A groundbreaking ceremony for a technology and innovation center jointly established by the University of Cambridge and the Nanjing Municipal government was held Tuesday in Nanjing, capital of eastern China's Jiangsu Province.

The Cambridge University-Nanjing Center of Technology and Innovation, located in the newly inaugurated Jiangsu pilot free trade zone, will establish a home for joint research and innovation, in collaboration with industry, the Chinese government and China's global research universities, that is dedicated to the future of creating "smart cities."

The center will research technologies that support a modern 21st Century city with integrated IT, healthcare and building management.

"The innovations emerging from this center will enable the development of 'smart' cities in which sensors can enable sustainable lifestyles, improve healthcare, limit pollution and make efficient use of energy," said Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge Stephen Toope at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Nanjing municipal government will support the development of the center with talent, funds, policies and other services, said Zhang Jinghua, Nanjing's Party chief.