UK-China BG4


China is playing an increasingly important role in the telecom industry. Its Government, industry and academia have collaborated closely over the past decade, largely through the FuTURE and FuTURE+ programmes, to develop its home-grown 3G (TD-SCDMA) technology and is now looking beyond to TD-LTE. A coherent policy framework, coupled with appropriate funding, has enabled its Universities to undertake increasingly high quality, industry-relevant research and has helped its industry to emerge as a major player today on the world stage.

Mobile VCE’s outlook has always reflected the global nature of the telecom industry. In recent years Mobile VCE has hosted national telecom delegations visiting the UK, has developed links with research peers overseas and has led international industry missions, involving member company representatives. Two such missions to China have visited telecom operators, manufacturing companies, research establishments, Universities, Government ministries & regulators. Ongoing fruit of these visits includes a Memorandum of Understanding with the Shanghai Research Centre in Wireless Communications (SHRCWC). Mobile VCE’s Chief Executive and Industrial Chairmen have made several further visits.

The UK-China Science Bridge was initiated by Heriot-Watt University in 2008, in response to a Call from Research Councils UK, RCUK, designed to develop UK University links with China and other key countries. Most of the Chinese Universities contributing to the FuTURE/FuTURE+ programmes and many of Mobile VCE’s UK Universities were invited to participate, as well as our MoU partner in China, the Shanghai Wireless Communications Research centre, WiCo. Mobile VCE involvement was thus a natural result, with clear goals of developing existing relationships, ensuring access for all our members and deriving value from this Government-funded initiative to benefit all our industry members.

Scope, Timing & Activities

Timing & Funding – The formal title of the programme is “UK-China Science Bridges: R&D on 4G Wireless Mobile Communications”. It is a ~£1m initiative (RCUK funding for the UK side of the participation), a 3 year programme running from 1st June 2009 to 31st May 2012.

Activities – Several key activities lie at the heart of the Science Bridge, in which Mobile VCE’s industry members can play a key role.

These include:

  • UK Mission to China, Summer 2009 – Workshops held in Beijing and Shanghai, with presentations from the UK and Chinese participants, as well as visits to other participating Chinese companies and Universities
  • Researcher exchanges between the Chinese and UK Universities – 15 UK & 15 Chinese researchers will each visit a host University in the other country for up to 3 months during the duration of the programme
  • International Workshops in 2010 and 2011 – Involving Industry leaders, academics and the wider international research community, held in both countries. During 2010, workshops were held in London, Shanghai and Beijing.
  • Testbed prototyping by the Universities of new technologies
  • Exploration of possible technology commercialisation opportunities
  • Chinese Mission to the UK during 2012 – comprising a team of Academics and Industrials, including a concluding project workshop

Intellectual Property

The UK-China Science Bridge is an activity funded by RCUK and quite separate from Mobile VCE’s existing research programmes. As it involves organisations who are not signatories to Mobile VCE’s existing IPR Agreement, any new IPR generated by the Science Bridge is subject to a separate IPR agreement, agreed by the participating organisations. Mobile VCE’s member companies have no liabilities under the terms of Mobile VCE’s involvement, but do enjoy certain benefits.

Opportunities for Industry Engagement

Several mechanisms exist for Mobile VCE’s Industry Members to become involved in this programme, at whichever level is appropriate for them. These include:

  • Participation in UK Missions to China, in the International Workshops, in the UK and China in 2010/11, and other such activities
  • Opportunities to collaborate with individual Universities, in specific areas, as desired
  • Participation in Programme Management and, specifically…
  • Participation in a Mobile VCE UK-China Industry Steering Group, to help steer programme activities and to identify and create specific opportunities for our industry members

Participating Organisations

Chinese Universities
• Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications
• Huazhong University of Science & Technology
• Shandong University
• Shanghai Jiaotong University
• Southeast University
• Tsinghua University
• Xidian University

Chinese Industrial Partners
• Shanghai Research Centre for Wireless Communications (SHRCWC)
• Huawei Technologies
• China Mobile Communications Company
• Jushri Wireless Technologies, Inc
• China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR)

UK Universities (Full & Associate Partners)
• Heriot-Watt University
• University of Edinburgh
• University of Bristol
• University of Southampton
• University of Bedfordshire
• University College London
• King’s College London
• University of York
• University of Strathclyde
• University of Surrey

UK Industrial Partners
• Mobile VCE, providing opportunity for engagement of its industrial membership

Past Activities

Activities undertaken as at late 2010 include:

  • Summer 2009 – Industrial & Academic Members of Mobile VCE visit to China – hosted by China Mobile Research Institute, CATR, BUPT, Tsinghua, Shanghai Jiaotong, Xidian and other leading Universities
  • July 2010 – London Workshop – hosted by University College London
  • August 2010 – Beijing Workshop – hosted by Beijing University of Posts & Telecommunications (BUPT)
  • September 2010 – Shanghai Workshop – hosted by the Shanghai Research Center for Wireless Communications (WiCo)
  • September 2010 – UK-China ICT Leadership Forum, involving Ministerial representation from both China and the UK

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