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The University of Southampton

Accelerating business growth in global markets

Published: 9 December 2009

The University of Southampton has launched a new business development office in China to explore new research opportunities and attract investment from China to the Solent region.

The Tsinghua Southampton Technology Innovation Centre, based at Tsinghua University’s Graduate School in Shenzhen, was officially launched last week with an opening ceremony and an enterprise and innovation forum, which explored opportunities and business development strategies for collaboration in South China.

The new centre will seek to identify opportunities for knowledge transfer and research collaborations between the two regions mediated by the two universities.

China now has the biggest research and development (R&D) workforce, and the third biggest R&D investment in the world. With many market places currently underdeveloped, the demand for a wide range of technologies is booming.

Dr Tony Raven, Director of Research and Innovation Services at the University of Southampton, said: “Shenzhen’s status as a special economic zone, makes it a dynamic, fast-growing and entrepreneurial city. By developing strategic relationships overseas, we are able to provide a springboard for our spin-out and incubation companies to accelerate their growth in global markets and to attract similar Chinese businesses to link to the Solent region.”

University of Southampton spin-out company Ilika, who provide materials development for fuel cell and battery applications, also went to China to meet with two of the biggest battery manufacturers in China. Graham Purdy, Chief Executive, says: “This was an excellent opportunity for us to meet up with Chinese manufacturers who could make good use of our technologies. The strategic partnership between the two universities has accelerated the process of making business contacts and enabled us to gain a fuller understanding of the opportunities for collaboration with battery manufacturers in China.”

The University of Southampton already has strong links with Tsinghua University through the Tsinghua-Southampton Web Science Laboratory, set up in 2008, which was jointly funded by the two universities and also received partnership funding from Innovation China UK (ICUK). The University of Southampton is a partner organisation to ICUK, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which seeks to establish joint innovation and technology transfer with China.


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