Enterprise Europe Network South West recently welcomed an official delegation of Chinese government and key maritime industry officers from Qingdao, Shandong province of China to Bristol, to discuss future collaboration with the region’s Environmental Technologies, Marine and Information Technologies sectors.
The delegation was taken to GENeco’s multi-award-winning recycling and renewable energy site in Avonmouth. Here they got to see first-hand how the circular economy model has been adopted by the company with treated waste water and food compost being turned into agricultural fertilisers and enriched biomethane which is then piped into the local gas distribution network.
Presentations from the South Coast Marine Cluster, the UK’s leading marine industry hub and the Cornwall Marine Network provided the opportunity to introduce officials to south west businesses and create valuable connections for collaboration between two key world locations in Marine Technology and Innovation.
Sam Winters, Marine Innovation Mentor of the Cornwall Marine Network commented:
“Cornwall Marine Network are pioneering the first global commercially focused marine network and alongside our Marine Offshore Renewables group (MOR) we were delighted to be invited to present the work of our network to the delegation from Quingdao, China.”
The delegation’s visit was part of the “One Belt and One Road” program. Launched by the Chinese government it aims to create the world’s largest platform for economic cooperation, including policy coordination, trade and financing collaboration, and social and cultural cooperation.
Qingdao is one of the most important independent coastal regions and leading marine economy in China and has experienced rapid growth over the last decade. With a regional population of over 9.2 million and a port throughput capacity ranking the region 7th in the world, Qingdao is an important trade partner. On the 29-31st of October the region will be hosting the 12th EU-China(Qingdao) Business & Technology Cooperation Fair, The Fair provides a dominant cooperation platform in China for investment, trade and technology between EU and China.
Chris Lyons, EENSW Environmental Sector Lead who organised the event, said:
“The Chinese government is really pushing co-operation with the rest of the world, both culturally and economically. Enterprise Europe Network is working hard to promote closer collaboration between the South West region of the UK and China.
“Qingdao have identified a significant subset of Marine sectors in addition to Environmental and Energy saving industries that are classified as emerging across the region. The South West has an enviable position in being home to the UK’s largest Marine cluster and having leading innovative Environmental technology and Circular Economy based companies. Links have now been formed across the Qingdao region to exploit future partnership and learning opportunities.
“Hosting this delegation is just one of many ways our South West team is supporting businesses looking for partners in China. We are also helping businesses through signposting them to China focussed events such as the Business & Technology Cooperation Fair and the China SME Forum as well as providing connections through the Enterprise Europe Network platform”.