Innovation Leading the Way
Recently, there have been news reports about Beijing’s achievements in becoming the nation’s scientific and technological innovation centre. Among these achievements is the establishment of the Intellectual Innovations City Lab (IICL), co-sponsored by the Capital Institute of Science and Technology Development Strategy, MIT Connection Science, and Digital China. According to the 2017 Report on Chinese Cities’ Scientific and Technological Innovation and Development and the Innovation Map of Chinese Cities released by the IICL, Beijing has taken the lead among China’s top ten cities for sci-tech innovation and development. As for many first-tier indicators such as innovative resources, services and results, Beijing ranks among the best. For example, since 2011, more than 50 percent of Beijing’s technology contracts have been undertaken outside of the capital, in over 330 cities. This testifies to Beijing playing a vital role in bolstering innovation and development in other parts of China, and consolidates its status as China’s scientific and technological innovation centre.
Beijing, a fertile land for mass entrepreneurship and innovation, has implemented favourable policies and supportive measures. At the Beijing section of the 2017 National Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week and Zhongguancun Innovation and Entrepreneurship Season which recently ended, more than 260 exhibitors displayed over 300 kinds of products, such as self-driving cars, augmented-reality panoramic television studios, and smart walking devices used in corridors and passageways. A project known as the “Shi Bai Qian Wan Project” caused particular excitement. In line with this project, led by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, ten ( shi) enterprises, including State-owned enterprises under Beijing Municipality and large private enterprises, will be selected to drive forward the entrepreneurship and innovation work plans of small enterprises. This project will help small enterprises make greater achievements, develop markets and innovate business models; 100 ( bai) work stations will be set up for youth entrepreneurship and innovation; 1,000 ( qian) entrepreneurial advisors will be introduced and cultivated, and teams of advisors will be set up; and 10,000 ( wan) innovators will be trained to encourage more people to engage in mass entrepreneurship and innovation in the capital.
Meanwhile, the municipality announced its decision to establish the Beijing Scientific and Technological Innovation Fund (BSTIF) to further innovate the methods for investing funds in science and technology, to coordinate innovation, production and capital chains, and to spur development of Beijing as China’s scientific and technological innovation centre. The founding of BSTIF will be an important measure for the municipality to introduce a market mechanism and to allow government funding to play a larger role. A professional market- oriented team will be introduced to make better use of capital for sci-tech innovations and enhance efficiency, thus boosting Beijing’s development in this aspect. BSTIF will be a government- dominated equity investment “fund of funds” (FOF).
BSTIF will focus on investment in the sci-tech innovation field, work together with venture capital investment and other social capital, and pay great attention to domestic and foreign institutions of higher learning, scientific research institutes, innovative enterprises and other sources of innovation. It will guide investment in the innovation of high-end hard technology, guide investment in front-end primary innovations, and guide high-end sci-tech achievements that conform to Beijing’s position as China’s capital, to foster high-grade, precision and advanced industries. BSTIF will allocate a total of 20 billion yuan. With its amplified FOF and sub-funds, BSTIF will run funds amounting to 100 billion yuan. BSTIF will mainly invest in optoelectronic technology, new-generation information technology, strategic new materials, new energy, biomedicine, brain-based cognition and brain-inspired intelligence, quantum computing and communication, big data, intelligent manufacturing, artificial intelligence and other fields.
“Innovation” is a buzzword in the capital these days, with Beijingers devoted to mass entrepreneurship and innovation. Sharing the view that innovation boosts development and leads to a better future, they will make great contributions to the capital’s sci-tech innovation and development. (