UK’s green tech companies on a mission to collaborate with China

Posted on 19 Sep 2013 by Tim Brown

A selection of 12 innovative UK technology companies are to visit China next week to explore greener approaches to manufacturing.

The six-day trip titled: Tomorrow’s Manufacturing: Mission to China, organised by the Technology Strategy Board, together with the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MoST), will encourage collaboration on research, development and innovation between businesses.

It is hoped that the mission will develop long-lasting partnerships between the two nations while helping to tackle environmental issues including climate change.

Each of the chosen companies have been selected for excellence in at least one of four key areas: the use of alternative, greener substances in manufacturing; the recycling and re-manufacturing of finite resources; decreasing the amount of material deployed to deliver services; and lower energy consumption over a product lifecycle.

The companies include: a developer of fuel-cell technologies that make electricity more accessible for consumers and businesses; a filter manufacturer that uses advanced metal manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing; and an R&D centre using sodium batteries to replace conventional energy power and storage in electric vehicles.

“The UK and China have a close working relationship and this is a fantastic business opportunity for some of the most innovative companies in the UK,” Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said. “It will give them the chance to reach out to a new market and collaborate with business in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.”

Commencing on 22 September, participants in the Mission will visit three Chinese regions renowned for their enterprise and heavy manufacturing – Changsha, Guangzhou and Shanghai. They will have an opportunity to extend their international operations in sectors ranging from automotive, textiles, metallurgical and machine building to electronics and pharmaceuticals.

David Bott, Director of Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, said the goal of the mission is to provide the companies with the necessary know-how, connections and inspiration to help improve and accelerate opportunities with potential customers and partners.

“The UK and China are two of the world’s largest manufacturers. This Mission marks a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries, focused on sustainable manufacturing and the transformation to a green economy,” he said.

Dr. Zhou Longchao, Director of the European Division, Department of International Cooperation, MoST, added: “China is one of the world’s largest manufacturing countries and is today a key part of global supply chains, and the UK is recognised for its world-class sustainable manufacturing research base. With commitment of both governments to promote academia and industry collaboration, this Mission offers businesses in both countries the opportunity to learn from each other and to build complementary relationships with joint innovation initiatives.”

The full list of companies are:

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI): technology innovation centre that helps develop products and prove processes with minimal risk

Croft Filters: Croft Filters Ltd: manufacturer filters that provide bespoke industrial filtration, and develops high-specification filter products using 3D printing which offers an alternative technique to traditional manufacturing

Ctech Innovation: research, development and innovation organisation that works with clients in business, government and academia to replace traditionally energy intensive services

e2v Consortium: develops microwave devices and sub-systems that limit environmental impact by lowering energy consumption and using renewable energy sources

Ingenza: makes industrial biotechnology products used in microbial strain improvement, synthetic biology, fermentation and bioprocess development providing alternative sustainable manufacturing bioprocesses

Ionotec: conducts research projects focusing on component supplies for sodium batteries which help meet the demand for bulk electric energy storage associated with greener power generation

Oxford NanoSystems: develops heat transfer and corrosion resistance technologies that help to reduce fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions

Perceptive Engineering: develops predictive control and diagnostics tools that allow engineers to start working without committing to capital expenditure

Plasma Quest: developed a new coating process, to overcome the limitations associated with existing thin film-based coating technology and reduces its environmental impact

Promethean Particles: provides improved nanomaterials to scale manufacturing capability for a wide range of applications, including energy storage, printed electronics, catalysis and polymer composites

Teer Coatings Ltd: develops individual Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) coating solutions for components, to improve their surface properties

Scionix Ltd: develops an electrochemical process (electropolishing) using a new, non-toxic ionic liquid (green non-toxic electrolytes).

Learn how to innovate and export with The Manufacturer – sponsored by UKTI

The Manufacturer is looking to assist manufacturing businesses to develop the business to be more innovative while looking to new markets such as Asia.

On October 16, manufacturers will gather in London for two events: Export Connect and Inspiring Innovation in Manufacturing.

Speakers at the event include: Sir Roger Bone, President of Boeing UK; Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment; and Stephen Cousins of Axon Automotive as well as a host of industry and regional experts who will be on hand to answer any questions.

For more information call +44 (0)20 7401 603