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UK-China Innovation Partnering in Sensing and IoT

Sensors contribute an estimated £14bn to the UK economy, £6bn is in the form of exports; one in three patents published over the last ten years is sensor-related. A recently published (17th January 2017) strategy plan from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology stated that China aims to increase the value of its IoT industry to over 1.5 trillion Yuan by 2020, making it the largest IoT market worldwide. Therefore, it is timely for the UK innovation base to develop partnerships with the Chinese sensor community and to increase the UK?s technological growth in the area enhanced by Chinese investment in R&D and commercial markets.

Funded by the FCO Global Partnership Fund, Innovation China UK (ICUK) and the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is co-ordinating the UK-China innovation partnering in sensing and IoT mission to Shanghai between 10th and 13th September 2017. This partnering program is also an extension of the ?UK-China Innovation Gateway Shanghai Centre? project launched at Pujiang Innovation Forum which was supported by the SPF2016.
This partnering mission aims to:

1) Engage KTN Sensor SMEs and UK HEIs to develop innovation partnerships with Chinese counterparts through the Sensor China Expo & Conference.

2) Identify UK-China technology commercialisation opportunities in IoT leading to increased exports for the UK or inward investment to the UK.

3) Leverage UK-China experts? knowledge to drive joint R&D projects leading to joint papers published in peer reviewed journals.

4) Develop proof-of-concept opportunities for the UK technology in partnership with Shanghai Industrial Micro Technology Research Institute (SITRI) and key industry players.

For more information on the September Partnering Mission, please visit the Events Page.


Mission summary

Funded by the FCO Global Partnership Fund (GPF), ICUK led a delegation of four UK sensing and IoT technology companies, two UK technology networking organisations (KTN and CENSIS from Scotland) and two academics to Shanghai and Changzhou for a four-days partnering mission from 10th-13th September 2017.

The Sensor China Expo 2017 opening ceremony and sub-forums on 10th September 2017 covered a wide range of topics, such as the applications of sensors in the healthcare, financial and automobile sectors and investment in sensing technologies. Fascinating talks on driverless car, Chinese medicine remote pulse diagnosis, wearable skin sensor were given by experts in the field.

The China-UK Innovation Forum on Intelligent Sensing Technology and Application took place alongside the Sensor China Expo 2017 on 11th September 2017 in Shanghai. †UK technologies for gas sensing and skin moisture level detection were showcased at the UK pavilion co-ordinated by Innovation China UK (ICUK), Science Innovation Network (SIN), Shanghai Technology Innovation Center (SHTIC) and Shanghai Industrial Micro Technology Research Institute (SITRI).

On 12th September 2017, the UK delegation visited a technology incubator, TusStar for a half-day partnering workshop. Local companies such as Honeywell China, Healthy Photon and ENC Cognition and Data Service Co. Ltd. (ENC) attended this workshop and expressed interests in collaborating with some UK delegates. This workshop was useful for understanding the processes and resources required to enter the Chinese market. TusStar also made a good introduction to the support they could provide to foreign companies who are looking to open an office in China.

A second partnering workshop, the China-UK Sensor Technology Innovation Partnering Forum took place in Changzhou on 13th September 2017. This was co-organised by Innovation China UK (ICUK), Jiangsu Science and Technology Department, Jiangsu Center of International Technology Transfer, Changzhou Science & Technology Bureau, Science and Technology Bureau of Changzhou National Hi-Tech District and other Changzhou Science and Technology organisations. Participants found the B-to-B session particularly useful for developing new partnerships with Changzhou companies.

A total of 8 projects were presented at each event and their profiles are as follows:


Title of presentation

Dr Graham Leggett, Mirico

High Precision Real Time Industrial Gas Analysis with Laser Sensing Solutions

Ms Li Liu, GSS

Low Power NDIR CO2 Gas Detection Solution

Mr Shafiq Parwaz, Fiberlogix

Distributed Acoustic Sensing and Distributed Temperature Sensing Solutions for Gas/Oil Pipeline Leakage Detection

Dr Yue Gao, QMUL

IoT solution and Showcase for Smart Agriculture

Dr Perry Xiao, Biox

Bioengineering Sensing Solution for Skin and Bio-Tissue Characterization

Dr Ildar Farkhatdinov, QMUL

Wearable Technologies and Virtual Reality Frontier Researches

Dr Graham Kerr, CENSIS

Innovation Centres - Accelerating Technology Development in Sensors & Imaging Systems

Dr Liqun Yang, KTN

UK Landscape Overview on Sensor Technology

The events were widely received as beneficial for UK organisations? development in China. Organisations new to the Chinese market gained a better understanding of their products? potential in China and made new business contacts. Those who already have links with China have strengthened their connections with China through new contacts made at these events. Participants also found these events useful for meeting the China SIN team and DIT team to learn that they have local supports when needed.

Majority of the delegates is actively following up with local companies they met in China for further technology discussions, deals negotiation and joint R&D funding applications.

For more information on this mission, please visit the FCO blog at https://blogs.fco.gov.uk/moragbrown/2017/09/28/sensors-for-just-about-everything/

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