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Brussels Workshop Explores Challenges and Opportunities in the 4th Industrial Revolution

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On July 12, the CEIBS Insights 2019 Europe Forum series made its latest stop in Brussels for a special roundtable workshop on the theme of The 4th Industrial Revolution: Opportunities and Challenges for Europe and China. The event, co-hosted by European economic think tank Bruegel, brought together nearly 100 representatives from CEIBS, the European Commission, the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union, and the EFMD, among others, for discussions exploring how China and Europe can balance policy and market forces to achieve sustainable technological innovation, how SMEs in both regions can leverage opportunities to expand into overseas markets, and how both sides can work together to improve bilateral cooperation.

Charge d’Affaires ad interim for the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union Wang Hongjian, a representative of the Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Ms. Elzbieta Bienkowskaand European Commission Deputy Director-General for Implementation, Impact & Sustainable Investment Strategies Mr. Patrick Child delivered keynote speeches at the event.

As CEIBS President and Professor of Management Li Mingjun noted in his welcome address, 2019 is a critical year for the Europe 2020 Strategy, and technological innovation is now crucial for sustaining Europe’s economic growth. As Chinafurther opens its doors to the outside world, he added, EU countries will discover new opportunities to take innovative technology from the lab to the market. “We look forward to establishing a foundation for communication with this forum,” Prof. Li said. “And to building a lasting and stable platform for the integration of innovation resources between China and the EU.”

Bruegel Director Dr. Guntram B. Wolff also welcomed participants to the event with a speech in which he noted the need to reflect together on current opportunities and challenges. He further added that the topic of the forum is important because “[it stands at] the intersection of new digital technologies, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, on the one hand, and industrial processes, on the other hand, and manufacturing processes. This interlinkage is at the core of the business model certainly of several economies in the EU, but also as the core of significant parts of the Chinese economy.”

Charge d’Affaires ad interim for the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union Wang Hongjian then offered a keynote speech on Innovation Cooperation Offers New Highlights in China-Europe Cooperation. In his speech, Mr. Wang emphasised that China and the EU should be more open and inclusive in their cooperation on innovation, should further align their innovation policies to achieve mutual benefits and should work to make long-term strategic plans. “Looking ahead, China and the EU are faced with shared challenges which will reshape the future of humankind, such as climate change, the new technology revolution, resources and environment challenges,” he stated. “China and the EU, as two major players, are duty-bound to join forces with a mind-set of reform and innovation, and to make a greater contribution to world peace, development and prosperity.”

CEIBS Distinguished Professor, Former World Trade Organisation Director-General and Notre Europe Honorary President Pascal Lamy continued with the next keynote speech of the event, in which he discussed the topic of Sino-EU Cooperation Under the New International Economic Order. In his speech, Prof. Lamy emphasised the point that, despite current challenges and uncertainties, there remains ample space for China and the EU to work together in areas of research and innovation. “We have a series of areas where we are already [involved in a lot of] cooperation, [including] food, agriculture, biotech, the environment and health,” he said. “So there are many reasons to move forward and enhance or foster and increase cooperation – many of them domestic and many global. This is how we should look at this picture.”

Bruegel Deputy Director Dr. Maria Demertzis moderated the first session of the day on the topic of Research and Innovation: Competition or Cooperation in the EU-China Context? Shanghai Institutes for International Studies President Chen Dongxiao, CEIBS Vice President and Dean Ding Yuan, and Bruegel Senior Fellow Prof. Reinhilde Veugelers participated in the panel discussion, in which they took an in-depth look at how “co-opetition” (or co-operative competition) in the development of new technologies is acting as a driving force for the 4th Industrial Revolution and how complementary priorities and strategies represent bright prospects for EU-China cooperation.

Following the luncheon, EFMD CEO and Director General Eric Cornuel traced the history of CEIBS to Brussels as “the Heart of Europe” and reviewed some of its world-renowned achievements in academic innovation over the past 25 years. “There is no doubt that innovation is a catalyst for growth built on the foundation of creative drive, co-operation and openness,” Prof. Cornuel said, adding later that, “China and Europe more than ever should get closer and create a favourable environment for innovation, growth and mutual understanding. No doubt CEIBS is an instrument of this co-operation.”

CEIBS Associate Dean (Research) and Professor of Economics and Finance Xu Bin then delivered a keynote speech on China’s Innovation Potential and Its Global Implication. In his speech, Prof. Xu noted that China’s investment in innovation has led to situation in which “it is inevitable that advanced countries will have direct competition with China.” At the same time, he said that the country’s development has resulted in increased demand for services imported to China and that companies seeking to maintain a competitive advantage “should make more effort to specialise in variety, in quality, and in brand.”

CEIBS Board of Directors Co-chairman and EFMD Honorary Chairman Dr. Gerard Van Schaik moderated the second session of the day, in which he invited participants to join a discussion on the theme of Industrial Approaches in Innovation Cooperation Between China and EU. Panellists featured China-EU Association President Luigi Gambardella; WINNER Technology Co., Inc. President and CEO Mr. Zhang Hongjun (CEIBS EMBA 2013); and DFKI Robotics Innovation Center Bremen Director Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Frank Kirchner. During the course of the discussion, participants shared their views on key drivers, incentives and best practices for innovation, and offered suggestions on how China and the EU can work both independently and collaboratively to foster innovation in the future.

Today’s event was co-organised by CEIBS and Bruegel, with support from the EU-China Business Association, the EFMD, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies and the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union, as is part of the CEIBS Insights 2019 Europe Forum series. The Europe Forum Series coincides with the on-going CEIBS 25th Anniversary Celebration and will wrap up in October with events in both Paris and London. For more details about these and other upcoming CEIBS events, please visit our events page here.

 

SOURCE China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

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SIGEF Brings Inclusion to Davos and a Supportive Vision for a Smarter Future for the World

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SIGEF by Horyou: 22nd of January at Kirchner Museum in Davos

 

Sharing the same concerns and goals with the leaders of the global economy who will be gathering in Davos to pave the way “for a Cohesive and Sustainable World,” SIGEF by Horyou has opted to showcase its own commitment to sustainability through the organization of a side-event to offer a complementary and supportive inclusive vision for a better world.

Building on its “Together Shaping a Smarter Future” theme, SIGEF will add social innovation and global ethics to the Davos gathering. The event will take place on the morning of the 22nd of January at the Kirchner Museum. It will kick off with a networking breakfast. Four panels will make the program of the event. They will tackle some of the most challenging issues that the global economy is faced with.

Disruptive Technologies, the Future of Finance, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Women Empowerment are the topics to be debated. “SIGEF has always been tackling the most important global issues and we are thrilled to initiate high-level discussions around them before Davos’ qualified audience. In the wake of this new technological age, we aim to contribute to the building of a smarter future for the world as we are bringing together, in their diversity, some of the actors who are leading the positive changes we want to see,” says Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, organizer of SIGEF.

Some of the confirmed SIGEF Speakers include: Ms Karen Wilson, OECD Strategic Partnerships, Ms Katja Iversen, President of Women Deliver, Mr Charles Bendotti, Senior Vice President People & Culture Philip Morris International, Mr Jérôme Perez, Global Head of Sustainability Nespresso, Ms Ann Cairns, Executive Vice Chairman Mastercard, Ms Christine Spite, Tech entrepreneur and WWF Advisor, Dr. Nikolaus S. Lang, Managing Director and Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group, Mr Xiaochen Zhang, President of FinTech4Good, Mr Adi Mimran, Venture Partner Cyrus AI, Dr Tomabechi, Innovator and Tech entrepreneur, Ms Vera Futorjanski, Innovation Expert and Advisor, Mr Vincent Subilia, Director General, Geneva Chamber of Commerce & Member of the Geneva Parliament, Anna Kletsidou, Head of Social Sustainability & Human Rights at Philip Morris International.

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Outlook for Canada’s venture capital market remains robust: KPMG in Canada

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Photo source: goingconcern.com

 

Canada’s venture capital (VC) market crossed the US$1-billion threshold in the fourth quarter for the second time in a row to finish 2019 at an all-time record of US$4.6 billion, according to KPMG Private Enterprise’s quarterly Venture Pulse report, a global analysis of venture funding.

“It is really a testament to the growing maturity of Canada’s venture capital ecosystem,” says Sunil Mistry, partner, KPMG in Canada. “The tech ecosystem in Canada is now more independent and self-sustaining than ever before. I don’t anticipate deal activity slowing down anytime soon.”

Canadian VC investment totalled US$1.17 billion in the fourth quarter, up 30 per cent from the year-earlier period and down 34 per cent from a record high of US$1.77 billion in the third quarter. The number of closed deals were lower at 109, compared to 151 in the previous quarter, but were bigger in size.

The fourth quarter was powered by sizeable deals from 1Password, a Toronto-based password manager, Coveo, a Quebec City-based artificial intelligence startup, and Nuvei, a Montreal-based payment processing company.

“The Coveo funding round highlights the strength of Canada’s AI innovation ecosystem, which has spread well beyond its traditional innovation hubs of TorontoVancouverMontreal, and Waterloo,” says Mr. Mistry. “At a sector level, fintech continues to be a dominant area of interest for investors – both from an investment perspective and from an M&A perspective – in part due to the strength of Canada’s banking and financial services sectors.”

Family offices continue to play a key role in Canada’s VC market, particularly in early-stage deals between US$1 million and US$5 million, he says.

Despite global economic headwinds, trade disputes, and potential uncertainty from this year’s U.S. Presidential election, the outlook for VC investment remains positive. “I don’t see much changing going into at least the first half of this year,” says Mr. Mistry. “A lot of funds already have their next fund monetized. They need to spend the money, and they’re looking to stay away from any volatility in the public markets.”

The U.S. remains the epicenter of VC activity, accounting for more than half of global VC investment in 2019, the report says. As 2020 unfolds, deal activity is expected to remain relatively steady, with areas like artificial intelligence, biotech, and fintech remaining very hot. According to the report, private valuations in the U.S. remain near-unprecedented highs, similar to if not eclipsing those seen during the dot-com era, driven in part by availability of capital.

While there are no signs of activity slowing, U.S. investors are becoming more discerning about where they put their money after mixed results from last year’s debuts of newly public companies. “We’re already starting to see investors pay a lot more scrutiny on the unit economics and business models,” says Mr. Mistry.

Unlike in the U.S., valuations in Canada continue to be competitively priced, which is helping to attract U.S. investment and fuelled later-stage funding. “Investors will keep investing where the economic climate makes the most sense, where the deal sizes are more reasonable, and where the venture ecosystem is reliable, and Canada checks off all of those boxes,” says Mr. Mistry.

 

SOURCE KPMG LLP

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ID Ventures Partners with Google Developers Launchpad to Accelerate Michigan’s Tech Startups

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ID Ventures, the venture team of Invest Detroit, announced today that it has been selected by Google Developers Launchpad to be its first continental U.S. partner in providing scaling resources to local and statewide startups.

Operating a global acceleration network across Latin AmericaAfricaEuropeAsia and Puerto Rico, Google Developers Launchpad will work in conjunction with ID Ventures, Michigan’s most active seed-stage investment team, to leverage talent, programming and services for economic growth.

The ID Ventures Powered by Google Developers Launchpad initiative will provide an opportunity for Michigan startups to access Google’s global network, insights from the company’s Silicon Valley-based startup programs, and 20 years’ worth of Google research and best practice insights on building businesses, products and teams at massive scale. ID Ventures was chosen because of Michigan’s robust startup ecosystem in which the team is firmly rooted, providing capital, programs, mentorship opportunities and support to early-stage startups in Detroit and across the state.

“This is truly a win for our local startup community,” said Patti Glaza, managing director of ID Ventures and executive vice president of Invest Detroit. “The partnership will give access to industry experts, startup training and needed services that will help our companies scale and successfully exit, moving us even closer to our vision of making Michigan a startup and technology hub for the Midwest.”

Markets outside of Silicon Valley are increasingly impacting the global startup and technology ecosystem. Though it is easier than ever to start a company, access to success methodologies, expert mentors, and ecosystem best practices for building companies remain unevenly distributed. As Google is a thought leader in building and scaling products and businesses using the most advanced technologies, this partnership and its resources will help ID Ventures’ portfolio companies, which includes some of the fastest-growing companies in Michigan, and other startups in the community scale exponentially.

Google Developers Launchpad focuses on developing companies and their ecosystems over the long term.

“Google is thrilled to expand our partnership with ID Ventures and its exceptional startup portfolio” said Kevin O’Toole, Google’s Head of International Growth for Launchpad. “The Powered by Google Developers Launchpad program is about empowering startup communities around the world and helping them leverage each other for insights and resource sharing. We are thrilled to expand this program into Detroit and the state of Michigan.”

 

SOURCE ID Ventures

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