Chris McDonald, managing director of the UK-based Materials Processing Institute (MPI) is travelling to China this week to address delegates at the 10th Biennial Conference of the Chinese Society of Metals.

McDonald believes that the MPI can act as an effective source of information on published research from China. He hopes that his presence at the conference will encourage engagement with other companies, not just in the Far East but also across Europe.

China is constantly under scrutiny internationally because of its overcapacity issues and the fact that China produces over half of the world's total steel production.

A key focus of McDonald's visit will be to create greater awareness of the Teesside-based MPI, which has opened its doors to companies outside of the steel sector to make use of its research and development facilities.

A recently received multi-million pound grant has enabled the MPI to embark upon a facilities upgrading programme in the UK designed to create new office space for up to 15 fledgling businesses involved in the supply chain.

"I would be interested in talking to companies in Europe that want to find out more about what research is taking place in China and also to companies, conference delegates and others when I'm in China to understand better how the Materials Processing Institute can support their businesses," he said.

McDonald has been travelling to China since the mid-2000s and during that time has established a wide network of contacts in the region.

"The Materials Processing Institute is recognised as a world leader in supporting metals innovation and has been engaging with industry and academics in China for many years," he said.

Better Steel, Better Life is the theme of the 10th Biennial Conference of the Chinese Society of Metals and it takes place in Shanghai between 21-23 October.