Why has Edinburgh partnered with the city of Shenzhen? What is the aim?
Shenzhen is a very young city with less than 40 years’ history. However, its economy has grown rapidly since it was appointed as China’s first Special Economic Zone in 1980, it is now one of China’s first tier cities alongside Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
The incubator offers free office facilities to Edinburgh-based companies that wish to explore the market in China; tailored support services to Edinburgh companies in terms of setting up and doing business in China; and a network of like-minded people and businesses to work with.Wendy Liu, Senior Economic Development Officer, City of Edinburgh Council
In a sense, Edinburgh and Shenzhen are very difference cities, but both share the same vision on developing the creative and tech sector. By co-operating, both cities can learn from each other; especially on search engines, design technology, animation, gaming software, 3D films, and entertainment programme.
The aim of this project is to support the internationalisation of local creative businesses in terms of accessing new markets and, in turn, increasing investment and employment in the city.
What will the incubator do? Who is it for and how can people apply?
The Edinburgh Creative Industries Incubator will act as a hub for Edinburgh creative and tech industries in China. The incubator offers free office facilities to Edinburgh-based companies that wish to explore the market in China; tailored support services to Edinburgh companies in terms of setting up and doing business in China; and a network of like-minded people and businesses to work with.
Once opened, there will also be a series of events in the incubator to promote some fast growing Edinburgh creative and tech companies.
Edinburgh companies that wish to set up in China can use the incubator (rent free for up to 24 months) as their main office, or companies in the market research stage can use the space as a touch-down office when visiting China. Even companies that have already set up offices in other regions in China can utilise the incubator to expand their presence in the southern China market.
All Edinburgh-based creative and tech sector companies can apply. All they need to do is to contact me to arrange a meeting to kick-start the process.
Why is China such an important market for Scotland?
I think it’s just that the size of the market is too big to be ignored. However, it’s not an easy market to get into.
Shenzhen has a vibrant tech and creative sector. It is China’s first UNESCO City of Design and hosts China’s largest Hi-tech fair.
That’s why the City of Edinburgh Council established this project, to provide as much support as we can to help Edinburgh companies to enter the market smoothly.
What excites you most about this venture?
Seeing Edinburgh companies taking up desk space in the incubator and eager to use the space is most exciting. I am also excited that the incubator will be used to showcase Edinburgh as one of the most innovative, beautiful and vibrant cities in the UK.