Zhongguancun 2020, the program for cooperation in Beijing Technological Hub for 2,000 companies

On July 30, with the preliminary session dedicated to scientific-technological cooperation and entrepreneurial development between Europe and China, we officially launched the 2020 program of the Zhongguancun (ZGC) Forum, this year already in its twelfth edition. Zhongguancun, located in the Haidian district of Beijing, is considered one of the main high-tech industrial development zones in China and in the world landscape. An area that hosts over 10,000 technology companies and research centers, including over half of the country’s unicorn startups, to which the central government has been dedicating for years considerable resources and incentive policies for research, development and new ventures creation.

In this context, the annual edition of the international program (carried out simultaneously offline and online) was launched and dedicated to cooperation and entrepreneurial development for research centers, companies and innovative startups interested in internationalization processes specifically in four technological verticals: Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Manufacturing; Life, Health and Biotechnology Sciences; Energy Saving, Sustainability and Environmental Innovation; Intelligent Transportation and Information and Communication Technologies. The program was promoted by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, the Chinese Ministry of Education, the China Association for Science and Technology and the Beijing Municipal Government.

During the summer at SPICI we worked to select over 2,000 innovative companies (of which about 100 are Italian) from various parts of Europe, North and South America, as well as China and Africa. The companies had access to the matchmaking program with investors, potential business and technology partners, corporate and local companies, in the context of what has become a prestigious international platform in which several Nobel Prize winners for science, economics and medicine, Ministers and State Representatives, as well as the founders of tech giants such as Xiaomi and Baidu, have taken part over the years.

Among the Italian startups, 8 were included in the prestigious “Top 100 List”: KEMONIA RIVER SRL, TURBOALGOR S.r.l., Is Clean Air Italy srl, GSI S.r.l., Inesse Corporation, 3Bee, Vaxxit Srl, eProInn. Among these IS Clean Air and Vaxxit had access to the final phase.

On the occasion of the activities to the program we coordinated in the months of August and September, we discussed around the theme of international cooperation. We did it, among others, in the company of representatives from the Enterprise Europe Network, the Agency for Digital of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, EIT Health of the European Union, the University of Naples Federico II, Lazio Innova SpA, Digital Innovation Hub Campania. In particular, we once again thank our guests, judges and experts who attended: Luigi Nicolais, former Minister for reforms and innovations in the public administration, former president of the National Research Council and current President of Materias; Plinio Innocenti, former Scientific Attaché at the Embassy of Italy in the People’s Republic of China and Professor of Materials Science and Technology at the University of Sassari; Giorgio Ventre, Director of DIETI of the University of Naples Federico II; Vincenzo Lipardi, Secretary General of the Italy-China Alliance on Startups and Entrepreneurship, and President of SPICI; Mario Draoli, Head of Unit Procurement Strategies and Market Innovation at the Agency for Digital Italy; Leopoldo Angrisani, Director of CESMA of the University of Naples Federico II; Santolo Cozzolino, Director of the Biotechnology Center of the Caldarelli Hospital; Chiara Maiorino, Regional Manager South Europe of EIT Health of the European Union; Angelo Coletta, President of Italia Startup; Donatella Piccione, International Area Manager of Lazio Innova; Giovanni Breglio, Co-founder of CI-LAM and Professor of Electronics at the University of Naples Federico II; Filippo Ammirati, Scientific Manager of ENEA Enterprise Europe Network Projects; Roberto Luzi Crivellini, Partner of Macchi di Cellere Gangemi; and Enrico Iaria, Chief Managing Director of SPICI.

As a follow-up activity of the forum, we coordinated additional matchmaking meetings in the provinces of Hebei and Hunan in November. Some of the best Made in Italy technologies selected as part of the program were among the participants.