TECHNOLOGY

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon opens low-carbon innovation hub in Hong Kong

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon opens Science Park office to develop low-carbon technologies

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 July, 2015, 3:42pm
UPDATED : Friday, 31 July, 2015, 11:28am

An elite Scottish university has set up its first overseas innovation centre in Hong Kong to develop and promote low-carbon technologies.

The University of Edinburgh-based Centre for Carbon Innovation will incubate projects relating to sustainable construction, transport, air quality, water, resource usage, energy efficiency and smarter cities.

It will also provide a conduit for Scottish enterprises to introduce products and services to Hong Kong businesses and to the Pearl River Delta region.

"China produces 26 to 27 per cent of the world's carbon, and Hong Kong is a key gateway and an important centre in its own right," said the centre's deputy director, Ed Craig.

"This provides a significant opportunity for Scottish ideas, services and products to enable sustainable economic development in this region."

The centre will take up an office at the Science Park in Sha Tin and employ five staff members from Scotland and Hong Kong.

The project builds on a memorandum of understanding between the park and Scotland's investment and trade promotion agency in 2013.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who was in the city to open the facility yesterday, said the centre was "the first education institution in the world to establish a low-carbon research and innovation centre in another country".

"I'm confident that this relationship will help provide Scottish companies with a route into Hong Kong and, through its strong links with mainland cities, act as a gateway into China," the Scottish National Party politician said.

Nearly 20 Scottish businesses have been brought to the city in the past three months. Six more are due to arrive soon under the new agreement.

Andrew Young Meng-cheung, chief commercial officer of the company running the park, said "commercialising environmentally friendly innovations" was one of the park's goals.

Three partners will work together in the centre - the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University and BRE Scotland. The former will also work with Polytechnic University on urban planning for intelligent cities, while built environment specialists BRE Scotland will work with the city's Construction Industry Council.

Craig identified the city's transport system as another area ripe for innovation.

The city uses 4,200 buses made by Scottish firm Alexander Dennis, for example, which he described as "relatively low carbon", but improvements could be made as the company had started to introduce hydrogen buses in Scotland.