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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.

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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

China announces 10 billion yuan fund to curb air pollution

On Wednesday China’s central government announced a number of measures in the battle against air pollution. They also identified large cities and regions with the most frequent smog and haze.

A special fund of 10 billion yuan (EUR 1.2 billion) will be set up this year by the central government. The money will be used to reward efforts to curb air pollution in the key areas.

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China Daily: Fight Air Pollution

Mentioned measures include promoting cleaner coal with low sulfur content and curbing coal consumption. The State Council also pledged nationwide implementation of Phase 4 of the diesel fuel standard — which means that fuel must contain less than 50 micrograms of sulfur per gram — by the end of this year.

Read more: ChinaDaily

Dutch gene therapy company uniQure went IPO

The Dutch VC firm Forbion Capital Partners, investing in world-class healthcare technologies, announced that its portfolio company uniQure has closed its initial public offering (IPO) at a price of $17.00 per share. uniQure’s shares are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market and began trading under the symbol “QURE“.

Last year Sander van Deventer, partner at Forbion, was one of our speakers at Dutch Innovators in Science & Technology 2013 (DIST 2013) here in Shanghai. During his talk he explained the audience what and how gene therapy can do to combat several rare but severe diseases.

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Glybera, one of uniQure’s gene therapies. Photo: nature.com

uniQure is a leader in the field of gene therapy and has developed the first and currently the only gene therapy product to receive regulatory approval in the European Union. uniQure is developing a pipeline of additional gene therapies.

Read more: uniQure press release

‘China will beat everyone’

Chief editor Alexander Pil of Mechatronica&Machinebouw visited Shanghai and Suzhou. He visited the German company Festo and the Dutch companies NTS Mechatronics, Tecnotion, Keytec and VDL-ETG.

In the article that Alexander wrote about his trip, several industry representatives explain their experiences in and with China. Although their stories vary, a number of conclusions are shared by all interviewees.

One conclusion is that entering China is not easy, nor is setting up and running your business. But China is still growing fast, and it is already strong at cost-reduction-oriented innovation. Foreign enterprises will likely (need to) shift from a low-cost production-only operation to one with technical centers and later on also full-blown R&D teams.

Cheap labor was often mentioned as an initial reason to come to China, but being close to your customers is equally important. Other reasons were raised too, for instance for Tecnotion the monopoly that China has on several natural resources (for magnet production) was an important trigger.

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‘Buy [resources] without the need of an intermediary’, Michel Heck, Tecnotion.

That the entrepreneurs working in China are impressed by China was voiced clearly by Maarten Langendonk (R&D-manager Keytec Suzhou): “China is going to beat everyone”.

Dutch readers are encouraged to read the full story with all the interviews on: Mechatronica&Machinebouw