esearch Triangle Park-based Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences and the XY Group International of China have signed a memorandum of understanding that will focus on advancing biomedical innovation and technology collaborations, facilitating international business development and creating training and education opportunities.
The agreement, signed during a Trade and Investment Seminar in Durham, N.C., on Jan. 18, and coordinated as part of Chinese President Hu Jintao's delegation's visit to the U.S., follows the Sino-U.S. Global Integrated Biosciences Partnership launched in May 2010. North Carolina officials say the partnership continues the relationship between the state, China, The Hamner Institutes and XY Group International and will create a global biosciences gateway that will serve as a prototype for China/U.S. economic development partnerships.
"If North Carolina is going to not just compete but thrive in a 21st century economy, we must build on relationships around the globe that will provide mutual benefit to both sides," said N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue.
Included in the agreement are plans for a 150,000-sq.-ft. (13,935-sq.-m.) research facility to open in 2013 at the Hamner campus in Research Triangle Park. The Hamner Institutes, working with academic and science park development collaborators, has developed a campus master plan for a 1-million-sq.-ft. (92,900-sq.-m.) global translational biosciences research, technology and business development cluster housed on its 56-acre (23-hectare) site in RTP. The Biosciences Partnership formed between The Hamner Institutes and XY Group International will locate its U.S. operations on the RTP campus.
"This is a very important opportunity for both North Carolina and China," said Dr. William Greenlee, president and CEO of The Hamner Institutes. "Forging a science and technology development partnership in human health and life sciences research and education plays to the great strengths of North Carolina and its outstanding public and private universities."
XY Group is one of China's most successful private enterprise groups dealing in international investment and trading. In recent years, the group has established dozens of branches and offices around the world. Its main businesses include international investment, import and export of railroad equipment and security inspection equipment.
"China has made great advances in innovation and technology in the past two decades and is now launching its 12th national 5-year strategic plan that will focus on life sciences and new energy technologies," said Dr. Yang Yunsong, president and CEO of XY Group International. "We see a unique opportunity to advance the economic goals of both China and the United States in our partnership with The Hamner Institutes and North Carolina."
The agreement further strengthens Hamner's connection to China, which includes a 2009 agreement with China Medical City to create the Hamner-China Medical City Institute for International Drug Development.
Another North Carolina-China connection involves Longistics, a Raleigh-based logistics firm that specializes in pharmaceuticals. The
company has announced plans to offer business development opportunities for exhibitors at Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) by establishing the SIP International Commodities Exhibition Center, set to open March 1. The center will generate opportunities that accelerate the export of products from North Carolina and U.S.-based companies to China. Current plans call for Longistics to add 50 companies at the center within the first year of operations, and 500 companies by five years.
The SIP International Commodities Exhibition Center will allow small- and medium-sized businesses an easy and cost-effective way to gain access to China, the third largest market for American exports after Canada and Mexico. Exhibitors at the center will be able to display products in bonded, secure areas and benefit from regular events held at local, national and international levels to bring potential buyers to the center, as well as to two N.C. Foreign Trade Zones operated by Longistics — FTZ 214, located in the Global TransPark near Kinston, N.C., and FTZ 93, located in Research Triangle Park adjacent to Raleigh-Durham International Airport.