Funding Forum 2019

Updated: May 15, 2020

ENRICH in China Annual Funding Forum was very well received on 2nd October 2019 in Brussels at EBN premises.

It attracted more than fifty participants from all over Europe and China providing a cordial introduction from Javier Echarri, CEO of EBN, and Sara Medina, coordinator of ENRICH in China and member of the SPI board.

Stimulating presentations followed by Michele Genovese, consultant and advisory board member of ENRICH in China, about the necessity to cooperate with existing Chinese networks looking for partners in Europe and Wenhuan Xia from the Beijing Belt and Road International Co-Incubation. He emphasised on the remarkable opportunities the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) brings as well as the prospects and challenges Europe is facing.

Two parallel sessions addressed businesses as well as academia with the latter having been introduced by two European research organisations, focusing on fruitful best-practice examples of joint funding programmes and joint calls with China on bilateral and multilateral level. Several further experiences gained in academic collaborationwith China had been shared in the afternoon with the following recommendations:

  • STI collaboration needs to focus on excellence in science based on trust

  • Bilateral national programs with China should be aligned and bundled to become multilateral European joint programmes, such as the Joint programming Initiative Urban Europe provides

  • Open communication and a series of trust building visits to China reassure successful sustainable collaboration with Chinese counterparts

  • European researchers based in China are potential helpful contacts able to open doors to Sino-European STI collaboration

  • Do not underestimate the social factor! ´Everything can be solved (with your partners) by eating´ (Berry Bonenkamp, NWO)

In the session on Sino-European business collaboration, highly knowledgeable experts who have decades of experience working with/in China gave very valuable inputs on different important aspects:

  • Public funding opportunities in China do exist for European tech SMEs based in China. It is recommended that the companies should start with local level funding opportunities before going to the national level. From the European side, public funding opportunity like INNOWWIDE supports SMEs to complete a Viability Assessment Project with a co-creation partner in the emerging market.

  • Venture capital investment companies such as Convergence Partners are looking for deep tech SMEs in Europe to be scaled up in China. The potential of Chinese market is enormous.

  • Beside funding opportunities, experts shared their knowledge on other important aspects such as IPR and digital marketing.

  • Overall, the experts advised European companies do their homework before going to China and be committed if they decide entering China!

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