Innovation and collaboration for a harmonious world. 

Sustainability as a priority

The three key words of China’s twelfth five year plan are: comprehensive, balanced, and green. The green efforts focus on urbanization and sustainability, which strongly influences the research agendas of the leading universities and research institutes. Additionally, companies are also including sustainability into their strategic priorities. One consequence of these ambitions is that the Chinese government is prepared to sacrifice some of its growth for the purpose of building long term sustainability. For China there is an urgent need to reduce energy consumption, and this is a key area which also opens possibilities for international cooperation. Clean energy and environment protection are now at the top of the research agenda.

The Nordic countries track record of promoting sound environmental policies provides a good basis when looking for collaboration with China. Today China has more than 160 cities with a population in excess of one million. The plan is to have another 60 such one million cities by 2025. This means that there are plenty of opportunities to provide new innovative and green urban concepts.

Multidisciplinary collaboration

Synocus together with Tsinghua University and Aalto University has started to investigate new opportunities for research collaboration in these areas. Interest has focused particularly on the necessity for multidisciplinary approaches, imposed by climate change, to be able to address this grand challenge facing our planet.The City of Espoo, which also has very ambitious sustainability goals as well as a number of leading Finnish companies in green technology, has joined Synocus in our efforts to address climate change. Synocus is looking for ways to mobilize both private and public support to establish long-term research platforms enabling the formation of innovative orchestrated ecosystems. These ecosystems would not only come up with new ingenious technological solutions but, more profoundly, also change the way we think about collaboration and competition in complex networks.

Benefits of Chinese collaboration

For Western companies research collaboration with Chinese partners is attractive for three reasons. Firstly, Chinese universities and research institutes provide flexible arrangements when cooperating with companies. Secondly, through research collaboration the companies get access to talented individuals, who can help to open up possibilities for permanent recruitment of key personnel in the future. Thirdly, the research community is well integrated with the national innovation system and as such additional spin-off opportunities are often identified as a by-product in addition to the original research objectives.