Plans For New UK-China Innovation Centre Announced

Following G7 hosted in Cornwall and new Spaceport being built, the South West Business Council, including Lord Robin Teverson and the Earl of Devon, promote South West as an innovation powerhouse at global tech forum.


Innovation & Research


Lord Robin Teverson, The Earl of Devon and leaders of top UK universities join the Lord Mayor of Birmingham to unite with the committee behind one of China’s new smart cities to announce joint research and innovation projects.

The team leading development of the Nanjing Jiangbei New Area, one of 13 new technology hubs and free trade zones in China, will be outlining plans for the new research centre, called the ‘Nanjing Jiangbei New Area Sino-UK Innovation and Development Centre’. In recent years, the Nanjing Jiangbei New Area committee has been working with key players in the UK’s innovation space to develop the new centre for collaboration at both national and regional levels.


Twin Cities

The plans are being discussed at the ‘Nanjing Jiangbei New Area – South West UK Cooperation Forum’ during Nanjing Tech Week, a leading event promoting international innovation cooperation, hosted by the city of Nanjing. The forum gives entrepreneurs from China and the UK the platform to brainstorm opportunities and ways of working together.

Nanjing is currently twinned with Birmingham, UK, and the cities have a long-term working relationship. Muhammad Afzal, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, says:

“These recent disrupted years have caused our world to re-think engagement strategies. Events like this provide pathways for innovation and technology to take the lead in building our futures.

“The establishment of the ‘Nanjing Jiangbei New Area Sino-UK Innovation and Development Centre’ will strengthen opportunities for us all to work together for the common good.”


Fast Growth


Nanjing Jiangbei New Area is growing quickly. In 2020, the new city saw an increase of 300 new technology companies set up in the area, 1,543 science SMEs registered, 7,906 invention patents requested and the establishment of 12 universities.

So, to promote growth between two regions showing strong technological development, the Nanjing Jiangbei New Area is announcing a collaboration with The South West Business Council, an economic partnership representing the interests of businesses across the region of the UK, at the forum. Insight from the council’s board members, including Tim Jones, Chairman, Charles Courtenay, Earl of Devon, and Lord Robin Teverson, member of the House of Lords and former MEP, has highlighted the development taking place in the South West, positioning the region as a strong partner for cooperation.

Discussions of business and educational collaboration are taking place at the forum, alongside plans to set up the ‘South West Business Council China Office’ within the Nanjing Jiangbei New Area.


Technology is the Future


Tim Jones, Chairman of the South West Business Council, says:

“The UK leaving the EU has been difficult, but we are determined to develop global relationships. So, this is an important step in that direction and a huge statement for partnership working. We have strong academic links with Nanjing through our universities. Now we want to translate that into business activities, so that all of our businesses, big and small, can work towards the future together.

“Technology is the future, it is the way which growth will be achieved. Our view is that partnership working is the key, but we need to take the next generation with us so that they can maintain a sustainable relationship with growth economies like China.”