Beijing revealed the first two EV models qualify for government subsidy

e6_transAs part of a series of measures by the Chinese government to promote production and use of electric vehicles, Beijing yesterday revealed the first two EV models that will qualify for government subsidies. The two models are E150EV produced by Beijing Automotive Group and E6 by BYD. More EV models could later be added to the list provided that they pass necessary tests. The subsidy scheme is not limited only to Chinese made EVs; Chances are open also to foreign brands (previously foreign brands are alleged to be excluded from the subsidy).

Based on the current subsidy plan, buyers who chose an EV with battery capacity of roughly 150 to 250 km per charge will receive a subsidy of RMB 95,000; those who chose vehicles with battery capacities exceeding 250km per charge will be subsidized RMB 114,000. For a BYD E6 (who claims 300 km per charge), its price will be lowered to 195,800 RMB from sticker price of 309,8000 with help of government subsidy. The former case applies to E150EV, which will be priced at RMB 154,800 after cost deduction.

Officials from Beijing Commission of Science and Technology said the government will soon put more efforts on the building of public charging stations. Half an hour’s recharge on a fastest charging pole will enable an EV to run 100 kms.

Expert said that compared with conventional cars, the two domestic EV models are not cheap despite of the government subsidy. Luckily, the EV buyers only need to go through a much less competitive lottery system to get a license plate to run the car on the road. How many people would actually choose an EV, one will have to wait and see.

Airbus and COMAC cooperate on sustainable air transport

c919

On Friday February 21st, Airbus and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) announced both aircraft manufacturers will collaborate on sustainable growth in air transport. The scope of their collaboration will however extend beyond the aircraft itself. Under the Memorandum of Understanding, signed by Günter Butschek, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and He Dongfeng, President of COMAC, they will “share best practices and identify improvements required by current ATM technology roadmaps both on-board the aircraft and on the ground to foster safer, more efficient and sustainable air traffic operations.”

This results in for instance optimised take-off, landing and taxiing procedures that reduce emissions, and noise as well as shortened travelling times for passengers. In 2012, COMAC also signed an agreement with Boeing to jointly conduct research on aircraft fuel efficiency and reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions.

COMAC is China’s leading civil aircraft manufacturing. Its C919 will be competing with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 family of aircraft. The c919 is expected to be delivered in 2017, which is several years after the upgraded and re-engined A320neo and Boeing 737 Max enter into service.

More info to be found on the Airbus website.

R&D Cooperation between European companies and universities in China

‘R&D Cooperation between European companies and Universities in China’, that was the title of a fully booked workshop organized this morning by the European Chamber R&D Forum in Shanghai.

The speakers presented an interesting mix of research on R&D cooperation and actual examples of past and on-going projects between multinational companies and Chinese universities.

Dr. Ulrike Tagscherer, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), presented her research findings on the key drivers, key co-operation models, and key success factors of academic collaborations of multi-national enterprises. Communication and clear goals were the top-2 most important key succes factor according to the people she had interviewed for her research. Patents were less of an issue, or at least not for the projects that the MNCs started with their counterparts (because there might have been some preselection on the research topics). Most of the time IP is shared and/or companies get the freedom to use the outcomes of the research at no cost.

Dr. Mason Wang, Director Open Innovation at Unilever Shanghai, explained the audience how Unilever approached open innovation with Chinese academia. Not only had Unilever managed to tap into the knowledge of Chinese researchers, but many of the researcher got so engaged that they ended up working for Unilever. For Unilever open innovation is important to increase the input of the R&D pipeline. Therefore Mason was happy to tell that open innovation projects also lead to products that are being put into the market.

Mr. Floryan de Campo was the final speaker at the workshop. Floryan is Director of Shanghai Joint international lab on Eco-Efficient product and Processes. That lab is a partnership of Solvay, ECNU, Fudan, CNRS, ENS Lyon & Lilles University. In 3 years time they managed to build a team of about 20~25 researchers that produce per year about 10~15 patents and a similar amount of papers.

Interestingly all presenters had the feeling that money was not the reason for Chinese professors to get engaged in joint industry-academia projects. The Chinese government provides plenty of funding. It is more important to find those professors who want to work on something more than just papers, and preferably also more than just patents. You have to find those people who want to see their research really applied in real life.

EUCCC

Read the workshop announcement here: EUCCC

Think Asia, Think Hong Kong

Hong Kong Science Park (Photo by Andy Wong http://www.pbase.com/andywong/)

Hong Kong Science Park (Photo by Andy Wong http://www.pbase.com/andywong/)

Think Asia, Think Hong Kong. That’s the title of two seminars organised by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) and the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands. The seminars, to be held in Zoetermeer (3 March) and Enschede (5 March) are part of a promotion tour of the HKSTPC and aim to show how Hong Kong, and the Science Park in particular can serve as a platform for high tech startups and enterprises to grow their business in Asia.

Presentations will be given by:

Mr. Allen Ma, CEO Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation,
Mr. Simon Galpin (Zoetermeer), Director-General of Investment Promotion, Invest Hong Kong,
Mr. Siegfried Verstappen (Enschede), Senior Investment Promotion Executive, Invest Hong Kong,
Mr. Andrew Young, Vice President, Marketing & Sales, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation,
Mrs. Kristina Koehler-Coluccia, Director Klako Group and
Mr. Jacques Theunissen, Senior Director Automotive & Industrial BU, Dialog Semiconductor B.V.

For more information please have a look at the website of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands.

Independently, NOST-China has done an extensive study into the opportunities and facilities for scientific and technological collaboration with/in Hong Kong. The results will be published shortly, so keep an eye on this newsfeed.

Great Tunnel of China

China is planning another engineering wonder; it has drafted a plan for a 123km undersea tunnel with an estimated cost of 220 billion yuan (EUR 26.5 billion). The underwater tunnel will surpass the combined length of the current world’s two longest underwater tunnels: Japan’s Seikan Tunnel and the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France.

The tunnel will house a rail line connecting the port cities of Dalian in Liaoning province and Yantai in Shandong province.

China_tunnel_undersea

Dalian – Yantai undersea tunnel. Source: telegraph.co.uk

“Once approved, work could begin as early as 2015 or 2016,” according to Wang Mengshu, a tunnel and railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering who has worked on the plan since 2012.

The tunnel and its construction is not without risks. Complicated geologic structures may pose challenges in the construction, especially with two major fault zones in the region.

Read more: China Daily