Innovative UK tech companies have won a unique business opportunity to visit China this month to explore greener, approaches to manufacturing.
The successful businesses will participate in the six-day Tomorrow’s Manufacturing: Mission to China, organised by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, together with the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MoST). The Mission will encourage collaboration on research, development and innovation (R&D&I) between businesses and will be the first step towards long-lasting partnerships between the two nations.
Each of the chosen companies have been selected for excellence in at least one of four key areas: the use of alternative, greener substances in manufacturing; the recycling and re-manufacturing of finite resources; decreasing the amount of material deployed to deliver services; and lower energy consumption over a product lifecycle.
The companies include: a developer of fuel-cell technologies that make electricity more accessible for consumers and businesses; a filter manufacturer that uses advanced metal manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing; and an R&D centre using sodium batteries to replace conventional energy power and storage in electric vehicles.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:
“The UK and China have a close working relationship and this is a fantastic business opportunity for some of the most innovative companies in the UK. It will give them the chance to reach out to a new market and collaborate with business in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
“By supporting our brightest businesses we will ensure that the UK remains ahead in the global race, developing new ideas and exporting them across the globe. This mission will benefit both China and the UK and is a great step forward in building long lasting relationships.”
David Bott, Director of Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, explained:
“The goal of this Mission is to provide the companies with the necessary know-how, connections and inspiration to help improve and accelerate opportunities with potential customers and partners.
“The UK and China are two of the world’s largest manufacturers. This Mission marks a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries, focused on sustainable manufacturing and the transformation to a green economy."
Dr. Zhou Longchao, Director of the European Division, Department of International Cooperation, MoST, added: “China is one of the world’s largest manufacturing countries and is today a key part of global supply chains, and the UK is recognised for its world-class sustainable manufacturing research base. With commitment of both governments to promote academia and industry collaboration, this Mission offers businesses in both countries the opportunity to learn from each other and to build complementary relationships with joint innovation initiatives.”
Commencing on 22 September, participants in the Mission will visit three Chinese regions renowned for their enterprise and heavy manufacturing - Changsha, Guangzhou and Shanghai. They will have an opportunity to extend their international operations in sectors ranging from automotive, textiles, metallurgical and machine building to electronics and pharmaceuticals.
You can follow the progress of these companies during their visit at https://www.innovateuk.org/china-mission or on Twitter @tsbmission #ttmc