The first stage of the project involving the drinks colossus, which last year achieved sales of more than £6.8bn, will involve setting up a jointly run Electrical Motor Research Institute in Hangzhou, China. This will be opened in the autumn and the plan is to follow this with a research centre in Nottingham in 2013.
The university also aims to provide training for Wahaha staff and further joint ventures, including research, training and advisory services, will also be offered in China.
“We are very excited about the collaboration with Wahaha,” said professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice Chancellor for business engagement and knowledge transfer at Nottingham University.
“It is an outstanding business in the food and drink sector, and the university will work with the business to develop a pipeline of technologies that can be developed into products for the Chinese market.
Variety of projects
“We will be working with Wahaha to develop a whole range of new technologies and to provide its staff with specialised training in a number of areas. The opening of the joint research and development centre in China will mark the start of our partnership and is just the first of a variety of projects we will work on together.”
After signing the memorandum of agreement, Zong Qinghou, chairman and general manager of Wahaha, said: “I am sure that this will be a very successful partnership, because both Wahaha and the University of Nottingham work to the highest standards.
“It will benefit both parties because the university wants to build its reputation in China and our business, along with others in Zeijang province, needs the expertise and knowledge that the university can offer us.”
Wahaha has 60 production bases in 29 provinces in China, employs 30,000 people and has been the market leader in the country’s beverage industry for the past 14 years.