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BGI Promotes Cross-Border Innovation in Seattle and Shenzhen 2018 Investment Summit to Support Global Collaboration
Publish Date: 2018-08-29

SEATTLE, WA, AUGUST 28, 2018 – Global genomics leader BGI co-hosted the 2018 China (Shenzhen) – US (Seattle) Investment Promotion Summit in Seattle on Tuesday, showcasing new partners and start-up companies in its BGI Global Innovation Center.

“We are proud to help build this important bridge connecting two major centers of innovation,” said Yiwu He, senior vice president of BGI and CEO of BGI Groups USA. BGI’s gene sequencing technology is empowering partners in areas such as cancer research and nature conservation. “If we bring the best minds together to collaborate, the whole world will benefit.”

Jointly organized by Shenzhen Investment Promotion Bureau, BGI Global Innovation Center, and Silicon Valley Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (SVIEF), the event was a chance for the Seattle community to explore investment opportunities and learn about the latest technology trends from Shenzhen.

More than 200 people attended the summit, which featured presentations by visiting Shenzhen leaders, including Feimeng Zhang, deputy director of Invest Shenzhen; Jinping Zuo, deputy district mayor of Luohu, Shenzhen; and Jing Dai, chief representative and managing director of the North American Representative Office of Shenzhen. Lin Fu, Commercial Consul from the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in San Francisco, also spoke at the event, along with executives from Boeing and Amazon.

“Seattle is similar to Shenzhen, in a sense that both of the cities are fast-growing and attract many young professionals,” said Zhang, of Invest Shenzhen. “With resources in aerospace, information technology, cultural creativities, and life sciences, the collaboration between Shenzhen and Seattle is full of imagination and unlimited possibilities.”

Brian Bonlender, director of Washington State Department of Commerce welcomed the audience on behalf of Governor Jay Inslee.

“When it comes to trade, both sides can win,” he said. “Like Seattle, Shenzhen has proven that international engagement is good for everyone. The collaboration that goes hand in hand with engagement fosters the growth of ideas that boost our economies and make the world a better place.”

Marilyn Strickland, president and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, gave the keynote speech.

“Washington State and China have a deep and abiding friendship,” she said. “Seattle and Shenzhen have a deep and abiding friendship. We need each other, we innovate with each other, and in many ways we can lead the world to demonstrate what unity can look like and feel like when countries decide to work together.”

Dr. Yiwu He described BGI’s growing Seattle operations. In 2017, BGI launched the BGI Global Innovation Center to support genomics technology development and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and capital between Shenzhen and North America. Co-located between Seattle and San Jose, the Center develops partnerships with startup companies in the biotech and health space for incubation, sequencing services, potential investment, and licensing.

BGI Global Innovation Center is one of the first overseas innovation centers endorsed by Shenzhen and it also hosts the Seattle branch of the Federation of Shenzhen Commerce. BGI now has two portfolio companies in the Seattle-based incubator: EpiThany, a clinical stage biotech company developing novel vaccine immunotherapies for cancer, and Omic, a cloud-based bioinformatics and data management platform accelerating precision medicine.

In line with its mission to build a global collaboration platform and promote cross-sector collaboration, the BGI recently welcomed a new Shenzhen company, Kingdee International Software Group, into its Global Innovation Center in Seattle. Founded in 1993 and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Kingdee has provided enterprise management software solutions and cloud services to more than 6.8 million enterprises and organizations. Through its new Seattle R&D Center, Kingdee is committed to developing cutting-edge technology and helping the company to unlock its potential and to improve its efficiency.

The BGI Global Innovation Center is currently recruiting additional portfolio companies for its Seattle and San Jose locations. For information contact:

Kristi Heim, BGI Deputy Director of Communications