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ICUK - Overview

The Innovation China UK (ICUK) programme was the first UK-China collaboration to promote joint innovation and knowledge transfer. Launched in 2007, the £4.9 million initiative was led by Queen Mary, University of London, and has been jointly funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (previously DIUS), and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

Collaborate Development Fund

ICUK has been widely recognised as a successful bilateral programme in establishing a wide pool of technology collaborations, in breaking down barriers to collaboration and innovation, and promoting the UK as a commercial partner of choice. Since our launch in 2007, we have:

  • Funded 72 projects from a range of technology sectors through the ICUK Collaboration Development Fund
  • Engaged over 270 UK/Chinese academics in joint projects
  • Submitted 25 joint research papers for publication
  • Secured £1.95 million Chinese match funding and £1.3 million follow-on funding for joint Proof of Concept projects
  • Filed 14 new patents, signed 4 income-generating licensing agreements, created one spin-out company, many other joint projects are expecting commercial outcomes

Support QMUL Research and Innovation Partnerships

Since Year 2010, ICUK is fully funded by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Research and innovation collaboration with China generates a broad range of impacts which are not limited to funding, publications and doctoral studentships in the traditional sense; partnering with top Chinese universities also enables us to access talented researchers, world-class research facilities, and R&D resources for proof-of-concept development which are not often widely available in UK universities. China also has the fastest-growing market for developing innovation-based technology. ICUK's focuses are:

  • Raise the visibility of UK Innovation base in China and develop best-to-best collaboration.
  • Support joint funding applications for collaborative research, contract research and consultancy.
  • Support technology transfer services and university spin-outs by identifying, protecting and exploiting QMUL research and intellectual property with Chinese partners.

Lead on High-profile Bilateral Partnering Programme

ICUK also lead on high-profile bilateral programmes funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Prosperity Fund, BIS Global Partnership Fund (GPF) and supported by the UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN). The UK-China Technology Partnering Programme has been implemented by ICUK since 2010. The programme hold a series of bilateral technology partnering events between 2010 and 2016 across a range of sectors including bio-pharmaceuticals, agriculture technologies, low carbon building, the Internet of Things, medical device, water technologies, sustainable manufacturing, advanced materials and personalised medicine. Please see evaluation report for the UK-China Technology Partnering Programme.

Provide Consultancy Services to the UK Institutes and Companies

ICUK provides a full range of services to UK institutes and companies seeking to develop and commercialise their research and technology in the Chinese market. These services will help companies in developing technology partnerships with China:

Thinking of unlocking the vast opportunities that China has to offer and unsure of how to move forward? Speak to one of our experts who have the relevant knowledge to point you in the right direction. Contact us.

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Prof. Wen Wang, Queen Mary, University of London:

"ICUK's 'Proof of Concept funds give research scientists the opportunity to test out their innovative technology in a business orientated environment. It provides the platform for academics to interact with experts in IP and marketing, and acts as a 'Dragon's Den' to nurture and to promote innovative products."