Wan Gang knows a lot about accruing returns on long term investment in research and innovation. Not only is he China’s Science Minister. He also spent ten years working with Audi in Germany.
On Monday morning, Minister Wan met with Science Minister David Willetts for what was the 7th UK-China Joint Commission on Science and Technology. This is a (roughly) biennial meeting which sets out government priorities for bilateral research collaboration.
This year, I spotted two significant developments.
Firstly, the UK government has committed some pretty significant funds for more research collaboration with China (announced during the 2013 Autumn Statement). This complements the comprehensive programme of collaborative research and exchanges already supported by the UK Research Councils, Science and Innovation Network and British Council.
Secondly, there is growing interest from both sides for more collaboration on innovation and the financing of innovation (through e.g. tax credit and equity investment).
By many accounts, the UK is doing very well on research and innovation collaboration with China. The UK is second only to the US in co-authored research papers with China, is one of only three countries with which the Chinese hold ‘Innovation Policy Dialogues’ (the others are the US and Germany).
The view is that collaboration on research investment and the financing of innovation will help secure longer terms jobs, growth, opportunities and social benefits, more than would be the case if we were to go it alone.
The conversations were very broad and open – and I have uploaded several of the presentations at the end of this post:
1. Presentation by Paul Boyle (RCUK & CEO Economic and Social Research Council) 1.0 Paul Boyle
2. Presentation by Cui Tuo (Deputy Director, Department of Basic Research, Ministry of Science and Technology) 2.0 Cui Tuo
3. Presentation by Fan Yingjie (Deputy Director, National Natural Science Foundation of China) 3.0 Fan Yingjie
4. Presentation by David Golding (Head of Strategy, Technology Strategy Board) 4.0 David Golding
5. Presentation by Martyn Poliakoff (Foreign Secretary & Vice President Royal Society) 5.0 Martin Poliakoff
6. Presentation by Jo Beale (Director of Education and Society, British Council) 6.0 Jo Beale
7. Presentation Keith Hodgkinson (Head of Innovation Policy, Department for Business Innovation and Skills) 7.0 Keith 1
8. Presentation by Xu Jianguo (Director, Office of Innovation Systems, Ministry of Science and Technology ) 8.0 China 1 Xu Jianguo
9. Presentation on science financing/venture capital in UK – Keith Hodgkinson (Head of Innovation Policy, Department for Business Innovation and Skills) and Matt Wicks (UK Trade and Investment) 9.0 Keith 2
10. Presentation on science financing in China by DG Jin Xiaoming (Director, International Cooperation, Ministry of Science and Technology) 10.0 China 2 Jin Xiaoming