Canada, China seek win-wins
“Before my first trip to Toronto, I had no ideas about doing any business or investment in Canada, specifically for the venture capital investment,” Xue Jun, founding partner and managing director of TusPark Ventures, told China Daily at the opening ceremony of China-Canada Innovation Park (CCIP) held on May 12 at Toronto Metro Convention Centre.
After just seven months, at the 2014 Discovery, Canada’s premier innovation showcase hosted by the Ontario Centers of Excellence (OCE), Xue Jun and other co-founders witnessed the inauguration of CCIP and its Investor Alliance.
Wang Hanguang, chairman and CEO of Han Hai Investment and Management Group, the primary founder of CCIP, brought Xue Jun to Toronto, where they visited many great innovation organizations — such as OCE, MarS, CommuneTech, Omers and BDC — in Ontario.
“I was amazed by the solid eco-system to promote technological innovation,” Jun Xue recalled. “I realized that Ontario had a great business opportunity to link its innovation capacity with the huge market of China.”
As a platform to connect the Chinese capital market to innovative Canadian technologies, CCIP will create new opportunities for scientific collaboration, knowledge sharing and access to emerging markets and co-investment opportunities between Ontario and China.
“OCE is pleased to build this partnership with CCIP,” said Tom Corr, president and CEO of OCE. “We see tremendous mutual benefits coming out of this partnership and ties between our two economies.”
“CCIP is not only a business incubator for startups of technology transfer, but also an open platform for all innovation resources, organizations, people and capital from China and Canada,” said Wang.
Other partnership agreements signed at the 3rd Annual OntarioChina Technology Transfer and R&D Collaboration Forum (OCTTCF) included deals between the University of Toronto and Peking University, Western University and Beijing SinoBioway Group, University of Guelph and Suzhou Joint Sino-Canada Agriculture Science and Technology Co.
The OCTTCF, co-organized by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation and Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment (MRI/MEDTE), and Chinese Consulate in Toronto, brought together government officials, experts in leading innovation institutes, technology company executives and technology investors from Ontario and China, to discuss the experiences and lessons of technology transfer and R&D collaboration, explore venture capital and angel capital investment opportunities in Ontario and China. 82 domestic representatives from China and 200 counterparts from Canada participated in the forum.
“Where opportunities and objectives align, a pre-arranged one-onone partnering meeting program will be facilitated for Ontario and China delegates to further explore possibilities for collaboration in the areas of ICT, life sciences, clean technology and venture capital investment,” said Yang Shaojun, Chinese consul and head of the Department of Science and Technology Affairs in Toronto.
“Establishing science and technology relations with China is a priority for Ontario based on the principle of mutual benefit,” said Blair Poetschke, director of trade at MRI/MEDTE.
In 2008, this strategic partnership was formalized with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the government of Ontario and the ministry of science and technology of China.
With the implementation of the MOU, more and more R&D and commercialization partnerships have been developed between Ontario and China, generating scientific and economic benefits for both jurisdictions.
“We have got funding from local cities in China through bundling the technology and building collaborations with the cities,” John Capone, vice-president of research at Western University said of his experience at OCTTCF.
“It’s really a great strategy for Ontario companies to cooperate with China in the early stage to facilitate their business,” said Claudia Krywiak, vice-president of corporate planning and development of OCE.
“China has made great progress in intellectual property (IP) protection; our patents have seen major advantages in the market,” said Choong- Chin Liew, co-founder and chief scientist of Golden Health Diagnostics Inc/GeneNews Inc in Canada.
“What surprised me is the largest population and needs in China, we will principally be focused on China as China can provide the exciting opportunities,” said Nicholas Parker, founding managing partner of Global Acceleration Partners.
The national strategy of innovation-driven development provides a favorable innovation environment in China. The Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST) has established the Torch High Technology Industry Development Center (Torch Centre) to promote Chinese Innovation environment.
“Through building a technology transfer co-op platform and transnational tech incubator, funding the transactional technology transfer and enhancing the IP protection, we are seeking a win-win co-op between China and Canada,” said Yang Yuecheng, deputy director of Torch Center, MOST.
Guests pose at the opening ceremony of China-Canada Innovation Park (CCIP) held on May 12 in Toronto Metro Convention Centre, Blair Poetschke (second from left), Tom Corr, Yang Yuecheng, Wang Hanguang, Qian Qiao and Xue Jun.