Brainbridge Program

The Brainbridge Program was founded in 2005. Zhejiang University (ZJU, Hangzhou, China), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, Eindhoven, the Netherlands) and Philips Research (with laboratories all over the world) have joined forces in the Program since that year. The Brainbridge Program is a comprehensive partnership program in the field of education and R&D collaboration. The program’s mission is to establish a tight research collaboration between all parties with focus on providing research opportunities to talented young (Chinese) people to kick-start a research or business career in innovation and to create technologies that help build a sustainable society with high quality of life for the world population.

Program organization

The Brainbridge program is centered on research projects in many fields for healthcare such as biomedical engineering, medical IT, optical engineering, photonics, etc. PhD students and master students participating in these projects will do research on themes that are of interest to all the parties. Some of the PhD candidates will get an opportunity to do part of their studies at one of the universities and Philips Research.

Key ingredients

Research projects

• Funded by Brainbridge Program
• Typically 5-6 projects running simultaneously
• Projects should be of interest to 4 parties (Philips Research Shanghai, Philips Research Eindhoven, ZJU, and TU/e)
• Each project typically has 2 PhD and 2 Master students from ZJU
• PhD students spend 2 years in Eindhoven to get a ‘double PhD’
• Formal ‘double PhD’ degree established 2011.


• Inflow of ZJU bachelor students into TU/e master programs
• Inflow of ZJU master students into TU/e PDEng (Professional Doctorate in Engineering) programs
• Inflow of ZJU-TU/e alumni into Philips (China or the Netherlands)

Staff exchanges

• Funded by Brainbridge Program
• Short-term (1-4 week) visits between partners
• Preparation of IIF/IOF proposals to underpin long-term stays
• Cross-appointments.


• 2004 July
– Philips Research and TU/e management team visit several top universities in China. ZJU became a long-term partner.

• 2005 November
– Signing of first 5-year agreement

• 2010 October
– Signing of 2nd 5-year agreement

• 2015 November
– Signing of 3rd 5-year agreement

Figures / Facts

– Invention disclosures: 4 filings & 2 licensing
– Philips hires from ZJU: 9
– Publications: 86
– PhD students: 15
– Advisors: 1
– Cross-appointments ZJU to TU/e: 2
– Cross-appointments TU/e to ZJU: 4
– Cross-appointments ZJU to Philips: 1
– ZJU MSc students to TU/e: 125