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On Thursday 10 September, Cambridge Design Partnership welcomed a delegation from Shanghai, China, which comprised 25 senior business figures from a number of high profile companies such as the Bank of Shanghai and the Shanghai Science & Technology Investment Group.

The Cambridge Advanced Management Seminar is a programme for executives and EMBA graduates keen to explore aspects of international business and strategy, including the latest thinking and practices involving the management of innovation, entrepreneurship and alternative business finance. As part of the week-long seminar programme, which explored matters such as free trade zones and investment - the group toured Cambridge Science Park, home to over 65 established technology companies and start-ups, before visiting some of Cambridge’s most innovative companies.

Cambridge Design Partnership was an ideal choice for the seminar group to visit, as the company’s research & innovation strategy team has recently been active in China, carrying out immersive qualitative consumer research for clients targeting internal and global markets. With extensive links to manufacturers and suppliers in the country, CDP’s engineers also regularly travel to engage with partner companies to undertake supplier identification and quality audit, tooling trial support, and manufacturing assessment for key products it has developed.

The delegation were shown around Cambridge Design Partnership’s state-of-the-art research and development facilities, which feature purpose-built laboratories, a user research viewing facility and rapid prototyping suite. The group discussed the company’s full service, end-to-end approach to innovation and were given a detailed showcase of CDP’s approach to front end innovation, consumer research, industrial design, prototyping and manufacture.

The visit was organised by Alan Barrell, the Entrepreneur in Residence at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Mr Barrell is advisor to the Chinese Government and a member of UEC Culture Links, a Shanghai company based in London that organises educational, cultural and business visits for Chinese groups.

Speaking about the trip, Mr Barrell said: “This visit is an excellent opportunity both for education and bridge building between the UK and China. Maintaining these relationships and fostering closer links between our two countries will help to ensure both nations can benefit from our shared passion for innovation and technology.

Matt Schumann, founding partner, Cambridge Design Partnership added, “We were delighted to welcome the visiting seminar group from Shanghai and enjoyed an active discussion about innovation. Cambridge is widely recognised as the UK’s largest hub for innovation and was therefore the perfect setting to host the delegates and explore how China and the UK can collaborate more closely and forge stronger ties in the technology sectors.”

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