A UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN) China technology partnering mission in sustainable manufacturing led to a joint venture in fuel cells, which has so far generated £300k for the UK economy, with sales of £1.5m forecast for the next five years.
Sustainable manufacturing is an area of research and innovation that is increasingly important as we face the challenges of maintaining economic growth while at the same time saving energy and reducing emissions.
Bringing experts together
In 2013 SIN China teamed up with Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Innovate UK to organize a technology partnering mission to China in Sustainable Manufacturing to bring together hi-tech UK SMEs and academics with potential partners in China. The mission stimulated new partnerships focused on working jointly to develop innovative technologies and drive growth. Participants ranged from companies involved in improving waste management, creating cleaner power and more efficient agriculture processes, and in making manufacturing safer and non-toxic.
As a result of the mission Arcola Energy, a British engineering services business with expertise in hydrogen fuel cell technologies met Horizon Fuel Cell Shanghai and signed a joint venture agreement to create Horizon Fuel Cell UK as a manufacturing company in the UK. Fuel cells produce clean energy without generating pollution, and amongst other things are used in electric vehicles.
UK Commercial Win
In April 2014, Horizon Fuel Cell Shanghai completed its intellectual property transfer to Arcola, and manufacturing systems arrived in the UK to produce the first stacks of fuel cells. The value of the commercial activities of the joint venture in the UK generated £300K in 2014, with estimated sales of £1.5 million in the next five years. ‘We’ve had sales from day one because of working with Horizon’ said the CEO of Arcola.