Internet Services and Cloud ComputingMicrosoft Research Asia–Tsinghua University Workshop on Internet Services and Cloud Computing 

Academic exchange: academic conference sponsorship
Through the JLP, Microsoft Research Asia sponsors academic conferences organized by universities, such as the successful 4th Asia Information Retrieval Symposium, which was held at Harbin Institute of Technology in 2008. Microsoft Research Asia has also sponsored the BJ–HK International Doctoral Forum, which was co-organized by the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tsinghua University.


Talent fostering

Summer school
With Microsoft Research Asia's assistance and sponsorship, labs organize annual summer schools for university students. The students get a chance to learn about the latest research and interact with top researchers in their fields. More than 400 students annually have participated in two summer schools organized by Beijing University and Harbin Institute of Technology

Joint PhD supervision
Microsoft Research Asia signs the joint doctorate supervision agreement with HKUSTMicrosoft Research Asia signs the joint doctorate supervision agreement with HKUSTFive joint labs have established a PhD program to co-supervise doctoral candidates. This benefits both students and professors, offering them direct access to the world-class talent and depth of experience represented by Microsoft Research Asia's professional staff. More than 30 students have been co-supervised by Microsoft Research Asia researchers and university professors since this program was established in 2003.

Joint labs serve as a key talent development channel for university professors to recommend their most promising students for internships at the Microsoft Research Asia lab. More than 200 students from the JLP labs have held internships at Microsoft Research Asia.

Visiting Young Faculty Program
The first Visiting Young Faculty Program members were granted certificates by senior Microsoft Research Asia executivesThe first Visiting Young Faculty Program members were granted certificates by senior Microsoft Research Asia executivesThis program provides opportunities for young faculty members to work with researchers at Microsoft Research Asia's facilities, helping the academics deepen their knowledge and expertise. Five young faculty members from two labs have participated since the program was established in 2007. With the conclusion of the very successful pilot phase, this program will be expanded to additional universities in the region.

Collaboration programs in Asia Pacific