Breakthroughs in creative visual technology, DNA biopharma, and mobile medicine management have been showcased at a well-attended event in Edinburgh.
The 2018 Smart Shenzhen Innovation Promotion Seminar was organised by the Shenzhen Creative Investment Group and Doctorate Association, with the support of the City of Edinburgh Council and the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government.
It included a presentation of business and collaboration opportunities in, and from, Shenzhen – one of the most dynamic and innovative cities in China. As a UNESCO City of Design, with a population of 16 million, the Edinburgh Shenzhen Creative Exchange project is unlocking investment and business in both directions.
The event, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, formed part of the Edinburgh-Shenzhen Smart Innovation Week, and was attended by a high-ranking delegation, which included the Mr Su Xijin, deputy director of the Standing Committee of Baoan District People’s Congress, Deng Shaoling, Director of Bao’an Disctrict Cultural and Sports Toruism Bureau, Chinese Consul General in Edinburgh, Mr Pan Xinchun, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Frank Ross, and representatives from the Shenzhen Bao’an District Government.
The cities of Edinburgh and Shenzhen formed the partnership in 2013 to offer ‘soft landing’ space and support for each city’s creative and tech sectors. Companies from both cities are making a great success of this pioneering opportunity, and the seminar heard from the winners of the third ‘Create in Edinburgh’ competition, who spent a week in Scotland to explore business and collaboration opportunities.
“I also saw first-hand how Edinburgh is contributing to innovation in Shenzhen; I visited F518 Idea Island, where Ediburgh-Shenzhen creative exchange located, and is home of our Shenzhen partner, Shenzhen creative Investment group. In the field of life sciences, I heard of the progress of the University of Edinburgh’s joint venture with the Shenzhen People’s Hospital which will ultimately provide an International Diabetes Centre, making a significant and positive impact to the health of the local population.
“In education, I visited the Merchiston Castle School Campus in Shenzhen as it begins to gather pace. I concluded my visit by taking stock of what Edinburgh and Shenzhen have achieved to date, and also, by looking towards the future. I met with the Vice Mayor of Shenzhen and together, we discussed areas for further collaboration to how we can maximise bi-lateral trade, investment and learning.”
The Lord Provost welcomed the Shenzhen winners of the ‘3rd Create in Edinburgh Competition’ to Edinburgh: “I can assure the companies that you will receive the very best tailored support from the team at the Creative Exchange and the Council, and I wish you the very best of luck as you expand your businesses in Edinburgh.
“As a city, we are proud to offer our Shenzhen companies space to expand their operations, significantly raise their international profile, and create collaboration opportunities between both cities. This city to city partnership will continue to bring inward investment to both cities and enhance our business relations and international reach.
“In the past two years alone, we have welcomed over 12 Shenzhen companies to Edinburgh and taken over 20 Edinburgh companies to explore the Shenzhen market, many of whom have generated further leads from the partnership. Since the beginning of this project I am proud to say we have several success stories which we are looking to learn from and build upon for future.
“I would like to once again thank Mr Su and the Mayor of Shenzhen for their support and enthusiasm, and our partners and colleagues in the Shenzhen Creative Investment Group for their great efforts to continue to build upon the success of this project.”
Earlier this year, an economic growth forum in Edinburgh heard how joint ventures in the artificial intelligence, life sciences, and automotive sectors were fuelling ever closer links between China and Scotland.
Cooperation between Edinburgh and Shenzhen in pioneering machine learning techniques, diabetes research and electric vehicle fuel cells is driving economic value in high-end service and manufacturing economies, according to an economic growth forum hosted in the capital.
As the result of a deal struck five years ago a series of projects embarked on by both cities has helped students, universities, start-ups and even a multinational to work together on research and real-world products that are transforming the fortunes of both economies.
The ‘memorandum of understanding’ (MOU) was signed by the cities in 2013, and since then various cultural, business and academic exchanges have helped foster growth in both destinations.