China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Study Tour – for knowledge, inspiration and trusted networks

Back-to-back with the 5th China-Sweden Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) on Science and Technology our office organised a China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Study Tour to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou during 25 – 27 September. The participants of the Study Tour were representatives from the Ministry of Education and Research, Vinnova, SiSP and STINT, who have been involved in the development of the on-going and future bilateral cooperation with China.

Our objective with this study tour was to get in-depth exchanges with the leading and internationally oriented research and innovation eco-systems in China, for deepened knowledge, new inspirations and trusted networks.

It was indeed an inspiring and informative journey and here are a few snapshots from our visits, which were not only a valuable learning experience, but also many nice memories shared with our colleagues from Sweden as well as our Chinese and international colleagues here in China! 

Beijing (25 September) – Innoway

Located at the core of Zhongguancun Science Park with China’s most concentrated research and innovation resources, Innoway is a globally well-known incubator cluster, with 45 incubators and around 3000 startups in total.  In the pictures below, you see that our delegation:

  • Tried out AI-photoshop at Intel’s AI application experience centre  
  • Visited at and had exchange with the Korea Innovation Center at Innovay
  • Listened to and discussed with the Innoway team on their “Corporate Innovation Programme”, “The First Local Partner Scheme”. Last, but not least, what is the experience of a German expat when developing internationalisation processes at Innoway

Hangzhou (26 September) – Nihub, H2 and Geely

Thanks to Alibaba and Geely-Volvo Car cooperation, Hangzhou is becoming more familiar as a city of entrepreneurship and innovation. This time, our Delegation had a true “fact-finding” visit to see how international Hangzhou has become and will be in the future. Here are our visits in Hangzhou:

  • Lucas Rondez, a Swiss entrepreneur showed us how his innovation center Ni-hub can help foreign start-ups in China and how they work together with multinationals on corporate innovation.  His advice to us is that “Don’t be afraid of being small, but be afraid of being slow…”.
  • H2 Health Hub Hangzhou Innovation Centre, launched in August this year, which is co-founded by H2 Sweden and GAZE Health Investment from Hangzhou. The delegation got a detailed presentation by the local GAZE partners and had a very interesting and fruitful on-line discussion with Paul Beatus and Ola Cornelius, the H2-team in Sweden. It will be extremely exiting to follow the journey of this Sweden-Hangzhou health care innovation joint venture! 
  • Last, but not least, at Geely headquarter, the Delegation got a detailed presentation of Geely’s development, both in China and Internationally. Geely’s new brand Lynk & Co told us about their very interesting experience of its open innovation competition “Co:lab Campus Innovation Challenge”.

Shanghai (27 September) – Zhangjiang High-Tech Park and CAS

Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park is located in the middle of Pudong New Area, with more than 400 R&D institutions as well as 48 multinational headquarters and around 150 foreign R&D labs. During the visit at Zhangjiang, the Delegation got the opportunity to see some new and exciting developments:

  • From Science Park to Science City: Zhangjiang will be further expanded to attract the best investments and talents – for better innovation, better science and better life.
  • All-in-AI in Zhangjiang: at both the international incubator centre and the new AI-Island, our delegation saw new AI-products and AI-solutions in the fields of health care, smart industry, smart home, smart education, city management and more.   
  • Advanced and multidisciplinary research to support innovation: Shanghai Advanced Research Institute (SARI-CAS), jointly established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Shanghai Municipal Government conducts frontier research and develop large-scale research infrastructure, aiming to foster collaboration between academia and industry, in the fields of smart cities, low-carbon technologies and advanced new materials.

Having all these new impressions and new networks with us, we see both opportunities and home-work that need to be done for the future Sweden-China cooperation on research and innovation. It also became clear to us during the study tour that both deepened knowledge of China’s research and innovation systems and trusted-networks engaging both Chinese and international partners in China are the two key elements that must be in place if the future cooperation can be more strategic, sustainable and impactful.

Thank you, our colleagues from Sweden! Thank you, our Chinese and international colleagues who supported us to make this tour a success, who shared your thoughts and ideas with all of us! Our exchange and our discussion will continue and we are looking forward to coming back – to see new progress and new development and to explore the way forward together! 

Nannan Lundin, Linnea Yang and Jessica Zhang