The Lancaster China Catalyst Programme (LCCP) has now been operational for just over a year, and in that time we have taken great strides in facilitating collaborative partnerships between UK and Chinese companies around research and innovation partnerships that will lead to new products and services. To date, we have introduced more than 40 companies to China and the opportunities that exist there through Chinese partners.
The successful operation of LCCP depends on the support of key partners in both the UK and China. In the UK, we receive funding from HEFCE and Lancashire County Council that has allowed us to establish teams in both the UK and China that can provide the support needed to companies as they journey through the programme. In China, our partnership with the Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology (GDST) provides access to a pool of qualified Chinese companies and research organisations willing to engage with UK companies, and provides access to additional funding in China for the collaborative projects. To date, six partnerships will receive RMB 5.5M in funding over the next two years with more applications in the pipeline. We also receive strong support from UKTI, CBBC and the British Chambers of Commerce in Guangzhou who provide expert in-country advice and services to companies as they engage in China.
Alongside LCCP, a new Masters degree in International Innovation (M.Sc.II) has been created in order to develop the next generation of leaders and innovators who are at ease working internationally across different cultures. Students on the M.Sc.II work with the business partnerships facilitated through LCCP and spend time in both the UK and in China working on the collaborative research and innovation projects. This course attracts students from all over the world, and the first cohort of 28 students has now arrived in China to start 6-month projects with their Chinese partners. At the same time, a second cohort of 30 students has just started their studies and will work with a new group of companies as they also embark on their journey through LCCP.