Impactful Practices to Optimise the Lifecycle of Industrial Buildings

9 October 2023

On 20 September, during the 2023 China International Industry Fair held in Shanghai, the EU SME Centre and China-Italy Chamber of Commerce organised a workshop on industrial building design, maintenance, and IPR protection of software in the context of business digitalisation. Keynote speakers from VIRTUARCH, Siveco China, and the China IP SME Helpdesk took to the stage and shared their respective expertise with the audience.

Daniel Heusser, President and Chief Architect of VIRTUARCH, presented the architectural and project management work done by his company on industrial and R&D buildings over two decades of presence in China.

Daniel Heusser, President and Chief Architect of VIRTUARCH, explained how architecture and design contribute to a sustainable industrial plant.


Explaining VIRTUARCH’s tailored approach and the way his team ensures that each project matches the needs of the owner, Mr Heusser underscored the planning of a project as key to its success, quoting the Italian proverb “A good beginning is half the task”. Successful buildings are not only built with health and safety in mind, he pointed out; they are optimised for productivity and competitiveness within the budget available, taking into account the specific uses needed by the company and creating a good working and learning environment.

VIRTUARCH implements a seven-step approach to bring projects to completion with success. Its integrated vision considers simultaneously how to control the costs, the quality, and the schedule of a project. Mr Heusser illustrated his presentation with a collection of works with cutting-edge design, including the recently completed Radici project in Suzhou.

In the second keynote presentation of the workshop, Bruno Lhopiteau, Managing Director of Siveco China, delved into the importance of implementing the right digital tools to enable sustainable operations and maintenance. He reminded the audience that, far from being of secondary concern for a plant, carefully planned O&M is at the core of success factors.

Bruno Lhopiteau, Managing Director of Siveco China, drew on his company’s twenty years of experience in the Chinese market to give practical O&M advice to the audience.


Over 80% of the lifetime costs of a facility will come from O&M, and neglecting maintenance needs can drag down profits up to 40%, he pointed out. Showing basic maintenance costs such as spare parts and labour costs as the “tip of the iceberg”, he encouraged companies to conduct proper audits and assessments to become aware of the costs and potential losses they are exposed to. Early action allows companies to influence their industrial plants’ lifetime costs much more than corrective actions taken after the construction and operational phases, he emphasised.

Mr Lhopiteau presented the Smart O&M tools made possible by Siveco China R&D’s innovative digital solutions with case studies, including the company’s trademarked mobile solution bluebee® made to support technical teams in their daily work and facilitate decision-making in a timely manner.

Furthering the discussion on business digitalisation, Lisa Lu, IP Business Advisor at the EU-funded China IP SME Helpdesk, provided companies with best practices to protect their intellectual property rights on software. Beyond copyright, an aspect of IPR often already taken into account by most businesses, Ms Lu presented the three types of patents that can be relevant to businesses in China, as well as remedies for software infringement.

Lisa Lu, IP Business Advisor for the China IP SME Helpdesk, gave an overview of patent and IPR regulations in China.

The EU SME Centre team at the 2023 China International Industry Fair in Shanghai: Communications & Visibility Manager Nelly Alix, Finance & Liaison Manager Annie He, and EU Partnerships Manager Davide Orlandi.


This workshop was part of the EU SME Centre’s training programmes for European small and medium-sized businesses and participation in trade fairs relevant to EU SMEs in China. To receive free information and advice, SMEs can send enquiries through the EU SME Centre’s Ask-the-Expert service. For enquiries on IPR, European SMEs can contact the China IP SME Helpdesk.

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