Innovation show links innovators, investors
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Innovation show links innovators, investors
DateandTime: 2016-05-01 13:29:12

In a room set up for entrepreneurs to present their innovations, one PowerPoint grabbed the judges' attention. It showed a desk-mounted robotic arm performing tasks with high accuracy after receiving commands by human voice and gestures.

After being ordered to write the Chinese character for "dragon", the mechanical arm took up a brush and completed the calligraphy in minutes.

That presentation was part of the final road show of the Sino-US Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition co-hosted this month by Shandong University and the Qingdao city government at the Sino-US Technology and Innovation Park in Qingdao, Shandong province. It was designed to introduce innovative projects to Chinese investors.

Ninety-six teams, including 16 from universities and research institutions in the United States, participated in the final event.

Four Chinese teams won first prizes; 10 teams, including three from the US won second prizes; and 12 teams including three from the US won third prizes. The winning teams are to be supported by the park with offices, preferential policies and up to 500,000 yuan ($78,000) to begin their projects there.

Liu Peichao, team lead of the Shenzhen-based DoBot, said it was the first time he had joined an innovation and entrepreneurship road show in China.

"In the US, there are many road shows on innovation at which innovators have a chance to find an investor," he said.

Sam Katz from Yale University said he hopes to make connections with Chinese investors.

"It will be a wonderful opportunity for us to be able to set up collaboration on both sides and work on the technology in both places," Katz said.

"We expect to build a solid foundation of cooperation with the technology transfer centers of many leading US universities and research institutes," said Zhang Rong, head of Shandong University.

The Chicago Innovation Exchange at the University of Chicago brought four teams to compete in the final event, and two of them won prizes.

John Flavin, the executive director, said Chinese investors tend to focus on technologies that take more time or money to develop.

"It's not always available in traditional seed capital sources, so foreign investors can be a source of that type of investment," Flavin was quoted as saying by the Chicago Tribune.

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