Knowledge Transfer and Innovation


We Help You Get the Best of the Chinese Market 

SINO UK LINKS’s unique expertise in Chinese market research and niche insight into China’s technological revolution has afforded the ability to successfully assist clients in establishing open innovation initiatives. In the endeavor to implement an OI initiative, We can produce an optimized research structure to understand the innovation within a particular industry in China. Our broad market oversight allows us to scout for specific innovations that can make your business more competitive and technologically up to date. Furthermore, being agile in market analysis, our service provides clients with a bespoke landscape roadmap that helps them navigate the complexity of their initiatives.

In particular, our insightful knowledge of the current market situation combined with the ability to assess an industry’s level of maturity allows us to better advise enterprises on how to position themselves in China. Working on the ground in China gives an intimate understanding of where China’s geographical networks of innovation and alliances of guanxi are located is crucial to the success of your OI endeavor.

SINO UK LINKS offers a strategic advisory for businesses at the micro level. Following initial research, we screen the industry for competition and potential startup collaborations. This process allows us to most effectively engage the traditional OI strategy of providing a touch point for business to interact with innovative ecosystems and partner with local startups. Our holistic offering affords us with a proper framework to break down the value chain and provide businesses with the ability to capture innovations they need and integrate them into their model.


     Discover Various Industries and Sectors

    Renewable Energy

    Rich natural resources, experienced energy sectors, and supportive business environment have made the UK a global center of renewable energy. There are about 1,000 innovative companies in the UK about renewable energy, and the number is growing every year. Most of the new renewable energy companies are wind energy and bio-energy. The UK is a world leader in ocean wave energy and tidal energy. In the past 10 years, the UK’s renewable energy projects and corporate investment and financing is more than 15 billion pounds. The UK is the first country in the world to carry out market-oriented reforms in the energy sector and has provided reform templates and market mechanisms for many countries. Privatization and marketization have injected new vitality into the UK energy sector and the entire social and economic development.

    British companies have their own advantages in areas such as low carbon, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, including automatic monitoring and positioning, energy efficient building and building materials, energy auditing and co-generation. The Energy Systemas Institute in Edinburgh and the New Energy and Renewable Energy Center (NaREC) in Northumberland are the leading research institutes in the renewable energy sector. Voller Energy is one of the first companies in the world to produce portable hydrogen fuel cells.

    Environmental Protection Industry

    The area in the environmental industry that UK shows strengths mainly include: clean technologies in the automotive and transportation sectors, air and water pollution treatment, low carbon and renewable energy, and thermal energy storage technologies. Transport Design International, the world’s leading transportation and engineering consultancy, has developed a zero-emission electric rail urban transport system. Leicester is the world’s leading research center in ionic liquid plating. The UK’s technologies and products in air pollution control mainly include gas scrubbers, dust collectors, incinerators and complete air pollution control equipment. In the environmental protection field of petroleum and marine industry, Briggs can provide offshore facility management for oil and gas projects and Emergency treatment service for environmental accidents. The UK’s environmental monitoring technology is advanced. The monitoring technology developed by the University of Birmingham and STS Ltd. can greatly reduce the time to discover and deal with water pollution. Severn Trent Laboratory (STL) has world leading technology in environmental monitoring.


    Due to its long and famous cultural and educational characteristics, the UK attracts a large number of international educational institutions every year to learn about British educational models through various cooperation. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Education, the UK currently has more than 600,000 international students each year. The UK has many of the world’s top universities and excellent teaching teams. Higher education institutions in England predict that income from non-EU international students will increase from £3.6 billion in the 2014-2015 school year to £4.8 billion in the 2018-2019 school year. The UK continues to attract Chinese schools and educational institutions with international educational cooperation intentions, as well as developers and partners interested in investing in international education.

    Chemical industry

    The UK is the world’s sixth largest chemical producer. There are more than 4,000 companies and more than 400,000 employees in British chemical industry. In 2012, the total annual output of British chemical industry reached 44.1 billion pounds, accounting for more than 3% of the UK’s economy. The world’s major multinational chemical companies operate and produce chemical products in the UK, and many chemical companies in the UK have reached the top levels in the world.

    In recent years, the UK chemical industry has made strategic adjustments. First, development is made towards specialization. The chemical industry has shifted from diversified development to specialized development, narrowing the scope of business, abandoning weaknesses, strengthening core industries, further strengthening its monopoly position in certain field, and gradually withdrawing from the traditional chemical fields with low added value and serious pollution. The second is to develop new technologies and high value-added industries. More investment is made in research and development. With technological innovation as the primary means of development, the renewal speed of UK chemical technology has been further accelerated. In order to meet the needs of the market and pursue profit, some chemical companies in the UK shift their core industries to fine chemicals and high-tech materials. Thirdly, the UK’s primary chemical products, bulk petrochemicals and traditional chemical products are shifting to developing countries and regions with broad markets, abundant raw materials and cheap labor. Fourthly, the UK pays great attention to the energy-saving, environmental protection and safety technologies in the chemical industry, trying to transforms into a sustainable industry.

    Automobile industry

    The UK is Europe’s most diverse and productive vehicle production and assembly center. Many automotive companies around the world are attracted by British machinery technology, excellent labor supply and a good business environment. The UK is a world leader in automotive R&D. Seven of the world’s  largest car manufacturers, eight sports car manufacturers, eight commercial vehicle manufacturers and 10 bus manufacturers all invest in the UK. In addition, there are 2,350 auto parts suppliers including 17 world-class companies. Wales is the most advanced regions in the UK’s automotive production industry and the it is also the largest supplier of spare parts. Almost all of the world’s leading auto companies have branches in the UK. At present, more than 40 well-known auto companies such as Ford, BMW, Toyota, Nissan and Honda have companies in the UK. The automotive industry chain in the UK mainly includes overall design, engine design and manufacturing, and key components production. In 2013, the UK produced 1.51 million vehicles, ranking fourth in Europe; producing 2.64 million engines, of which 77% of the vehicles and 57% of the engines were exported abroad. In the same year, the income of the British auto industry reached 5.9 billion pounds, accounting for about 3% of GDP, with more than 731,000 employee.

    Pharmaceutical Industry

    UK is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical industry centres, accounting for about one-sixth of the world market. UK, the United States and Japan are the world’s three major pharmaceutical industry R & D centers. The UK is also the world’s second largest pharmaceutical exporter. In 2009, R&D investment in the pharmaceutical sector reached 4.4 billion pounds, accounting for 28% of the total commercial research and development investment in the UK. In 2012, the UK pharmaceutical industry generated an output of 15.4 billion pounds, contributed a trade surplus of 5 billion pounds, had 68,000 direct employees, and created 250,000 jobs. Glaxo Smith Kline and Astra Zeneca are the fifth and sixth largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. In addition, foreign companies such as Pfizer and Roche have also set up companies in the UK. In March 2003, the British government passed a law on the legalization of cloning and stem cell, paving the way for the study of regenerative drugs, making regenerative drugs widely used in various fields. The UK government has established a bioscience innovation and research center to maintain its competitiveness in the biotechnology field. The UK encourages biotechnology research with preferential business tax rates and funding schemes, as well as preferential policies for small companies, ensuring that the UK maintains a leading position in biotechnology sector in the world.

    Information and communication industry

    The UK is the largest information and communication industry center in the EU with more than 8,000 companies and more than 1 million employees. In 2012, the UK’s computer and electronics manufacturing industry achieved an output value of 20.5 billion pounds, accounting for about 1.5% of GDP. The telecommunications, computer and information services industries achieved an output value of 140.7 billion pounds, accounting for about 10% of GDP. The UK is also an innovation centers of information and communication industry in the world. There are currently 20 universities in the UK engaged in advanced research in telecommunications technology and 70 universities in semiconductor research. The UK telecommunications industry can be mainly divided into five parts: fixed and private lines, mobile voice and data, Internet and broadband, enterprise data services, and the retail of mobile phones and their accessories.

    • Electronic products. The UK is an innovative center for electrical engineering, semiconductor design and optoelectronics. There is a good business environment and infrastructure for the development of electronic products. Companies such as Sony, Hitachi, Philips, and Motorola have established R&D centers in the UK. The UK was the first country to adopt a wireless LAN, and its Internet and e-commerce is also in the international leading position. 
    • Software and IT services. The UK is one of the most attractive countries to software companies, with more than 1 million people employed in computer-related industries, more than half of which are in the software and related services industries. The software developed in the UK is more than any countries in the European.

    (3) Telecommunications industry. The UK is the first country in EU to start the telecommunications market and privatize the telecommunications industry. The UK telecommunications industry is famous for its high level of development, openness and access to new technologies. The capital value of the telecommunications companies reached 117 billion pounds. In 2012, the telecommunications service industry produced about 64.1 billion pounds. The UK is the first country to offer digital TV services via satellite, cable and terrestrial broadcasting, with more than 200 space and satellite companies and the world’s largest mobile phone operator. The UK is the world’s leading network gateway, with 36% of the world’s international network lines passing through UK servers.

    Scottish Whisky

    From the Scottish Lowlands to Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, the Scotch Whisky Distillery is everywhere. The Scotch whisky industry directly provides 10,900 jobs, which does not include the jobs it brings to the relevant industries. It contributes over £5 billion to the UK economy. Scotch Whisky has become Scotland’s third largest industry. The value of the Scotch whisky industry is three times that of the digital industry or life sciences industry. The export of Scotch whisky reached a new highest point in 2017 with sales value of 4.37 billion pounds and 1.23 billion bottles of whisky were exported to all over the world.

    Additive Manufacturing

    The development of additive manufacturing technology in the UK is relatively early. The UK is the birthplace of the famous 3D printing company RepRap; on the other hand, the UK plays a host role in the competition of global 3D printing manufacturers. The UK’s R&D investment in additive manufacturing has grown from £15 million in 2012 to £30 million in 2014, mainly in industries such as enabling technology, aerospace, medical, materials, education, automotive, energy, electronics, and defense. Among them, the input of enabling technology reached 47 million pounds, accounting for 40% of the total investment. The research and development involved 245 institutions, and the number increased by 80% compared with 2012.


    As one of the most developed countries in the financial industry, the UK has excellent performance in international bank loans, foreign exchange transactions, financial derivatives services, international stock market, bond market and insurance market. London is the world’s largest international financial centre. The London market is dominated by offshore currencies as well as financial products and financial derivatives valued in offshore currencies. Therefore, even in the UK alone, UK financial institutions are able to conduct almost all offshore international business and the trading almost covers all international financial products. Edinburgh, Manchester, Cardiff, Liverpool, Leeds and Glasgow are also UK’s financial trading centres. HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays Bank are major banks in the UK. In addition, there are a number of smaller banks, housing mortgage associations and so on.


    The R&D and manufacturing levels of UK’s aerospace industry are outstanding in the world. There are about 490 companies in the UK engaged in the aerospace industry, with 115,000 employees directly working in this area and about 200,000 people are indirectly involved. The main core companies include Rolls Royce, Airbus, Bombardier, Augusta Westland and more. In 2012, the income of the civil aviation industry reached 12.4 billion pounds, accounting for 17% of the total income of the global aerospace industry. Among them, 75% of the revenues are from exports. The total value of orders delivered by UK companies before 2031 was more than 474 billion pounds. The UK is one of the countries in the world that uses the most aerospace data and technology.

    Many universities in the UK have cooperation with international airlines such as Boeing, Rolls Royce and British Space Agency etc. The main areas of the UK’s research on aerospace can be divided into industrial design, composite materials, air/fluid dynamics, satellite and geophysics, control and detection. Some examples of those universities and their specialties include: Aerodynamics research at Southampton University, Dynamics, Power Transmission, Automation Control, and Industrial Design at Bath University, Composite materials research at Imperial College, Aerospace Design at Bristol University, Aerospace Materials, Structure, and Military Aircraft from the University of Sheffield, Power Propulsion Systems at Loughborough University, Aerospace Engineering at the University of Manchester, Satellite and Navigation research at the University of Nottingham, Aerospace Engineering Management and Space Mission Analysis Design at Glasgow University.

    The UK has attracted a large amount of international investment in the aviation industry. Among them, the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturing companies, Airbus and General Electric (GE) Electric Company, settled in Wales. More than 150 aviation-related industries with more than 20,000 employees are also in Wales and forms a strong aviation industry cluster.

    New material industry

    The UK is world reputed for nanotechnology research and it has a strong network of research institutions and universities throughout the country. At present, the number of companies specializing in R&D and management of nanotechnology is on the rise, with more than 1,500 research scientists working on nanotechnology. The UK has attracted many international investors to invest in nanotechnology business applications such as Oxonica, Hitachi, Nanoco and Solexa etc. There is also strong support from the British government on the development of nanotechnology, including a £90 million six-year nanotechnology research and development program.

    Health care industry

    The health care industry is one of the most developed industrial sectors in the UK. The National Health Service (NHS) is considered a model for the world health system. The UK is one of the key partner in the development of EU health care regulations, and products produced in the UK can be sold throughout the EU. British universities and research institutions are leading the way in medical research. The health care industry in the UK mainly includes production and innovation of medical and health equipment, and health care consultation etc. In 2012, UK health care spending exceeded £140 billion, accounting for 20% of the total social spending. In response to the challenges of the aging population and a significant increase in spending, the NHS Reform Act was implemented in April 2013. The clinical commissioning group led by the GP replaced the Primary care trusts and is responsible for most of the NHS budget. At the same time, private medical institutions and charities are encouraged to participate in the NHS system.

    Life Sciences

    The UK is one of the most developed and fastest growing life science markets in the world and one of the most dynamic biotechnology industrial centers. According to the British Bio industry Association, there are 345 companies in the UK that are directly involved in the R&D and production of biological products, and 597 companies that are indirectly involved. In 2010, the biotechnology industry produced an output value of 5.5 billion pounds. The market capitalization of biotech companies based in the UK accounts for 63% of the EU’s total, and the clinical scales account for 48% of the EU. The Cambridge Sanger Institute is one of the world’s most important biotechnology research and development centers and an important base for translating genetic research into commercial use. About one-third of human genetic research projects are carried out here. The universities in Cambridge, Oxford and London form the world’s high level biotechnology research and development basement. Edinburgh is a new developed agricultural biotechnology R&D and manufacturing center with 85 agricultural biotechnology companies. In addition, the biotech industry in Kent, Yorkshire and Manchester is also very developed. The UK is also a major centre for biopharmaceuticals in the world, leading the way in the field of composite protein and DNA technology therapies. The UK biotechnology industry is one of the main areas attracting overseas investment. The UK is the most attractive country for multinational medicine and biotechnology companies. British companies have created 40% of biotech products of the Europeans publicly traded companies. At the same time, more than 45% of biopharmaceuticals entering the clinical phase in Europe are produced in the UK.

    Creative Industries

    The concept of “creative industry” was firstly proposed in the UK, and the UK was also the first country in the world to promote the development of creative industries. The contribution of creative industries to the UK’s total GDP exceeded the financial services industry. From architecture, music, computer games to movies, the creative industries have grown to become one of the most important sectors in the UK. The number of the creative companies accounted for about 6% of all UK-listed companies. The creative industries in the UK mainly include publishing, television and radio, film and video, video games, fashion design, software and computer services, design, music, advertising, architectural design, performing arts, art and antiques, and crafts etc. It is one the fastest growing industries in the economy.

    The output of the UK’s video game production ranks fourth in the world. 26 of the top 100 most profitable video games in the world are made from the UK. The UK music industry has an annual production value of about 5 billion pounds, of which 1.3 billion pounds are from export and the net export earnings are higher than the British steel industry. The British television industry has an output value of about 12 billion pounds and is famous in television production, digital television and animation. The UK leads the world in the television programming models, with program mode hours output accounting for 53% of the global market. There are more than 100 film studios in the UK, with outstanding performance in independent production, commercial blockbusters, animation, feature films and documentaries. London is the third busiest film production center in the world. British performing arts are world-renowned and the performances include theatre, solo comedy, symphony orchestra, opera, dance, carnival and circus.

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