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From the Market: Engineering/ Environmental

From the Market: Engineering/ Environmental
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Earlier this year the focus of “Maglev” high speed train implementation moved from Shanghai to Chengdu.  This technology, which reduces running friction through the use of magnetism to lift the train from the track, had already produced the world’s fastest train in Shanghai.  Originating in Germany, the first commercial use of Maglev technology was in Eastern China.

The elimination of normal running friction reduces the energy consumption at speed, which is claimed to be less than that of a family car.  Through a process known as “localising” the manufacturing cost of a train is expected to be 30 per cent less than the Shanghai trains, principally due to manufacture in China by an AVIC subsidiary, the Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Group.

Rolling out Maglev technology in China has required increasing the local manufacturing content.  This, together with the technical development enabled by operating experience, has implications on the stake each partner has in the current “state of the art” intellectual property.

This process of localisation, and the implications for long term contracts and partnerships, applies equally to large and small companies.  It affects UK based SMEs offering environmental or energy saving technology.  China is in the market for such technology and, to capitalise on the opportunity, it is necessary to have an open mind about cooperating with Chinese partners.

To learn more, email jessica.zhang@cbbc.org or vince.cunningham@cbbc.og

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