Cambridge product innovator working in new China hi-tech zone
Cambridge Design Partnership has carved a potentially lucrative niche to provide product design and innovation capabilities to companies in the new high technology zone in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
It is part of a programme to establish a permanent link between Cambridge and Wuhan to which UNESCO has awarded the title ‘Capital of Design’ due to its location in the economic and geographic centre of China and its excellent infrastructure.
An MoU between CDP and Wuhan was signed in a Cambridge UK ceremony attended by high profile representatives from both territories. CDP is now set to be a lead provider of bleeding edge technology innovation to the zone. The move is part of an economic and technological twinning programme between Cambridge and Wuhan, known as ‘Window-on-Wuhan’.
Mike Beadman, founding partner of CDP, is thrilled at the opportunity it creates for the business. He said: “I am delighted that CDP and the members of the Window-on-Wuhan programme have taken a step towards furthering our collaboration with companies in Wuhan.
“Here at CDP we have designed many products for the Chinese market over the years. We are now looking forward to working closely with companies in Wuhan to research, develop and manufacture innovative products and technologies to meet their customer needs.
“This is also a wonderful opportunity for our many clients to gain greater access to the Chinese market.”
The Window-on-Wuhan programme is led by Dr Simon Haworth, founder of 14 life sciences companies including Dynasty Biotechnology and Dr Richard Leaver, serial entrepreneur and partner in Boundary Capital Partners LLP. Window-on-Wuhan is supported by both the UK and Chinese governments and the new £750 million Sino-UK Fund.
Beadman added: “The aim is to establish a world-class design and engineering hub in Wuhan and establish a permanent link between Cambridge and Wuhan.
“Wuhan holds a key strategic and economic position in China. UNESCO has awarded the city the title of ‘Capital of Design’ due to its location in the economic and geographic centre of China and its excellent infrastructure.”
At the launch event, delegation leader Minister Yan of the Wuhan Municipal Government described Window-on-Wuhan as ‘a great success’.
Minister Yan introduced Wuhan to the audience, describing how the city has developed as a centre for innovation in biotech, medtech, agritech, electric vehicles and other cutting edge technologies.
George Freeman, MP, former Life Sciences Minister, gave the keynote speech at the launch ceremony. He said: “UK healthcare and biotech companies need a conduit to China. Match the Window-on-Wuhan programme with the funding provided by the Sino-UK Fund and we have the opportunity to power ahead.”
The Sino-UK Fund has been set up in parallel with Window-on-Wuhan programme and is a new equity investment fund to finance UK companies accessing the China market.
The fund has high level team members in Cambridge UK and Wuhan PRC. Mike Beadman commented: “The team’s network and sector knowledge will ensure that UK projects with high growth potential in China are identified, while the China team’s local execution skills will ensure that those investments achieve their potential in China.
“This really is a very exciting initiative and here at Cambridge Design Partnership we are sure it will create very fruitful opportunities both here and in China.”
CDP is dual located in both Cambridge UK and in Palo Alto, California; it specialises in the consumer products, healthcare, energy and industrial equipment markets.
• PHOTOGRAPH: Mike Beadman of CDP signs the MOU with the deputy mayor of Jiang’an district of Wuhan, Mayor Du Changhui