LONDON, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The first UK-China collaboration program -- Innovation China UK (ICUK) was launched here Tuesday to promote joint innovation and knowledge transfer between the two countries.
ICUK, involving five British and more than 10 Chinese higher education institutions (HEIs), supports academic and business partners in forging collaborations, funding proof-of-concept research, and commercializing joint intellectual property across the UK and China.
At the launching ceremony at Queen Mary here, British Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson said: "I particularly welcome the launch of ICUK because of its emphasis on helping to ground-breaking research into the commercial market. It is also a further sign of cooperation between the UK and China."
"Such exciting research partnerships mark a potentially significant step in the capability of both countries to boost knowledge transfer. With greater knowledge transfer comes a greater ability to innovate. Both the UK and China are at the forefront of cutting edge science. Together we can benefit from a strong research base that works effectively with business.
"Both the UK and China are at the forefront of cutting edge science. Together we can benefit from a strong research base that works effectively with business," the minister said.
Led by Queen Mary, University of London, ICUK has created an integrated framework of support and funding, which includes an ICUK Collaboration Development Fund into which partner HEIs submit applications for proof-of-concept research and collaboration development grants, a state-of-the-art knowledge network and a complementary events and dissemination program, and a team of dedicated project managers to assist in the commercialization of joint intellectual property generated through the above collaborations.
ICUK will focus its main activities on energy, climate change and sustainable environment, infectious diseases, biomedicine and drug discovery (including traditional Chinese medicine), nanotechnology and material science, and space technology. These knowledge bases are prioritized as key collaboration areas by the UK and China.
The UK is providing 5 million pounds funding from the Higher Education Innovation Fund which supports knowledge transfer and increased business engagement in universities. China is providing complementary funding through its Ministry of Science Technology.
ICUK British partners are Queen Mary, University of London (lead institution), King's College London, University of Nottingham, Royal Veterinary College, and University of Southampton.
ICUK Chinese collaborators include China Academy of Science (over five institutes), Tsinghua University, Beijing University of Aerospace and Aeronautics, Fudan University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, China Ocean University, Nanjing University, University of Science and Technology China and Xi'an Jiaotong University.