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UK-Shanghai collaborations: pioneering businesses win funding

10 UK and 10 Chinese companies will partner on innovative manufacturing, smart cities and healthcare projects.

Innovate UK and the Science and Technology Department of Shanghai Municipality (STCSM) will fund UK and Shanghai companies to work together on joint innovation projects. This is to create new collaborations in global growth sectors and support further business development opportunities between the 2 countries.

The funding comes from a joint UK-Shanghai competition for:

  • future cities solutions relating to rapid urbanisation, demographic and social change, resource scarcity and climate change
  • new and novel products, processes or services drawn from any technology, engineering or industrial area. There was a particular interest in healthcare and life sciences, advanced manufacturing and green technology

Smart overseas collaboration

Winning projects include:

  • Worcestershire-based Teer Coatings Ltd and Shanghai Aerospace Equipments Manufacturer, who are working together on coatings to prevent fungal and microbial growth on the surfaces of manned spacecraft
  • Oxford-based Genefirst and Fosun Med-Tech, who are developing a non-invasive test for cancer gene mutations
  • MatSurf Ltd, from Cumbria, and Xinke Environmental Protection Science & Technology Company, who are creating a range of intelligent filter systems to tackle air pollutions. This includes exhaust and factory emissions

Dr Ruth McKernan, Innovate UK’s Chief Executive, said:

Collaboration is essential to innovation and through this competition we are backing some exceptional UK businesses to work with partners in Shanghai and take advantage of the opportunity to help shape the future of global technology.

Working together

The projects were given the go-ahead this week during a joint signing by senior officials. This included Innovate UK’s Deputy Chief Executive, Kevin Baughan, and STCSM’s Zhang Weimin, Vice Chairman, He Shangyan, Deputy Director – International Cooperation Department and Xu Jin, Director of Administrative Office.

Also in attendance were He Jun, Director General of Shanghai Consulting & Academic Activities Center for Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Ma MingGeng, First Secretary (Science and Technology) at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, and Shao Sili, Deputy Director of Shanghai Technology Market Management Office.

Innovate UK's Ewa Bloch Kevin Baughan and Katrina Heyter

Innovate UK's Ewa Bloch Kevin Baughan and Katrina Heyter.

Understanding the market

The UK and China are increasingly working together as strategic partners. In September 2016, the UK was chosen as Country of Honour at the Pujiang Innovation Forum, China’s leading innovation conference. Science Ministers of the UK and China, Jo Johnson and Wan Gang, both attended.

One of the world’s largest ‘super cities’, Shanghai has a population of 22.7 million and GDP of 320 billion. It is home to 55 major universities and colleges, 33 State Key Laboratories, 11 Chinese Academy of Science Institutes and 2 high-tech industrial zones.

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