Four North West businesses have received research and development funding from a Chinese government body.
The investment, worth around 3.5million Renminbi (more than £360,000), has come from the Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology and will help support research and development projects created by the businesses in conjunction with Chinese partners.
The projects are part of the Lancaster China Catalyst Programme - which aims to exploit the global links of Lancaster University for the benefit of UK companies by partnering them with Chinese businesses and organisations to develop new products and services for global markets.
The North West companies that have received research funding are:
LanHai CML is working with Guangzhou Xuanyuan Network Technology Ltd to adapt an online e-learning system to provide career development and employability learning tools and business skills resources for Chinese universities.
Working with the Institute of Software Application Technology at the Guangzhou and Chinese Academy of Sciences, eBusiness UK is developing new video surveillance analysis technology for the ‘Smart Home’ sector in the UK, EU and global markets.
Demopad is working with Chinese partner Joinmax to develop smart lighting systems for homes and businesses.
Gencoa is working with SIAT to develop cheaper and more efficient solar panels than are currently widely available.
Nick Burd, director of the Lancaster China Catalyst Programme, said: “These investments will significantly help these partnerships to progress their research and development projects.
“The new services and technologies that result from these projects will help the companies to grow and create jobs adding significant value to the North West’s regional economy.”
Kam Kothia Managing Director of eBusiness said: “Naturally we are delighted and grateful for the investment. It will accelerate the development of our advanced home security solution with facial recognition technology, which we plan to bring to market in the first half of 2016.”
The £5.1million Lancaster China Catalyst Programme 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 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.
UK businesses selected to participate 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.
Graduate-calibre teams with expertise in science, technology, management and design work with UK and Chinese partners on specific projects in both the UK and China. The students involved undertake a new MSc in International Innovation.
More information about the Lancaster China Catalyst Programme is available by visiting http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/china-catalyst/