Agrifood research and innovation going global

Speakers from across the World at the conference

AREC Director Professor Lenny Koh delivered a keynote speech 'Agrifood System: Now and the Future" at the 3rd International Agriculture Innovation Conference (IAIC 2018) in Beijing, China.

This conference is sponsored by Zhongnong Futong and China Agricultural University. Speakers from across the world exchanged the latest knowledge, research findings and innovation related to agritech, agriculture and food chain. A tour at Zhongnong Futong and a visit to the China agritech innovation park also took place.

Some prominent discussions included agriculture 4.0, smart agriculture, and agriculture policy.

AREC UK - China deepened their partnership with China

Led by AREC Director Professor Lenny Koh and Ken Pan (DRTT Director of international collaboration, Director of AREC China Hub), AREC UK-China deepened their partnership with China through strategic collaborative frameworks with leading organisations in China including DRTT, CCIEE, BRCCC, Zhongguancun (China’s Silicon Valley) Z-Park, BeijingETown Science and Technology Industry New Zone, AnyTrust/CIFS, East Mind, Supoin, China Transinfo, China BOE, Tellhow Intelligent Engineering and Smart City, Sinoiov and CZK.

Through this partnership and collaborative frameworks, win-win global co-operations, strategies and programmes on prioritised areas of AREC research and China policy and industry impact form the successful outcomes. In particular, the mutual areas of interests include 5G, big data, industrial internet, AI, blockchain, IoT, intelligent supply chain, supply chain finance, industrial revolution, new materials and advanced manufacturing, robotics and autonomy, agrifood, transport and logistics, sustainable energy system, environmental science and sustainability etc. The major policies influenced include Belt and Road Initiative, Made in China 2025, and China 13th five-year plan. This sets the Sino-British strategic platform for several key areas of collaborations identified which include partners from around the World; and have already delivered major global significant impact on policy, industry and society.

Some of the highlights and examples from the visits, meetings/workshops in China by Professor Lenny Koh, Ken Pan and all partners are summarised below:

Belt and Road Capacity Cooperation Centre – Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

Under the strategic cooperative frameworks between AREC UK-China and BRCCC, visit, workshop and meeting at BRCCC, Zhongguancun (China’s Silion Valley) Z-Park, and Zhongguancun Haixing OBOR took place in Haidian District, Beijing, China.

Mutual interests, insights and win-win plans and strategies were discussed and agreed. Deputy Secretary General Dr Xin Meng introduced BRCCC and BRI work, Director Jianghe Zhao introduced Zhongguancun (China’s Silion Valley) Z-Park and Zhongguancun Haixing OBOR, CEO of AnyTrust/CIFS Mr Yang provided an industrial view.

Professor Lenny Koh and Ken Pan introduced AREC and shared the major research portfolio relevant to China and BRI. CCIEE (Mr Chen and Angela Lu), DRTT (Ken Pan) and AREC (Lenny Koh and Ken Pan) captured the strategic impact relevant to key policy from AREC research including scale up, international strategies and cooperation plan with key stakeholders involved.

This involved CCIEE, DRTT, AREC, BRCCC, CZK, AnyTrust, Zhongguancun (China’s Silion Valley) Z-Park, and Zhongguancun Haixing OBOR.

BRI is a major (USD 900bn) infrastructural and international cooperation initiative that boost economic, social and environmental development for the benefit of everyone.

The global economy needs fuelling of sustainable resources to underpin sustainable growth that connect partners in global network and supply chain. BRI success informed by AREC research in partnership with key organisations and stakeholders have resulted in major global impact.

For instance, the 40 years reform in China (NDRC) has witnessed tremendous growth, development and change towards a new China. The new China today is opened to the World and welcome international cooperation and partnership. From sustainability viewpoint, this fits intellectually to the theoretical framework of a truly resource efficient system and model championed by AREC.

Supoin – Intelligent supply chain

With Mr Gang Wang of Supoin (HQ in Shenzhen), the focus is on IoT, 5G, big data, mobile intelligent terminals technology, scanners technology, digital twin for garment industry, medical industry, retailing, logistics, manufacturing, finance, tobacco, book and food, as well as public affair initiated by government and other sectors.

This includes both hardware and software. Working with Supoin, major industry impact on new type of intelligent supply chain and new model informed by AREC research including its SCEnAT suites platform took the product and service innovation and market of Supoin to the next level. This involved Supoin, AREC and DRTT.

East Mind – Agrifood, rural development and poverty alleviation

With East Mind’s CEO Jungang Zhang, the focus is on platform for agricultural and technology innovation, intelligent agriculture research and consulting, training and development, “Belt and Road” agriculture.

Informed by AREC’s research, the sheep supply chain in Inner Mongolia has been transformed by digital platform empowering farmers to access resources e.g. feed, vaccine for livestock and credit, like never before.

Such platform has led to significant social impact and it is an excellent example of an inclusive and sustainable supply chain which have directly addressed the poverty of this community in the rural areas in China. This is a key part of the 13th five-year plan. This involved AREC, DRTT and East Mind.

Tellhow Intelligent Engineering and Smart City – Energy, sustainable and smart system for Future City

A visit to and meeting/workshop at Tellhow Intelligent Engineering and Smart City have opened eyes to some of the major sustainability research implementation in  China. This ranges from renewable energy technology and system including solar PV to ways to power an energy-efficient and low carbon smart city.

AREC’s research related to this domain has strong resonance, especially the SCEnAT suites platform adoption for city scale performance as well as how the overall system interconnects design, planning, technology, use and assessment. This involved Tellhow Intelligent Engineering and Smart City, DRTT and AREC.

 BeijingETown – Science and Technology Industry Park

A visit to and meeting/workshop at BeijingETown, a prominent Science and Technology Industry Park in Beijing, near the upcoming new airport in Beijing (the World largest) witnessed the research link and global impact from AREC on Made in China 2025 policy and the fantastic innovation in China that drive supply chains and city transformation towards a resource efficient system.

The innovation in biotech and healthcare, aerospace/aviation, transport and logistics, automotive, new energy and battery, robotics, semiconductor, advanced materials and manufacturing and so on with strong research base attracted international investment and industry leaders such as Mercedes, Bayer, Honeywell, Shell, IBM, Microsoft, Toshiba, Coca-Cola, DHL, Corning etc., and along with China own industry leaders working in a harmonious system in delivering the major win-win success.

This involved BeijingETown, DRTT and AREC.

China BOE – Advanced materials and manufacturing

A visit to and meeting/workshop at Best on Earth (BOE), China largest screen manufacturer and OLED producer is truly inspirational.

Their glass, screen, OLED materials and technology are used in many of the World well known TVs, mobile devices, PV panels, computers, phones, wearable and flexible digital displays. Their advanced materials not only have permeated into the global industry and supply chain, but with 8678 patents in 2017 demonstrating the central role of research and innovation in BOE's DNA.

Their manufacturing processes are fully automated and robotised. AREC's research and model impacted on some of the sustainable and life cycle thinking in their systems, created major achievements and improvements. This involved DRTT, BOE and AREC.

China Transinfo – Advanced digitalisation, smart transport and big data

A visit to and meeting/workshop at China TransInfo Technology Corp. also demonstrated the link and impact of AREC research and model (e.g. SCEnAT suites platform) that shaped some of the concepts. Transinfo provides intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and related technology solutions for the transportation industry and key organisations (multi-modal) in China.

Transinfo develops various applications in transportation, digital city, and land and resource filling systems based on geographic information systems (GIS) technologies. Its ITS include transportation planning information system, electronic toll collection, traffic information integration and exchange platform, traffic emergency command centre, intelligent traffic management platform and intelligent parking system.

AI and big data through GIS and satellites support advanced analytics which have led to major efficiency improvement across the system at national and international scales. This involved CCIEE, DRTT, Sinoiov, Transinfo and AREC

DRTT’s new office, AREC China hub co-location

Our strategic partner DRTT has a new office in the Beijing Science Park, China, where AREC China hub is co-located within it.

The first-class facility includes office space, meeting rooms, conference facility, seminar rooms, executive rooms, open space for networking etc. Researchers and partners will be able to use this outstanding facility.

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