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Business scaling in the Chinese green market: inside the GreenQ conference

On Monday 7 December, the ECCI-inspired Shanghai Jiao Tong University China-UK Low Carbon College, together with the University of Edinburgh and EIT Climate-KIC presented the first GreenQ Global Green Excellence Program Conference.

We caught up with ECCI project officer Mingqi Liu (Muki) to get the lowdown from the conference. Muki works to provide support for the international-focused projects within ECCI's Innovation Team and studied MSc in Environmental Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh.

"The success of the GreenQ progamme demonstrates one fact: Achieving sustainable development requires the active collaboration and involvement of stakeholders from all sectors and society, and across the globe.

Kick started at 8:45am CET time on Monday 7 December, the GreenQ Conference marked the apex of the GreenQ programme — an award-winning business accelerator co-created by ECCI and EIT* Climate-KIC.

As one of the innovative solutions to major societal challenges — climate change, GreenQ seeks to create effective communication, knowledge exchange and lasting partnerships between European and Chinese businesses.

GreenQ supports European high growth start-ups seeking scaling opportunities in China, and Chinese organizations interested in learning and partnering with high growth and scalable technologies from Europe.

This year, the GreenQ selected 13 high-growth start-ups (GQ members) from across Europe - including ECCI alumni Carbogenics - to support their business scaling-up in the Chinese green market. The program consists of structured workshops, 1 to 1 expert business support and the GreenQ Conference.

By participating in GreenQ activities, selected start-ups received valuable suggestions from real-world experience, the most up-to-date Chinese market insights, tailored expert advice and the networking opportunities with re-owned Chinese enterprises.

On the day of the GreenQ conference, GQ members had an opportunity to give a 3-minute presentation to their potential Chinese partners, and had a direct exchange with business leaders from a variety of industries in Europe and China.

The GreenQ Conference also went beyond networking - ECCI Head of Innovation and International Ed Craig, the founder and designer of the GreenQ programme and conference, offered expertise from both Chinese and Europe, providing a comprehensive picture of the Sino-European green business and partnership.

Mary Ritter, former CEO and International Ambassador for Climate-KIC, and former Director of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, gave her warmest welcome to audiences and delivered a both informative and enlivening speech, marking the start of the conference.

Next up came presentations from both European and Chinese entrepreneurs, scholars and officials, discussing policy and business innovation in the sustainable field, and highlighting the challenges of ever-shifting geopolitics and trajectories to overcome these obstacles.

Having participated in the tailored workshops, 1 to 1 support and the conference, GQ members have prepared themselves with essential knowledge of Chinese economic, legal and financial structure. With the help of our experts, members will develop their own business canvas model for the Chinese market to finalize their GreenQ training.

As a recent graduate with an interest in cross-sector stakeholder collaboration, I feel fortunate to have worked for the GreenQ project and within the EIT community.

The GreenQ project puts theory into practice, revealing that the management of climate change requites three layers of active stakeholders working in synergy:

  1. Macro: policymakers create policy strategies favorable to sustainability, and ensure a stable domestic and international environment.
  2. Intermediate: knowledge-generating institutions connect with practitioners to facilitate the knowledge transformation from research to the real-world.
  3. Micro: business leaders foster a strategic mindset and transformational leadership, focusing their business activities on not only meeting customer demands, but also their long-term wellbeing.
The uniqueness of the GreenQ project lies not only in the impact it creates to the development of Sino-European business relationship and sustainable development, but also the further implications it brings to the study of stakeholder collaboration for the sustainable development."

*The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is a body created by the European Union in 2008 to strengthen Europe’s ability to innovate. The EIT is an integral part of Horizon 2020, the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

Mingqi Liu (Muki) works to provide support for the international-focused projects within ECCI's Innovation Team. She currently assists with international partnership programs such as the Cross-KIC funded GreenQ programme and the Low Carbon College (LCC) partnership with Shanghai JiaoTong University.

GreenQ programme

The GreenQ Programme focuses on facilitating lasting partnerships between European high growth start-ups seeking scaling opportunities in China.