Sunderland Software City signs MOU to help tech firms sell in China

Sunderland Software City has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with TusPark Newcastle to explore how tech can be used to improve the way UK firms sell their products to China.


One of the main projects the two organisations will be working on is discovering how software such as artificial intelligence (AI) can be improved for use in international markets.

David Dunn, CEO of Sunderland Software City, said: “The bit I’m most interested about, and where we can do something with TusPark Newcastle, is understanding how, after Brexit, the UK and China can use digital technology. Part of that is understanding critical biases in AI.

“When you use AI there is a bias depending on who is writing it. We want to know if AI made in the UK will work as well in China.

“You imagine AI is there and it just does what it learns, but when things are programmed, we programme in biases. There is highly likely to be a male bias in most programmes as the vast majority of tech developers are male. This is something we need to explore.”

The MOU will also see the two business groups attempt to improve how intellectual property (IP) is protected in the Chinese and Asian markets. Western companies are often reluctant to sell their products in China for fear of their IP being stolen, pirated, or copied. Software City is hoping to prevent this using Blockchain technology. Mr Dunn believes Blockchain could be used to track whether a UK company’s software is being downloaded or pirated illegally.

“The other thing we are going to do is understand how to use tech to benefit tech,” said Mr Dunn, “and how we might share IP across technology in different countries.

“There is a natural resistance to selling products in China because of IP, but imagine if you could remove that by using other technology to managed software locations and IT in different markets. That could open up different export markets.”

The MOU was signed at the official opening of TusPark Newcastle. TusPark is one of the biggest science and technology park networks in the world and has more than 160 locations across the world.

TusPark Newcastle has already helped a number of UK businesses access the Chinese market through its Forge accelerator programme. Through its Newcastle office, 10 UK businesses were sent to China to network and pitch their products to local investors and manufacturers.

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