Specialist distributor backs crucial business research


New research led by the University of Leeds and funded by specialist distributor Smiths News PLC will give businesses fresh insights into global trade.

International business is central to Britain’s future prosperity; for many companies, trading with China could be crucial to their success.

The support of Smiths News PLC has enabled the three-year appointment of Professor Xiaobo Wu as Visiting Chair in Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Leeds. The funding will help the University engage in a collaboration in both research and student learning which will enhance our understanding of China and its development – and of how UK businesses can maximise their returns in international trade.

Professor Wu, who joins Leeds from the prestigious School of Management at Zhejiang University, has extensive research expertise in global manufacturing, competitive strategy – and the management of technical innovations in modern business.

His work at Leeds will focus on three key areas:

  • How new ideas are effectively  commercialised – putting innovation and entrepreneurship at the heart of economic success;
  • How innovations in products, services and processes become established and the extent to which local cultures impinge on their success or failure;
  • How inward and outward overseas investments affect these innovation and commercialisation processes.

Professor Wu has previously held Visiting Professorships at both Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is very well connected in China’s business networks. He has published more than 100 academic papers and seven books in related areas of research.

Richard Thorpe, Pro-Dean for Research and Innovation at Leeds University Business School, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome Professor Wu to Leeds. A clearer understanding of how to do business with China is critical to economic recovery, and Professor Wu can make a major contribution to this work. We are very grateful to Smiths News plc for their support for this post.”

Max Livingstone-Learmonth, Head of Corporate Development at Smiths News PLC said: “Working with the University of Leeds will give us access to additional expertise and knowledge for our growth aspirations in China. The insight will help us target the investments required for our international growth strategy.”

Further information:

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk

Contact Rebecca Hedges, Smiths News PLC. Tel: 01793 563927, email: Rebecca.Hedges@smithsnews.co.uk