From 26 - 30 November 2018, Innovate UK brought 11 UK-based urban innovators on a Future Cities Mission to China. It is the first time Innovate UK has lead Hi-tech companies to China, together with CBBC.
The urban innovators are all looking to showcase their potential solutions to many of the complex challenges and opportunities presented in the Greater Bay Area. They are looking for Chinese customers, partners or investment in several areas including smart mobility, affordable healthcare, sustainable urban environments, urban planning and technology infrastructure.
During the mission week in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the delegation joined the U.K.-China Business Match-Making Event in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, as well as the Networking Reception. The delegation met over 100 companies who were potential partners and investors from the Greater Bay Area.
“Why do we focus on cities? A few years ago, more than 50% of the people lived in cities around the world. In the U.K. it’s about 83%, and in China the number is 56%. One of the reasons why the U.K. is so urbanized is that it has been urbanizing for a very long time. Manchester was the world’s first global industrial city,” said James Taplin, innovation lead for urban living with Innovate UK.
Taplin said that cities are facing increasing challenges, not only population growth but also resource shortages, climate change and traffic jams which are common around the world.
The delegation also called on local stakeholders such as Ping’an, Huawei, China Construction Science and Technology Group Co., Ltd., China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, Qianhai Authority and Cisco Smart City Project, to discuss cooperation possibilities.
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the British Government. 100% open and CBBC worked together as co-organisers to deliver this mission programme.
Special thanks to partners of this event