On May 25, 2017, Columbia University and Baotou Steel launched the joint-venture pilot project at the Columbia Beijing Center. This event consisted of a panel discussion and press conference. Details of the groundbreaking new technology and the planning of the pilot in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region were discussed for the first time by Columbia engineering researchers, Alissa Park and Xiaozhou Zhou. The pilot project will start construction in Bao Steel plants in Inner Mongolia in the summer of 2017 and is expected to be finished in the summer of 2018. The pilot project aims to test and commercialize the technology that could turn iron and steel slags into safe materials to be used in other industrial processes.
Over 40 people were invited and attended the meeting, including Professor Alissa Park and Dr. Zhou Xiaozhou from Columbia University, Mr. Wei Shuanshi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from Baotou Steel, Jock Whittlesey from U.S. Embassy Beijing, representatives from National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Board of Expert Committee Members. The full-day event included a technology-to-market roundtable discussion and the joint-venture launch and news briefing.