The US China Innovation and Investment Summit (UCIS) is not only helping US companies to find investment from China, but also attracting Chinese companies to Houston, as evidenced by Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute's decision to create the China-US Bio-Tech Innovation Center (CUBIC) in the heart of Texas Medical Center.
Liu Qing, president of Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute, participated in the summit for the third year in early May.
"A very important function of our institute is to connect Jiangsu with global innovations. As a major GDP contributor, Jiangsu need to focus on technology to push its economic development to a higher level," Liu said.
Liu said that innovation resources are concentrated in the US and Europe, and his institute has set up representative offices in eight major cities such as Boston, San Francisco, Houston, London and Toronto. It also has partnered with more than 30 top universities around the world.
Liu's going to Houston for the summit opened his eyes to what the city has to offer in healthcare. He discovered that the Texas Medical Center has gathered the largest group of medical researchers in the world. The idea to open a center focusing on healthcare began to form.
The institute already has gained experience by setting up an innovation center in Copenhagen about two years ago.
"There are about 30 companies who settled in our Copenhagen center. About 20 of them are European companies interested in going to China. One third are Chinese companies seeking European technology and cooperation opportunities," Liu said.
Unlike the Copenhagen center, CUBIC will focus exclusively on biotech and healthcare. Jiangsu is strong in healthcare and needs more innovation in the important field, Liu said.
CUBIC is scheduled to open in the next few months.
"We have done a lot of research on available resources in Houston and what China wants, and we find the need for a platform functioning as a bridge to connect resources from both sides is strong," Liu said.
The CUBIC will occupy a space of 150,000 square feet in the midst of Texas Medical Center and provide space for US companies seeking opportunities in China as well as for Chinese companies looking for markets, R&D cooperation or technology in the US.
"We also plan to provide some funds – about $3 million to $4 million a year to begin with to support innovative projects undertaken by American companies or university professors," Liu said.
CUBIC will be a joint effort between the city of Suzhou and Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute with support from the city of Houston.
"We want CUBIC to become a window to China for Houston, Texas and the states in the Southern US and to help American innovators to know China and find their way there," Liu said.