On June 5, ZPark (Beijing Zhongguancun Software Park), DIGILE (the Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation in Internet Economy), and China-Finland Golden Bridge Innovation Center signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
With Finland’s innovation know-how, China’s business expertise and resources, and expertise with technology from both countries, the MoU is intended to enhance their unique core partnership for the global market.
Building on proven success
ZPark has been operating in Finland with Golden Bridge since November 2012 to increase cooperation between Finnish and Chinese firms. Since then, there have been many great achievements. Tom Zhu, Director of ZPark Finland, wanted to highlight two particularly notable contracts.
In August 2013, Chinese Synergy New Energy Technology Ltd. bought Finnish air cleaning AAVI Technologies Ltd. This will lead to mass production and a rapidly expanding market in populous areas. Another big success was in March 2014, when Progman, a Finnish CAD software company joined forces with Glodon, a leading construction software company in China. Progman now has access to more resources, and Glodon can more easily enter the European market from Finland.
The MoU follows up on these successes by adding DIGILE’s advanced innovation management competences in industry-driven research programs and in business ecosystems, including IPR management and access to funding, to create unique investment opportunities. Matti Hämäläinen, Director of China Cooperation at DIGILE, is very excited about the new agreement. “We want to create the leading hi-tech gateway between China and Europe,” he said.
Instead of dropping into established projects or coming on board at the end, Chinese companies can now be involved from the start, all the way from the research stage, throughout development, to a saleable product. This places them at the heart of the Finnish technology ecosystem.
“The new MoU takes our China-Finland cooperation to a new level,” said Marko Vänskä, General Manager of Golden Bridge.
The next step is to organize events at which companies can meet each other. Chinese companies visit Finland, and Finnish companies visit China. Today there are not more than 20 Chinese hi-tech companies active in Finland. ZPark hopes to increase that number by at least 5 per year – even up to 10 if possible.
Huge potential in new, exciting possibilities
Whichever way you look at it, this partnership is big. Signatories will be building business across two of the largest markets in the world, Europe and China. They will be working on some of the key technological issues of the twenty-first century, including life science, data security, games and more. “Clean tech is the fastest growing area in China today,” said Mr. Zhu. “With 200 million people in China over the age of 60, health care is also expanding rapidly.”
But even considering all the new incredible breakthroughs and opportunities being developed, an agreement like this reminds us that people are at the center of business and technology. As Mr. Zhu said, “In doing business, the personal relationship is very important.”
The MoU helps start, develop and maintain the business relationships needed to work well together across cultures and borders.
It was signed by ZPark, DIGILE and Golden Bridge in a ceremony held at the first China-Finland Technology Communication and Cooperation Conference in Otaniemi, Finland, on 5 June, 2014. The conference was co-hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland.
Text: James Perkins