Edinburgh strengthens links with China

Links between Shenzhen and Edinburgh were strengthened today as an incubator space opened in south-east China.

The International Creative Industries Incubator, in the heart of Shenzhen, will encourage creative and tech sector small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) from Edinburgh to expand overseas and raise their international profile.  A reciprocal incubator for companies from China will open in September at the Creative Exchange in Edinburgh. 

Shenzhen has been identified as a target market for investment into Edinburgh’s creative industry and the two cities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in June 2013. The document, originally signed by the Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, aims to smooth the way and provide support for incubation space in each of the cities. It will help to stimulate investment, growth and new market opportunities. 

The opening of the incubator marks the culmination of years of collaboration between the City of Edinburgh Council and Shenzhen Municipal Government. This work has also been supported by the Scottish Government and it delivers on a number of objectives set out in their China Plan and Economic Strategy through enhanced cultural collaboration and increased exchanges between both nations. 

Councillor Frank Ross, Convener of the Economy Committee, said:  “There is a real buzz in Edinburgh’s creative and tech sector just now, which was recently highlighted by Tech Britain as the third largest in the UK. 

“Today’s opening demonstrates the appetite for promoting Edinburgh’s creative and tech businesses in China and offers international exposure and opportunity for growth. The reciprocal nature of the collaboration in the creative industries will bring inward investment to the city and enhance cultural relations as a number of Chinese companies take up desk space in Edinburgh later this year.” 

John Somers, First Secretary - Scottish Affairs. China, said:“ This is a significant collaboration for the City of Edinburgh Council and the Municipal Government of Shenzhen.  It combines the considerable strengths of both partners in the field of cultural and creative industries and provides support for both Chinese and Scottish SMEs to understand  the markets, opportunities and challenges while developing networks in both countries. I’m pleased to support this important venture on behalf of the Scottish Government.”  

Further information 

The Memorandum of Understanding between Edinburgh and Shenzhen was signed on 26 June 2013 by the Scottish Minister for External Affairs and International Development, Humza Yousaf and the Lord Provost of The City of Edinburgh, Donald Wilson in Shenzhen. This was in the presence of Vice Mayor Madam Wu Yihuan and centred on the exchanging of proposals for the establishment of joint International Creative Industry Incubation Centres in Edinburgh and Shenzhen. 

A number of Edinburgh based creative and tech companies have committed to taking desk space at the Incubator in Shenzhen, including a world leader in the manufacture of complete IP video security solutions, Indigovision,  and Runrev, creator of LiveCode, the award winning cross platform for deployment engines. 

All companies engaged in the project to date: Edinburgh Palette, Biomorphis, Interference Pattern, Runrev, Spot Sensor Technologies Ltd, Sensewhere Ltd, Indigovision Ltd, Fountainbridge Ltd, HBJ Gateley, Whitelaw Wells and Bank of China (UK) Ltd, Glasgow.

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