LONDON - On October 22nd and together with Shadong University and Qingdao City, we co-hosted the first round of the 2017 International Marine Innovation Entrepreneurship Competition at our London-based Cocoon Networks innovation centre.
The competition was co-sponsored by MIT CHIEF, the Sino-US Technology Innovation Park COCOSPACE and the Qingdao International Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology.
The International Marine Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition was launched to uncover the most promising companies in the marine and deep tech industries.
Through doing so, we hope to connect the brightest entrepreneurial talent globally to early-stage investors and venture capital businesses.
Together with Shadong University and Qingdao City, we hope to foster research and innovation in the field of marine science and technology as well as related fields such as life and health science, robotics, AI, smart hardware, new energy and environmental protection. With both the UK's and China's current emphasis on innovation during the 'Golden Age of Sino-British relations', we believe a globally recognised, modern marine tech industry cluster can be shaped by bringing the best talents together and encouraging China-UK collaboration.
The UK regional competition of the 2017 Marine Innovation and Entrepreneurship competition was held in our Cocoon Networks' headquarters and saw keynote speeches from our Cocoon Networks’ CEO John Zai, Chinese Embassy delegate Li Guoqiang, Qingdao Blue Silicon Valley representative Want Xuedon and Dr Chunjiang Jia of Offshore Renewable Energy. The judging panel was made up of representatives of leading Chinese investment institutions including Suning Global Investment, 23seed, COCOCAPITAL, Qingdao Hi-Tech VC, Qingdao International Investment Co., Ltd., Reinventure, Ivy Capital, Matrix Partners China and China Fortune Securities Co.
Out of the 8 highly promising entrepreneurial teams participating, CAMBUOY took home the first prize! CAMBUOY is a team of three entrepreneurs, David Chang from Whale Offshore , Xuhan Guo from the University of Cambridge and Zhewei Yu from Ensta Paris Tech, who designed a smart and low-cost digital ocean monitoring system.
Due to an increased number of human activity along China's costal line, such as offshore farming, tourism etc., CAMBUOY's system seeks to address the urgent need for offshore data monitoring of factors such as resources, pollution levels and any hazards.
CAMBUOY's smart buoy is designed for deployment in lakes, rivers, coastal waters and other freshwater or marine environments. As a floating platform it supports both topside and subsurface environmental monitoring sensors including weather stations, wave sensors and other monitoring devices. At present, the buoy has already caught the interest of the Shenzhen Ocean Monitoring and Forecast Centre and plans are being firmed up to bring the product to market.
CAMBUOY will now travel to China in November to compete with the finalists from the US, Canada, Germany, France and China for 70,000 USD seed capital and access to government benefits including talent programmes with varied grant opportunities of up to 700,000 USD. Other perks include funds for the team to stay in China, free office space for 3 years, and access to mentoring programmes and relevant software and equipment including large-scale 3D printing services, biomedical and health science laboratories and computation centres.
Another highlight of the afternoon was the official signing of the tripartite strategic cooperation between Qingdao City, Shandong University and Cocoon Networks.
Strategic objectives of the partnership include introducing British talent of the marine science and technology sector, biomedicine, AI, advanced manufacturing and other high-tech industries to China's Blue Silicon Valley. Together with Qingdao City and Shandong University, we hope to accelerate the process of UK-China cross-border innovation and incubation opportunities. Through providing support to UK entrepreneurs locally in China and assisting them in bringing their product to market, we hope to foster scientific research of the highest level in both China and the UK.
Cocoon Networks is Europe's largest Sino-British networking platform and investment consultancy aimed at fostering technology transfer and cross-cultural innovation. We believe in entrepreneurship as the force fo the future and continue to connect talent and promising projects to the right decision makers and financial sources.