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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Sino-UK Centre for Sustainability Innovation

Who we are

The Sino-UK Centre for Sustainability Innovation, founded by CISL, aims to drive understanding of how sustainability innovation can be enhanced. Established in 2021, it seeks to accelerate the transformation of business practices and solutions to decarbonise our economy, restore nature and create inclusive societies. The Sino-UK Centre is a core part of CISL’s Canopy, which is a community of impact-led startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses accelerating solutions to global sustainability challenges.


What we do

Through bi- and multilateral dialogue, cross-border joint research, and support for sustainability focused  start-ups, the Sino-UK centre promotes productive engagement with China, preserving academic values and integrity. It draws on expertise from across CISL’s wider ecosystem to foster informed and positive collaboration with Chinese stakeholders. For example, we produce joint research with leading Chinese academics, promote innovation in CISL’s education programs for Chinese leaders and convene China and innovation experts to provide nuanced insight. 



The Sino-UK Centre fosters sustainability research between international collaborators. It has been awarded the ‘Cambridge – Tsinghua’ joint research grants focussing on the circular economy (Innovation for Sustainability, The driving force of circular economy start-ups), while the Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship has funded insights into China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

A full report of the Sino-UK Centre's 2021-22 successes can be requested here.



CISL’s Canopy is a community of impact-led startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses accelerating solutions to global sustainability challenges. The Sino-UK Centre has sustained engagement with UK-Chinese innovation hubs even while its borders were closed, collaborating with major Chinese science parks that have a presence in the UK/Cambridge. 



The Sino-UK Centre brings together major stakeholders and thought leaders through events, such as the China’s EnviroTech Landscape: Panel Discussion & Meet the Innovators and presenting our own research at global climate forums including the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26, COP27), as well as United Nations Biodiversity Conference of the Parties (COP15).  



Opportunities for collaboration

We wish to forge new collaborations between Western and Chinese innovators that drive systemic change and address global challenges. We also aim to promote productive dialogue and understanding between China and the West in the field of sustainability innovation. If you would like to find out more, do not hesitate to contact us.