Innovation China UK

Innovation China UK

The Innovation China UK (ICUK)
programme was the first UK-China collaboration to promote joint innovation and knowledge transfer. Launched in 2007, the £4.9 million initiative was led by Queen Mary, University of London, and has been jointly funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (previously DIUS), and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

ICUK has been widely recognised as one of the most successful UK-China programme in establishing a wide pool of technology collaborations, in breaking down barriers to collaboration and innovation, and promoting the UK as a commercial partner of choice. Since our launch in 2007, the ICUK Collaboration Development Fund has achieved the following:


  • Funded 72 projects from a range of technology sectors
  • Engaged over 270 UK/Chinese academics in joint projects
  • Submitted 25 joint research papers for publication
  • Secured £1.95 million Chinese match funding and £1.3 million follow-on funding for joint Proof of Concept projects
  • Filed 14 new patents, signed four income-generating licensing agreements, created one spin-out company, many other joint projects are expecting commercial outcomes

Support QMUL Research and Innovation Partnerships

Since 2010, ICUK has been fully funded by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Research and innovation collaboration with China generates a broad range of impacts which are not limited to funding, publications and doctoral studentships in the traditional sense; partnering with top Chinese universities also enables UK innovators to access talented researchers, world-class research facilities, and R&D resources for proof-of-concept development which are not often widely available in UK universities. China also has the fastest-growing market for developing innovation-based technology. ICUK’s focuses are to:

• Raise the visibility of UK Innovation base in China and develop best-to-best collaboration for QMUL
• Support joint funding applications for collaborative research, contract research and consultancy
• Support technology transfer services and university spin-outs by identifying, protecting and exploiting QMUL research and intellectual property with Chinese partners

Lead on High-profile Bilateral Partnering Programme

ICUK also leads external high-profile bilateral programmes funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Prosperity Fund, BIS Global Partnership Fund (GPF) and supported by the UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN).

The UK-China Technology Partnering Programme has been successfully implemented by ICUK since 2010. The programme hold a series of bilateral technology partnering events across a range of sectors including bio-pharmaceuticals, agriculture technologies, low carbon building, the Internet of Things, medical device, water technologies, sustainable manufacturing, advanced materials and personalised medicine.

Please see Evaluation Report on the Partnering Programme commissioned by the British Embassy in Beijing.

The most successful UK-China programme

Providing Consultancy Services to the UK Institutes and Companies

With the ever-increasing development of Chinese industries, the demand for the UK technologies is booming. Based at Queen Mary Innovation Limited, a QMUL’s wholly-owned technology transfer company, ICUK is well position to offers valued-added services to help UK institutes and companies commercially exploit their technology in the Chinese market. ICUK provides a full range of services to UK institutes and companies seeking to develop and commercialise their research and technology in the Chinese market. We specialise in:

Market Intelligence

  • Evaluating your technology through feasibility and market assessment specific to China
  • Providing in-depth knowledge of the Chinese market, including local customers, competition and regulations

IP Commercialisation

  • Working with you to develop the most suitable entry strategy for your technology
  • Helping seeking licensees, buyers and distributors in China
  • Identifying development partners amongst over 60 Chinese HEIs currently working with ICUK. Facilitating IP assignment or licensing through our large networks of Chinese enterprises

Business Development

  • Sourcing research and development partners for joint funding applications and early-stage proof-of-concept development in both countries
  • Facilitating communications and project managing collaboration with Chinese partners

Thinking of unlocking the innovation opportunities that China can offer and unsure of how to move forward? Speak to one of our experts who have the relevant knowledge to point you in the right direction. Contact us.

Contact Innovation China UK (ICUK)


To get in touch with ICUK please either visit our website or contact a member of our team:

Manyi Cristofoli – Director
Tel. +44 (0)207 882 8341

Shirley Lam, Project & Event Manager
Tel. +44 (0)207 882 8342

Charlie Ellis, Senior Partnership Manager, Newton Fund and Commercialisation
Tel. +44(0)7818 422164

Dr Xuemei Li, Partnerships Manager
Tel. +44 (0)207 882 3752

Xiaojing Guo, Enterprise Relationship Manager
Tel. +44 (0)207 882 6748

Phoebe (Qiong) Wang, Partnership and Communications Manager
Tel. +44 7775 411 898