News story

Future Cities mission to China: applications now open

Innovative UK businesses working in the smart cities sector can meet potential customers, partners and investors in China’s Greater Bay Area.

View from Shenzhen talent park

Apply to attend a mission to visit China's Greater Bay Area.

Applications are now open for UK businesses to join Innovate UK’s Future Cities delegation to China.

The mission – taking place from 26 to 30 November 2018 – is a valuable opportunity to build new smart city business collaborations overseas.

Why China?

China’s Greater Bay Area offers a wealth of opportunity for UK businesses working in smart cities infrastructure and design.

This cluster of 11 cities across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau province is Asia’s most dynamic region. It is currently developing into a global hub for technology and innovation and has aspirations to become an economic centre that will rival Tokyo, San Francisco and New York.

Benefits of taking part

By attending, you’ll learn about market opportunities and business culture. You’ll develop a tailored pitch and then travel to China to meet prospective partners, investors and customers.

You’ll also have the chance to visit pioneering future cities projects in China’s Greater Bay Area, centred around Shenzen. The city is a centre of technology for internet start-ups, including Tencent and Huawei.

Depending on the make-up of the businesses on the trip, there may also be visits to other cities such as Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Wuhan and Hefei.

What to expect from Future Cities

Future Cities missions are designed to offer UK urban innovators a unique opportunity to enter overseas markets.

Preparation and planning is critical to success. Chosen mission participants will all receive expert advice and support before travelling to ensure that they are prepared to explore new markets, including 1-2-1 coaching.

The mission week will include pitching to local stakeholders, networking and the chance to meet other Chinese and UK-registered companies operating in China. You will also be able to get advice from the Department for International Trade (DIT) on exporting globally.

Previous missions have taken delegations to Australia, India, Malaysia and Singapore.

Who should attend

The mission is open to established UK-registered micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and urban innovators looking for Chinese customers, partners or investment.

Businesses should focus on the following areas:

  • smart mobility, including CO2 emissions, efficiency in transport systems, multi-modal transport and connectivity, and the user experience
  • affordable healthcare for an ageing population, using big data to offer patient-centred solutions, integrate healthcare platforms, and deliver high-performance computing services and cloud platforms for health management
  • sustainable urban environments, using smart platforms to monitor and forecast industrial and domestic pollution, energy efficiency and optimisation, brownfield management and urban waste
  • urban planning and technology infrastructure, including internet of things, systems integration, data analytics and smart grid

Mission information

  • applications are now open, and the deadline to apply is 17 August 2018
  • up to 15 businesses will be able take part
  • successful applicants will be notified by 28 August 2018
  • successful businesses will need to pay a non-refundable commitment fee of £250 plus VAT, travel and event costs

Innovate UK’s mission partners are DIT, the China-British Business Council, the Future Cities Catapult and 100%Open.

Published 18 July 2018