BGTA and SHEnergy open accelerator in Shanghai to foster the development of global tech ecosystem

  • Companies are going to establish a joint fund that in its first phase will invest £24 million in companies working towards innovation
  • Large state-of-the-art space located at Lujiazui, in Shanghai’s financial district, will accommodate UK companies as a single entry point to access China’s tech market
  • The Shanghai International Energy Innovation Centre (SIEIC) will focus on UK and China technology incubation and acceleration for verticals including Cleantech, IoT, Smart Cities and Fintech
  • The SIEIC is endorsed by the UK and Chinese governments; senior officials from the British Consulate Shanghai and the Pudong district government will attend the opening ceremony and sign a MoU on how to best support the centre
  • The accelerator will focus on companies that are a strategic fit to the corporate’s core business and can help SHEnergy diversify its portfolio
  • BGTA will run demo days in London to select companies to join the accelerator

BGTA has today announced a partnership with Shanghai Energy (SHEnergy) to create a new corporate-backed accelerator programme in Shanghai, which will enable UK tech companies working within the energy sector to expand into the Chinese market. SHEnergy, one of China’s biggest suppliers of electricity and gas, is increasingly turning to small businesses to help with research, development and innovation within the market.

Together with BGTA, it is in the process of creating a joint fund that in its first phase will invest £24 million into tech startups with a proven product.

In July last year, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between SHEnergy and BGTA to form the partnership and to develop the Shanghai International Energy Innovation Centre (SIEIC). The purpose-designed centre focuses on aspects of energy generation and use, environmental management and protection, and support of the development of smart cities.

The first of its kind, the SIEIC will focus on UK and China technology incubation and acceleration for verticals including Cleantech, IoT, Smart Cities and Fintech. The accelerator will focus on companies that are a strategic fit and can help SHEnergy diversify its portfolio, bringing solutions for some of the industry’s problems. To apply, startups have to have a product fit established and be able to demonstrate further market potential.

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The 1,300 square meters innovation centre offers a fully refurbished co-working space and multi-function rooms, to serve as a physical hub for UK tech companies as an entrance gateway to the Chinese market. Residential pilot programs are also offered to those UK companies to then roll-out full-scale commercial contracts.

Companies selected will benefit from a joint fund established by BGTA and SHEnergy that will benefit the UK via inward investment and act as a catalyst for exports to China. BGTA is planning to continuously run demo days in London to select companies to join the accelerator. The first companies to win a place in the accelerator will be announced on June 28th during the Mobile World Congress, in partnership with 4YFN, in Shanghai.

Helen Wang, CEO of BGTA, commented: “We are very proud of working with SHEnergy to support a corporate-sponsored innovation program with a focus on the exchange of technology between the UK and China. This partnership is a fine example of cross-country acceleration, and we are delighted to offer UK companies a launchpad to access the Chinese market.”

Professor Alan Barrell, Chief Advisor, BGTA, added: “It has been one of the most fulfilling events in my long experience to see how a large and outstanding utility company in China could be connected to sources of innovation, creativity and cross-border collaboration of a practical kind for future economic development. I suggest it could prove an excellent model for future cross-border development if broadly publicised.”

Dr Song Xuefeng, Deputy General Manager of the SHEnergy Group and Chairman of Shanghai Energy Innovation Development Co., Ltd. said: “SHEnergy is pioneering the corporate open innovation program, an initiative that is well-endorsed by our senior management team. We believe this will not only have a strong impact on our company but also as a case study of a state-owned enterprise in China.”

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