Digital Innovation for Surgery Planning, Simulation and Treatment in China and the UK

Professor Robert Middleton

This October, head of ORI, Professor Robert Middleton travelled to Beijing, China for the 2019 Workshop of Digital Innovation for Surgery Planning, Simulation and Treatment in China and the UK.

Professor Robert Middleton and Professor Qinping Zhao Zaho, Beihang University

Under the Researcher Links scheme (offered with the Newton Fund), Beihang University hosted the workshop in the Liaoning Hotel, Beijing from 16th-18th October 2019. The workshop was coordinated by Dr Xiaosong Yang (Bournemouth University) and Professor Junjun Pan (Beihang University). The Newton Fund ( builds research and innovation partnerships with 17 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. This workshop was supported by the Newton Fund Researcher Links grant, delivered by the British Council, under the UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership.

Professor Robert Middleton and Dr Riccardo Secoli, Imperial College London.

The workshop aimed to address the challenges in digital innovation in surgery by gathering, training and connecting Early Career Researchers (ECRs) from different disciplines. The workshop provided a platform for both UK and Chinese ECRs to expand their research and stimulate collaboration on research and development, technology transfer and commercialisation between the UK and China.

Professor Middleton delivered two keynote speeches, the first entitled “Robotic Surgery – The need for Virtual Reality simulation” and the second, “Surgical Revolution – How robotics are changing the face of surgery”. Professor Middleton also chaired two training sessions on using data to understand outcomes.

Professor Middleton said: “This meeting brought together senior researchers from the UK and China for three days to discuss advances in surgical planning and simulation. It was a great honour to be one of the mentors for the event. We visited State Key Laboratory of Virtual Reality Technology and Systems at Beihang University and Ariemedi, a medical science company that develops virtual reality simulators. A return meeting is planned in Bournemouth next summer. I would like to thank all involved and I look forward to working with both our UK and Chinese colleagues to advance virtual reality simulation.”

More information on the workshop can be found here: