LONDON, Nov. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The 6th “Sino-UK Innovation and Development Forum” was successfully held from November 3 to 4, 2021 under the theme of “Green innovation and inclusive development”. The forum provides a platform of dialogue for Chinese and British government officials, scholars, and business leaders, promoting academic exchange and cooperation in the field of science and technology innovation between China and Britain. This year’s session discussed green innovation, digital innovation and inclusive development, as well as common prosperity and other topics.
This year’s forum was hosted by The Oxford Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD), together with Surrey Centre for Innovation and Commercialisation (SCIC), University of Surrey, Sino-UK Innovation Policy and Management Research Network (IPRN), and was co-organized with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Technology for Development (CASTED) of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institutes of Science and Development (CASISD), the China Britain Business Council (CBBC) and HSBC Business School, Peking University, and supported by Tencent (00700.HK).
Professor Xiaolan Fu, a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences and Director of the Technology and Management Development Research Center of the University of Oxford, welcomed guests attending the forum, provided a background introduction, and emphasized the ongoing cooperation and commitment of Chinese and British academic and business circles in jointly solving global challenges facing the world by strengthening technological innovation and policy coordination.
Sir James McDonald, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, delivered the opening remarks, emphasizing the important role of engineering technology and innovation in global green development, calling for attention to the economic and social challenges of climate change, taking the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference and China’s moving towards carbon neutrality as examples. Dr Zhang Yaping, Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, mentioned in his opening speech recent cooperation agreements signed between Chinese and British research institutions in the auto and semi-conductor sectors, and pointed out the importance of technology collaboration and cross-disciplinary research between the two countries. He also called for jointly establishing international think-tanks in his speech.
Professor David Sampson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation at the University of Surrey, emphasized the importance of China-UK cooperation in business and higher education. He also said that the University of Surrey is committed to providing educational support for technological development and innovation cooperation, such as at the newly launched 6G Innovation Center and International Sustainable Development Center.
Chen Jin, Director of the Research Center for Technological Innovation at Tsinghua University, proposed that green innovation should include a strategic vision for sustainable development, as well as local innovation and social cooperation. Dr Stelvia Matos, Associate Professor of Social Innovation and Sustainable Management and Head of the Centre for Social Innovation Management at Surrey Business School, summarized recent research in the field of climate change and technological innovation management, and expressed the need to focus on connecting low-carbon innovation with digital technology. Robin Williams, professor of technology and social studies at the University of Edinburgh, pointed out that sustainable transformation requires the widespread adoption of various technologies that are still in their infancy, paired with effective promotion policies such as user participation and experimentation.
Jeremy Hall, Director of Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School, spoke on “Innovation and Reshaping Green Development,” describing how universities are the core of the UK’s innovation system. Wang Yuanfeng, Director of the Carbon Neutral Technology and Strategy Center of Beijing Jiaotong University, explained how a carbon neutral strategy would bring about fundamental changes in energy structure.
Pan Jiaofeng, President of Institutes of Science and Development of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, expressed that he hoped China and the UK would “join hands and win-win” to solve global sustainable development issues through cooperation in technological innovation and inclusive development. Daniel Brooker, Director of UK Research and Innovation China, pointed out that the IDMODEL project provides an excellent case study for research on marginalized people, promoting common prosperity and international academic cooperation.
Professor Fu gave a keynote speech titled “The Road to Common Prosperity Empowered by Digital Innovation”, introducing the innovative research and results of the IDMODEL project in China and Bangladesh. Professor Fu said that digital technology and digital platforms can effectively provide marginalized groups with opportunities and platforms to boost their capabilities, help entrepreneurs overcome barriers to engage in value creation activities, create sustainable wealth and social value, and thus alleviate poverty and promote common prosperity.
The keynote report by Torbjörn Fredriksson, Chief of the ICT Policy Section at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), stated that cross-border data flow and development are crucial in promoting the development of the global digital economy, and that all parties need to take timely action to initiate dialogues around various industries, and establish a new UN coordination agency to resolve key issues.
Derek Yue, Director of the Tencent Social Research Center, described how digital technology is being fully integrated into all fields with new ideas, new formats, and new models, providing novel solutions to global problems. Tencent has pursued “Tech for Good” as the company’s mission since 2019 and will focus on corporate social responsibility rooted in China’s new development patterns and important global sustainability issues, promoting social value innovation, helping to upgrade various industries and aid in the governance of digital society with digital technologies. At the same time, he expressed that Tencent strives to work with all members of society in facing opportunities and challenges together, promoting overall progress through joint construction and sharing and making a better shared future for mankind.
Hu Zhijian, President of the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development, said that China has entered the digital era, and digital economy has become an important driving force for China’s economic growth, as well as an important way to stabilize growth, employment, poverty reduction, and promote inclusive development. Jiang Xiheng, Deputy Director-General of the Center for International Knowledge on Development affiliated with the Development Research Center of the State Council, emphasized the important role of Internet-based charity in common prosperity.
Some other academic and industry experts also joined the forum, including Mark Hedley, Director for the Knowledge Economy sector of CBBC; Pervez Ghauri, Professor of the University of Birmingham and founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Business Review; Sonia Kabir, Founder of SBK Foundation, Governing Council member of the United Nations Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries; Yu Jiang, Director of the Center of Industrial Technology Strategy Center of the CASISD; Zhang Kun, Associate Director of Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Peking University HSBC Business School.
The Sino-UK Innovation and Development Forum has been successfully held for six consecutive sessions and is an important platform for promoting exchange and cooperation in science and technology innovation between China and the UK, as well as an important window for people from all walks of life to understand China-UK policy developments.