Collaboration with China: the new frontier of innovation?

Tuesday 02 June 2015 -
09:00 to 10:15
Session 5.1. Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London.

Napoleon once famously said:  "Let China sleep, for when she awakes she will shake the world." This has proved prophetic, as China has proceeded to shake the world since its reform and opening up began 35 years ago. But for all of its economic might, China ranks only thirty-third in global innovation, according to the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness index. However, China aims to become an innovation-led nation by 2020 and hopes to promote innovation in China through a massive expansion in higher education, more skilled workers and heavy investments in research and development. Forging partnerships with foreign universities is one of the many approaches encouraged and embraced by Chinese authorities.  

This session will consider:  

  • What is the impact of these Sino-foreign partnerships on China's innovative capacity?  
  • What are the implications for industry-university collaborations?
  • What are the challenges faced by these partnerships and how do they contribute to the innovation agendas in both China and the partner countries?  
  • Can Sino-foreign partnerships unlock innovation in China?

Alan Anderson
Director - International Programmes, Shanghai Automotive Technical Centre, UK

Alan has 28 years experience in the automotive industry, including 10 years working for Shanghai Automotive, owners of the MG and Roewe brands. Shanghai Automotive’s UK Technical Centre has strong links with a number of UK universities and  Alan has led UK TC’s involvement with Coventry University’s Engineering Programme Management course in particular, lecturing and  supporting curriculum development. Session 5.1



Matt Durnin
Head of Research and Consultancy East Asia, British Council, China

Matt Durnin joined the British Council in May 2015. Prior to this, Matt worked as a research consultant, delivering in-depth analysis on a broad range of topics and industries in China and East Asia. He also formerly held the posts of associate editor and visiting researcher at a US policy journal and think tank. Session 5.1


Professor Simon Gaskell
President and Principal, Queen Mary University, London

Simon Gaskell  joined Queen Mary as Principal in October 2009. He is also Chair of the Board of the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), and has been elected to serve as Treasurer for  Universities UK, the representative organisation for UK universities, from 2012. His research involves the development and application of state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, with particular applications in the biomedical sciences. Session 5.1 Session P.3

Professor Simon Gaskell

Susan Milner
Director of Education, British Council, China

Susan has worked in China and Hong Kong as a teacher trainer, as China Director for Voluntary Service Overseas and as Education Adviser with the UK Department for International Development. She joined the British Council as Director, Education for China and Hong Kong region in 2010. Session 5.1 Session 6.4

Susan Milner

Professor Song Yonghua
Executive Vice-President, Zhejiang University, China

Professor Song Yonghua is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a fellow of International Euro-Asia Academy of Sciences and Vice- President of Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering (CSEE). In 2009 he was appointed Assistant President for International Affairs of Tsinghua University and was Director of Chinese National Office of the Recruitment Program of Global Experts (1000 Talents Program) until December 2012. Session 2.8   Session 5.1

Professor Song Yonghua