China and the UK have a lot to offer each other in industry and advanced manufacturing in terms of developing staff members with expertise, matching investments and commercialization of research and academic findings, regional leaders of both said at the Second UK-China Business Leaders Summit in Shanghai recently.
Companies and regional leaders in China and UK may introduce opportunities for cooperation in the sectors with the help of exchanges of educational and training systems at deeper levels, such as an employer-led curriculum and more frequent dialogue between the two sides, said one senior UK businessman.
The remarks were made by Sir John Peace, Chair of Midlands Engine－an English collaboration between local governments and the UK national government, local business and universities－together with a plan to generate an additional 34 billion pounds ($42.8 billion) for the economy over the next 15 years and to create 300,000 jobs.
“Regional leaders in both China and UK will continue to encourage the public and private sectors to an economic and culture exchange between the two countries, and will make efforts to build up a key projects catalogue and a key enterprise catalogue for regional cooperation projects,” said Li Xiaolin, president of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
Collaboration between companies and universities with the support of governments will help to build an infrastructure that creates great prosperity and opportunity, said Sir Keith Burnett, vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield in an earlier interview.
“The Made in China 2025 initiative is vitally important ... and we want to be a part of it”, he said.
In the areas of aerospace, nuclear manufacturing research and other disciplines, the University of Sheffield has been working with partners in China on new technologies, he added.
From the early forms of joint programs that enable students to study overseas to building up campuses in China’s cities－to the current collaboration involving companies, researchers and universities－more long-term, innovation-driven projects have been operating as both China and the UK attach increasing importance to innovation and technological development, experts said at the summit.
Collaboration and synergy between universities and companies was key to innovation and technological enhancement, said Zhou Ji, head of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Zhou said the more closely the two worked together, the more benefits they brought to economic development and social welfare.
Fu Guoqing, with the Shanghai Science and Technology Committee, said that more institutional improvements and infrastructure supporting collaboration would help. Fu said they brought together companies, government, think tanks, researchers, young trained staff members and future scientists from various countries－to help to create more engines for economic and social development.