On Wednesday 6th June, Cambridge Cleantech delivered an informal networking event and presentation to inform startups and SMEs of their options for breaking into China markets.
For those of you not familiar with Cambridge Cleantech; it’s a membership organisation that supports the growth of environmental goods and services or “cleantech” companies in the Greater Cambridge area. Their CEO, Martin Garratt, spoke about the already strong partnership links between UK & China, and how Cambridge is very much at the forefront of activities that steer slicker collaboration. He referenced the MoU between SHEnergy and Cambridge Technology Capital Partners and the launch of Shangai International Energy Innovation Centre (SIEIC) – you can read more about that here.
Delegates heard mini presentations from Alan Highnet, Energy & Environmental Specialist at Department for International Trade (DIT), Peter Manning, Head of Essex International and Yanray Rozier, Director of Cambridge Environment Technology Ltd(CET).
The role of the Department for International Trade (DIT, formerly UK Trade & Investment) is, in simple terms, to help companies ‘sell more stuff abroad’. With approx 1200 staff and 170 offices, their reach to key contacts across sectors is unrivalled and notably attractive to companies of all sizes. They run two programmes which have funding opportunities; Get Exporting 2 and Trade Access Programme (TAP). Whilst TAP involves British funding only, the export programme draws from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which is facilitated via Local Enterprise Partnerships. Companies have access to a wealth of masterclasses, workshops and advice from sector specialists – all of this forms part of your organisational roadmap and should be considered as part of your overall structured approach to entering Chinese markets i.e. matched funding.
Peter spoke about their strong links with the Jiangsu, a province North of Shanghai, which has a population of approx 80 million and a growing economy the size of Canada. It became apparent, very quickly, that the opportunities to impact the Chinese supply chain are borne from the relationships Essex International have built over the years with Chinese government, academia and industry. They provide a different approach to helping companies identify where they should and can enter the Chinese market which has been notoriously difficult to-date.
A couple of case studies were shared with delegates, including the recent East of England China-Forum which recently launched in partnership with Stanstead Airport.
Yanray promoted the Wujin Green Building Zone which was setup last year in partnership with Cambridge Cleantech and Chinese authorities. Last year, they ran a competition aimed at innovative cleantech building tech companies and winners, Cambond (a Cambridge company developing and commercialising a next-generation, environmentally-friendly glue) were able to fly to China, all expenses paid. Cambridge Cleantech members get discounted access to modern office space at Wujin Green Building Zone. Interested companies should email Yanray by 31st August 2018 (email@example.com)