Edinburgh low-carbon experts set up Hong Kong base

Hong Kong baseA low-carbon innovation group from the University of Edinburgh has opened a permanent office in Hong Kong.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon was in the city to officially open the centre at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park as part of a Scottish Government trade mission.

The university is the first education institution in the world to establish a low-carbon centre in another country.

The ‘Team Scotland’ centre will be led by the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) and is funded by the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, BRE Scotland and Scottish Development International.

The centre will share and develop best practise with the Hong Kong government, academic and business partners for the future of carbon technologies in Hong Kong.

Low carbon experts will focus on projects related to sustainable construction, air quality, water, waste, resource usage, transport, energy efficiency and smarter cities.

ECCI will provide a conduit for Scottish organisations aiming to create local partnerships and introduce innovative products and services to Hong Kong businesses - a new contract also announced by the First Minister.

Mrs Sturgeon said: “This is the first education institution in the world to establish a low-carbon research and innovation centre in another country and I am delighted that it is a Scottish university that is leading the way and setting the standard.

“Like the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, the University of Edinburgh has a world class reputation and I’m confident that this relationship will help provide Scottish companies with a route into Hong Kong and, through its strong links with China, act as a gateway into China.”

The centre builds upon the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between the Hong Kong and Scottish Government to develop closer partnerships to address the key challenges presented through climate change and a lower carbon economy.

The centre in Hong Kong will be managed by experts from Edinburgh’s Centre for Carbon Innovation and will host and employ five staff recruited from Scotland and Hong Kong.

The group have growing global networks and future low-carbon bases in Asia, South America & Central America are potential next steps for Scotland’s hub for low carbon innovation.

Three Memorandums of Understanding were also announced at the opening ceremony.

The three core partners announcing their intention to work together in the Centre - University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University and BRE Scotland with a specific focus on the built environment; the University of Edinburgh will work with Hong Kong Polytechnic University on urban planning for intelligent cities, and built environment specialists BRE Scotland will work with Construction Industry Council Hong Kong.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, principal and vice-chancellor of Edinburgh said: “This is a great example of a collaborative working relationship between educational institutions and business. The new carbon innovation centre in Hong Kong will help foster working practises between policy, community and business leaders in order to support and deliver workable solutions for a low carbon future.

“The University of Edinburgh is committed to sharing our knowledge on a global scale and working with businesses, innovators and policy makers around the world in order to develop new technologies and foster relationships.”

Ed Craig, head of enterprise and innovation, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, said: “ECCI is delighted to be opening this ground-breaking new centre in Hong Kong, strengthening relationships and forging sustainable business partnerships between Scottish and Chinese enterprises.

“The Asia Pacific region and China in particular faces significant challenges in reducing its environmental impact. This provides a significant opportunity for Scottish ideas, services and products to enable sustainable economic development in this region.”

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