China, UK unveil new R&D centre

10 November 2016

China and the UK yesterday signed a Heads of Terms Agreement and held an unveiling ceremony for their Joint Research and Innovation Centre (JRIC) to be opened soon in Manchester, England. The event is the latest milestone since the JRIC was first announced during former Chancellor George Osborne's visit to Beijing in September 2015.

CNNC-NNL November 2016  - 460 (CNNC)
Paul Howarth, Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Ma Kai and Qian Zhimin at the ceremony (Image: CNNC)

The latest development was announced by the UK's National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the lead organizations for the centre. Ma Kai, vice premier of China's State Council, and Lucy Neville-Rolfe, UK minister of state for energy and intellectual property at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, unveiled a plaque for the JRIC.

NNL said the JRIC aims to inspire innovation in nuclear research and development through UK-China collaboration. This will develop, it said, "leading-edge research and innovative technologies which will support safe and reliable nuclear energy around the globe".

The two sides have been identifying the key priority areas of research, and the full program of work will be finalised in due course, NNL said.

Nuclear AMRC and USNIC collaboration

The UK's Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) said today it had signed a new agreement with the US Nuclear Infrastructure Council (USNIC) to work together on research and development to support the UK's civil nuclear program. The memorandum of understanding was signed by Jay Shaw, senior business development manager for the Nuclear AMRC, and David Blee, executive director of USNIC, during a visit to the Nuclear AMRC on 26 October. Mike Tynan, chief executive officer of the Nuclear AMRC said: "Collaborating with USNIC will further develop our transatlantic relations and grow our scope for future knowledge sharing to better support the UK’s civil nuclear program."

A principles agreement on the ownership and exploitation of intellectual property, developed partly in conjunction with the UK government's Intellectual Property Office, has also been agreed.

Initial work may include developing advanced manufacturing methods that "could improve the consistency, speed and cost of modular manufacture"; and transferring innovation in virtual engineering, which has been "developed and demonstrated successfully in other industrial sectors, further into the mind-set of the nuclear landscape", NNL said.

Qian Zhimin, CNNC president, and NNL managing director Paul Howarth had yesterday "jointly introduced the research strengths of the two sides and the future development strategy of the research centre," CNNC said.

It added: "Inauguration of the research centre marks a new chapter in Sino-UK collaboration in nuclear energy, building upon past cooperation in nuclear energy investment, that will allow more cooperation in scientific research, technology, and throughout the whole nuclear industrial chain."

With NNL and CNNC each owning a 50% share, they will jointly pay for the centre's research and development expenses and plan to invest 422 million yuan ($65.1 million) over a five-year period, CNNC said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News