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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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The programme will provide UK companies with a significant package of support to develop R&D partnerships with Chinese counterparts in Guangdong Province, underpinned by the opportunity to access significant grant investment. Companies enrolled will be fully supported by a team of dedicated experts and graduates in the UK and China to develop new products and services for global markets.


It will work towards this aim by improving leadership and management skills and capacity in research and development.

The university has long-established academic and local government pathways into economies abroad and will use these to support the programme’s aims.

In summary, the programme’s key activities will:

  • build leadership and the capacity to innovate that will enable international ventures among small and medium-sized enterprises
  • respond to Chinese partner technology challenges
  • develop long-term collaborative research-and-development projects between UK and Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises and Lancaster
  • engage graduate-support teams to develop technology and commercial solutions
  • broker support from UK Trade & Investment, China British Business Council, Local Enterprise Partnerships and business growth hubs
  • facilitate reciprocal visits and long-term exchanges between the UK and China for businesses, academics and graduates
  • realise new product, process and service solutions for sales in China.

Graduate support team

One of the key resources available to UK companies that are successful in progressing on the programme will be access to a graduate support team. These graduates will work with UK and Chinese partners on specific R&D and commercialisation projects. Graduates will use this project work and associated taught postgraduate provision to study for the award of an MSc in International Innovation. Graduates will be drawn from science, technology, engineering, management, and design backgrounds. Students selected onto this unique programme will receive an award of £16,000 over the duration of the programme.

Key partners

The £5.1 million Lancaster China Catalyst Programme was created by Lancaster University and is part-funded by the Higher Education Funding Council’s Catalyst Fund, the University and Lancashire County Council. Key partners in the project are the Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, UK Trade and Investment, China-Britain Business Council, and the Innovate UK.

Project information

Catalyst funding £3,583,000
Total project funding £5,123,000
 Project contact Dr Nick Burd, Lancaster China Catalyst Programme Director
Tel +44 (0) 1524 510007

Page last updated 27 October 2015

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