George Osborne supports business-boosting research and development initiative
24 September 2015
24 September 2015
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has supported an innovative international business-engagement initiative created by Lancaster University.
The Lancaster China Catalyst Programme, which is forging research and development partnerships between UK and Chinese companies, was among a number of key projects highlighted by the Chancellor in a speech showcasing opportunities for Chinese investment into the Northern Powerhouse, as part of his visit to China this week.
Dion Williams, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at Lancaster University, said: “The Lancaster China Catalyst programme is forging research and development partnerships between UK and Chinese businesses. These partnerships are developing innovative products and services for global markets that will deliver economic growth and jobs here in the UK and also in China. We welcome the recognition and support by the Chancellor for this programme, which further cements Lancaster University’s strong reputation for working with businesses and supporting economic growth.”
The £5.1 million Lancaster China Catalyst Programme aims to help revitalise the UK’s position in the global exports markets, create 240 jobs, help 400 domestic businesses and boost the economy by £40m.
Created by Lancaster University and part-funded by the Higher Education Funding Council’s Catalyst Fund, the University and Lancashire County Council – the programme will help small and medium sized UK firms compete in increasingly competitive global markets by helping them to become established in the world’s fastest growing economy.
The initiative helps SMEs gain access to contacts and business networks within China’s Guangdong Province – China’s most populated province with more than 71m residents – through a partnership with the Guangdong Provincial Office of Science and Technology. It helps UK firms cut through red tape and provide guidance on doing business in the Far East.
The programme has already taken 33 businesses to China and has seen the creation of 13 partnerships between UK and Chinese firms.
Lancaster University has a nationally-leading reputation for working with UK SMEs. Since 1998, the university has worked with more than 5,000 SMEs to help provide economic growth. Lancaster is one of only three UK universities to have gained the Small Business Charter Gold Award in recognition of the role it has played in helping to kick-start British enterprise.
Partners in the project are the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Guangdong Provincial Government, Lancashire County Council, Local Enterprise Partnerships and business growth hubs, Chambers of Commerce, UKTI, InnovateUK and the China-Britain Business Council.