China, Israel work together in technology and innovation

Representatives from more than 2,000 Chinese and Israeli companies attended the 4th China-Israel Investment Summit in Zhuhai, South China’s Guangdong province, from July 2 to 3.

In addition to road shows, there were forums on topics such as intelligent manufacturing, the digital economy, biomedicine, smart cities and intellectual property rights. A patent for neuropathy detecting method held by Tel Aviv University was auctioned for 330,000 yuan ($49,000) during the event. The deal was made via the newly launched China-Israel Technology Innovation IP Trading Platform. The platform, the first of its kind in China, is to facilitate technology transfer between the two countries. The first four patents traded on the platform were all held by Tel Aviv University.

Israel is one of China’s major trading partners in the Middle East, while China is Israel’s largest trading partner in Asia and its third largest trading partner in the world. Last year, trade volume between the two countries reached $13.12 billion, a 15.6-percent year-on-year increase. China and Israel announced an innovative comprehensive partnership in March last year. Israel’s regional cooperation minister Tzachi Hanegbi said both countries attach great importance to technological innovation.

“I hope that more Israeli companies will come to China to find partners in the future and achieve mutually beneficial, win-win development,” he said. China and Israel’s cooperation in technological innovation is highly complementary, said Zhao Dongliang, director of the Changzhou Israel Innovation Park, the first experimental zone for innovation cooperation established by the two governments.

“The basic research of industries in Israel is better, and the country emphasizes core technology research and development, while China is adept in business model innovation, so the combination of the two has promising prospects,” Zhao said. CollPlant is an Israeli regenerative medicine company that focuses on 3D bio-printing and developing tissue repair products. The product it promoted at the summit was a bio-ink made of artificial collagen from tobacco leaves for soft tissue repair. In Changzhou Israel Innovation Park, Collplant and Flon Holding Group, a Chinese company specializing in medical instruments and bio-materials, have established a joint venture to develop collagen made from plants.

At the summit, more than 140 Israeli technology companies and about 800 Chinese companies sought opportunities to cooperate through Business-to-Business (B2B) matchmaking seminars. So far, over 1,000 Chinese companies have visited or promoted projects in Israel and several hundred Israeli companies have brought their projects to China, according to Huang Yong, director of the International Cooperation Center of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Zhuhai and Israel also launched a China-Israel accelerator project just before the summit opened. With a total investment of about 2 billion yuan, the project aims to select the best of Israel’s innovation projects and industrialize them in China. Deals for 15 other major projects were also inked at the summit. “The landing of major projects such as accelerators will push forward the development of China-Israel scientific and technological innovation,” Huang said. Under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, China and Israel should promote exchanges of scientific and technological innovation and make each other’s advantages complementary, so as to benefit the people of both countries, he said.