Professor Yu Xiong is an academic, researcher and serial entrepreneur. He was trained as a computer scientist, then became a professor in various business schools across the UK. He is active in doing research, growing start-ups, creating his own companies. During his career, he has wide publications in top academic journals, and created business impact in multiple industries.
Yu Xiong was born in Chongqing, the largest city in the world, China, in April 1981. Due to China’s single-child policy, he has no sister or brother. He was good at math, and frequently got first in his class or schools. He went to No. 8 Middle school of Chongqing, then entered Computer Science Department of Chongqing University for undergraduate study. In September 2003, he got a PhD admission offer with EU Asia ICT Scholarship, and studied in the Engineering Department (later became part of faculty of Art and Design) of Nottingham Trent University.
After graduating, he showed interest in business research, so he began his career at the York Management School, University of York, UK. His post doc research was funded by EPSRC (Engineering and Physics Science Research Council) to advice Astra-Zenica and other pharmaceutical companies.
From 2019, he works for Queen’s University Belfast, as a University Lecturer in Operations Management, where he actively worked with Bombadier, SAP, Dow Chemical etc, and accumulated wide knowledge and experience from industry.
In 2012, he worked for University of East Anglia as a senior lecturer (associate professor).
In 2015, he became Chair Professor at Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University.
In 2020, he joined business school of the University of Surrey, as a professor, and associate dean for international. His research has been published in world-leading and international excellence journals including the European Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Production Research, International Journal of Production Economics etc. His research has been funded by EPSRC (Engineering and Physic Science Research Council), Department of Business, Energy and Industry Strategies, British Academy, British Council, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapults, China National Science Foundation etc. Professor Xiong is a Fellow of University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
He is also President-elect of Chinese Economic Association of EU/UK.
Activities in Innovation Commercialization Professor Xiong has extensive experience by working as director/chair of companies. He is co-Chair of Cocoon Global Limited, this is a £13 million investment that established the largest innovation centre in central London, with 7000 square meters. The innovation centre supports technology commercialization activities, and has helped hundreds of start ups and SMEs to get fund to reach market.
Apart from this, he was the initiator of the first overseas Tsinghua University Science Park, which was built in Newcastle. This is a £6 million investment innovation centre which has created significant impact to eco-system innovation in North of England. Activities in Sustainability Apart from Professor Xiong’s research in sustainability, he spent a lot of his time developing real world projects for sustainability. From 2014-2016, he was company director for ADAPT Group, which was owned by University of East Anglia, and run a £50 million Low Carbon Innovation Fund. He then worked for UNESCO on a number of projects relevant to Sustainable Development Goals.
He is a board director of 99P Recycling Limited, one of the largest plastics recycling and exporting company in the UK, the company’s turnover in 2019 was about 26 million dollar. Activities in Blockchain Professor Xiong became the Chair of Management Board of the Blockchain Finance company, UKDE Limited, based in London. This company provides several types of financial services for businesses between China and the UK.
Professor Xiong is the chief scientist of the Jiukuan Tech Ltd, which is specialized in developing leading blockchain applications, the Pxbee App, which has daily active users ranked No. 1 in all the blockchain applications ranked in China and ranked No. 2 in the world. He is a member of Expert Board of All Party Parliamentary Group in Blockchain in the UK, and one of the 30 Committee members of the China’s National Finance Innovation and Stability Forum, chaired by Mr. Hongzhang Wang, the ex-Chairman of China Construction Bank, the second largest bank in the world.
Activities in other sectors
He was appointed as Director/Chair of London Fashion Fund in 2018, which is an initiative developed by the Mayor Office of London, it mainly provides fund to start ups in the fashion sector. In 2019, his company Cocoon Global hosted the first 5G Exhibition Centre with Huawei, which became the first such 5G centre in the UK. He also advices Yitu Technology’s EU strategy. Social impact Professor Yu Xiong is a national committee member of All China Youth Federation, he was a member of the International affair committee of CPPCC Chongqing Committee (Chinese Provincial Parliament).
Now he is still an invited member of the Higher Education Committee of CPPCC Chongqing. From 2009, he was appointed as Vice President of Chongqing Western Returned Scholars Association, which is now officially part of the provincial government. He is frequently interviewed by Sky News, Daily Express, media in Singapore, Russia, Australia, Turkey etc.
In a recent interview with Dinis Guarda, Prof. Xiong shared his expertise on technology and highlighted the much-needed collaboration between countries to leverage the full potential of 4IR technologies and blockchain.
Prof. Xiong believes that to achieve so, the world needs a 4IR Blockchain Magna Carta that lays down all the foundational aspects. Likewise, in his opinion, cities are the perfect common ground where all these principles collide. As the world enters one of its defining moments, the need to develop and implement new technologies is greater than ever. Collaboration is critical in that endeavour, as no sole entity, whether a country, organization or individual can do it alone. And blockchain, as Prof. Xiong states, can have a key role in it.
Blockchain, if well used as a set of foundational tools and especially as an ideology that can enhance, decentralise and empower the global societies and economies within a new framework, self-regulated P2P governance and particularly creating more transparency and the distribution of opportunities. In the upcoming post-coronavirus times, Blockchain is particularly important as it enables global infrastructure systems, smart contracts and new governance possibilities that can empower better financial, supply chain and healthcare solutions.