Lancaster China Catalyst project

LUMS is a key partner in a major new initiative designed to bring together SMEs in the UK and China, and extend their opportunities for business collaboration and international trade.

The £5.1m China Catalyst project is working with several hundred technology-focused small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK, and facilitating 80 of these businesses to develop collaborative R&D for new product development through robust partnerships with businesses located in Guangdong Province in China.

The project has been made possible by the award of more than £4m in funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Lancashire County Council.

The initiative will bring in expertise from across Lancaster University: Management School staff will be working alongside colleagues from the Faculty of Science and Technology, the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA), and the Confucius Institute, and with key partners in Guangdong Province.

It will run for four years, starting in November 2013.

Project activities

UK businesses which are selected to participate will benefit from a leadership programme to build innovation, creativity and leadership capabilities within the company, geared to the challenges and opportunities of international collaboration and trade.

This programme will support specific collaborative projects between UK and Chinese SMEs, focusing on the development of new products for international markets, including China.

Graduate-calibre teams with expertise in science, technology, management and design will work with UK and Chinese partners on specific projects in both the UK and China. The students involved will be undertaking a new MSc in International Innovation, developed as part of this project and offering specialist tracks in each of these subject areas.

Priority areas

Priority technology areas have been identified which match key UK growth sectors to the key industrial sectors of Guangdong Province: energy, environmental protection, new vehicle technology, materials, photonics, ICT, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing.

Project funders

The project is funded by HEFCE's Catalyst Fund, Lancashire County Council and the Guangdong Provincial Office for Science & Technology and contributions from participant businesses. Key partners include the Chinese Academy of Sciences, UK Trade & Investment, the China-Britain Business Council and the Technology Strategy Board.

For further information about the project, contact Helen Fogg, IEED