Over the past year the importance of innovation as key to success in China has been highlighted in many ways: Norkom Technologies entertaining senior Chinese Government leaders; Firecomms’ purchase by China’s ZDF Group; Nathean Technologies announcing its intent to establish a beachhead in China; Bimeda establishing a joint-venture firm in China to develop and manufacture veterinary and animal health products; Irish Dairy Board’s decision to target China with new dairy products; Mainstream Renewable Energy’s deal with China’s Sinovel Wind Group to deliver 1,000MW of wind projects in Ireland by 2016; Ryanair announcing a jet design pact with China’s Comac; the Dublin Beijing twinning; PCH on the way to becoming Ireland’s most successful technology company by virtue of its success in China; Tayto Crisps entering China with flavours unique to Chinese tastes; the increasing number of Chinese central, provincial and municipal government delegations visiting Ireland; the planning application for the vast Athlone ‘China Europe Hub’; the announcements of the Dublin Web Summit to bring Chinese Digital CEOs together with Irish CEOs and Enda Kenny’s first official trip to China in October.
Such occurrences and many more instances of collaboration at a state agency, business and educational level, all demonstrate Ireland is at last serious about China and China is getting serious about Ireland. As Chris Horn noted last December “Ireland has much to strategically offer China, not least its scientific, educational and innovation culture”. Professor Seamus Grimes of UCG asks “Can China become an information hub?” Professor Cathal Brugha of UCD expressed the widely held conviction that “China could be in our hands”, and only last week Enda Kenny stated that “China is vital to the Irish economy”.
China’s emergence is still only at a very early stage and in these four quotes and the activities of the past year, as noted above, the considerable business and revenue potential to be gained from closer collaboration between China and Ireland becomes all the more apparent.
Many incredibly talented scholars from China are studying in Ireland for tertiary degrees and PhDs. For the most part all their feedback is very positive. What is more, Ireland has excellent entrepreneurial and product innovation expertise, expertise which China increasingly identifies with. Over the past two years, I have founded professional business networks in the key Chinese cities of Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Ningbo, Hangzhou and Xiamen, all with a potential membership of 1000s as Linkedin becomes the defining business network for engaging China-based talent with business professionals based within and outside China.
Founded in June 2011, the Ireland China Innovation Hub (ICIH) aims to be the hub for the nurturing of such Irish and Chinese expertise by encouraging collaboration, whether on a personal, business, or academic level. It is hoped that ensuing useful discussions, a sharing of opinions and exchange of ideas will all lead to further product collaboration, strategic partnerships, professional interactions, and enhanced business between Ireland and China.
Mindful of the need to ensure that ICIH is a forum as much about Chinese innovative expertise as it is about Irish innovative expertise, in a choice that without a doubt demonstrates ICIH is on the right track Xiaofeng Zhang and Tiedong Yang have agreed to join as managers of ICIH.
By way of back ground, take a moment to read the short bios of these two very knowledgeable individuals:
- Xiaofang Zhang, from Dalian City in Liaoning Province, is a PhD researcher at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). She already holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 2008, Cork Institute of Technology acclaimed Xiaofeng as the CIT Innovative Engineer of the Year, while she was runner up in the ‘The Best Medical Device Design and Development’ in IMechE, London.
Biomaterial and medical device technology are the foci of Xiaofang Zhang’s PhD research. With the former she “concentrates on new biomaterial for peripheral nerve regeneration, while in relation to her medical device research Xiaofang’s focus is on Med-O-Ware, a medical device applied between infusion drip line and patients, which aim to remove all air bubbles passing through an infusion drip line system before the bubbles reach the blood stream and without stopping the infusion process” (Source: Xiaofang’s Linkedin profile)
- Tiedong Yang, from Harbin, in Heilongjiang Province, is a PhD Researcher at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). He holds a Bachelor in Engineering from the prestigious Harbin Institute of Technology. He is also the Chinese Community Ambassador and Freelancer at Chester Beatty Library and in April 2010 was presented with presented with the Gaisce gold award by President Mary McAleese.
Tiedong Yang’s focus of PhD research is Digital Media.
“The PhD project designs and presents a sensor-enabled Technology Enhanced Learning system approach to facilitate knowledge transfer as behavioural skills in the perceptual motor learning process. A prototype system is developed with Radio Frequency Identification to aid students in learning the standard operating procedures which specify the students’ desired behavioural activities to ensure food safety in the workplace.
The research is set within a cross-disciplinary background covering general learning process, perceptual motor learning, learning and training in food safety, Technology Enhanced Learning and Ubiquitous Computing. The proposed approach is jointly inspired by Intelligent Tutoring System and Item Response Theory” (Source: Tiedong’s Linkedin Profile)
Plainly Xiaofang and Tiedong, and the very high proportion of ICIH members from China, bring a cultural awareness, market insights, and technical expertise which will be of considerable value to Irish businesses aiming to get a foothold in the China market. In addition, our Chinese ICIH members will be of the same mind in answering Professor Seamus Grimes question above “Can China become an information hub?” The answer to a large extent lies in the level of participation and interaction within networks such as Ireland China Innovation Hub (ICIH).
About the Ireland China Innovation Hub (ICIH)
Founded by Niall O’Reilly, Director for Accurate Group Limited and Director for China, Irish Exporters Association, the Ireland China Innovation Hub (ICIH), is a network of educators, researchers, designers, technologists, entrepreneurs, and consumers from Ireland and China who are interested in innovative collaboration and technology entrepreneurship between Ireland and China.
To join click ICIH: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=3976655&trk=anet_ug_grppro
ICIH is a sub-group of the Ireland China Business Network (ICBN), which has close to 800 active members.
For the purposes of ICIH ‘Ireland / Irish’ refers to the island of Ireland, while ‘China / Chinese’ refers to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.
Niall O’Reilly, Accurate China Blog, July 19th, 2011
Chris Horn: Irish Times Newspaper, December 17th, 2010
Professor Seamus Grimes, Finfacts Ireland, 6th April 2011
Professor Cathal Brugha, Sunday Business Post, 3rd July 2011
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, 14th July 2011
Accurate China Business Advisers
“Helping Ireland’s Business Do China Business”
Tel: +353 1271 1830 / +86 152 5719 4468