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Information for Businesses

The Lancaster China Catalyst Programme comprised specific pre-planned elements or stages of support, which could be customised to individual company needs as the level of participation increased.

The programme ran for three cycles, the first one beginning in 2014, the second in 2015, and the third commencing in 2016. Each cycle lasted for two years, over three stages.

We would encourage companies to participate in all three stages in order to be fully prepared for the opportunities and challenges that they will encounter on their journey. At the successfully completion of each stage, companies will be quality assessed for evidence of the necessary ambition, resource and global mind-set to progress to the next stage.

Information for businesses

The programme took companies on a competitively focused journey, from initially investigating the Chinese market, to accelerating the level of engagement with Chinese partners, through to actively collaborating with Chinese business partners on the development of innovative products or services. Over the course of this journey, UK companies worked on R&D plans to adapt existing and develop new products, processes and services for the Chinese and/or global markets leading to significant additional business revenue streams and new jobs created.

Programme Benefits

As a result of participating in the Lancaster China Catalyst Programme, UK companies could expect to benefit from the following:

  • Significant Return on Investment - we expected UK companies to generate new products, services and technologies for the Chinese and/or global markets, and to develop new business partnerships through joint ventures, licensing and other commercial arrangements. This will lead to significant additional revenues and new jobs created.
  • New and Alternative Route into the Chinese and Global Markets through Collaborative R&D - through working collaboratively with Lancaster University's experts, and drawing on a highly skilled graduate resource team, UK companies would gain privileged access to a new and alternative network of Government and private sector contacts in China that would otherwise be difficult to access.
  • Access to Substantial Chinese Match Funding - to support the development of new products, processes and technologies via the building of collaborative partnerships, UK companies would be able to access substantial amounts of Chinese match funding through their Chinese business partners in Guangdong.
  • Bespoke Graduate Skillset to Shape and Resource Collaborative R&D Projects - through collaborative projects, UK companies would be able to help shape the kinds of graduates that they would like to see working for them. These projects would be tailored to their business needs and their potential future project requirements in China.
  • Networking and Peer-to-Peer Learning To Maximise International Business Benefits - bespoke internationalisation and innovation capacity and capability building would be facilitated by experts in our business and management faculty. Companies would experience the continuous development of a like-minded and trusted cohort of business owners, managers and entrepreneurs with whom they could share learning and experiences, thus maximising the benefits to their business.
  • Significant PR and Commercial Branding Benefits - from successfully participating in a high profile UK-China business development initiative supported by Lancaster University and its partners in the UK and China.

The content of each stage of support in the Lancaster China Catalyst Programme is outlined in more detail on our support stages page.

Memorandum of Understanding

With a vision to be a globally significant academic institution, Lancaster University has a long history of working successfully with Chinese partners and UK companies to support business innovation and growth both in the UK and internationally. Our experience is that doing business successfully in China means developing long term business relationships with Chinese partners, and demonstrating long-term commitment to the market place by working collaboratively for mutual benefit.

Lancaster University signed a five year Memorandum of Understanding with the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which aims to increase the level of partnership between UK and Chinese technology small and medium size enterprises, through collaborative research projects leading to the development and commercialisation of new products and services for global markets.

One of the key elements of this Memorandum of Understanding was the Lancaster China Catalyst Programme.