In­no­va­tion vouch­ers to help Guangzhou SMEs to buy re­search ser­vices

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By QI­UQUAN­LIN in Guangzhou qi­uquan­lin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Small and medium-sized en­ter­prises in Guangzhou, the cap­i­tal of Guang­dong province, will be al­lowed to ap­ply for in­no­va­tion vouch­ers, or small lines of credit pro­vided by the lo­cal gov­ern­ment to pur­chase sci­en­tific re­search ser­vices, ac­cord­ing to a top of­fi­cial of the lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

The move is part of the ini­tia­tives is­sued by the lo­cal gov­ern­ment to boost in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment, said Chen Jian­hua, mayor of Guangzhou.

“They might

not

be

big fi­nan­cial sup­port for SMEs, but the in­no­va­tion vouch­ers are more like letters of credit is­sued to com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially those en­gaged in emerg­ing in­no­va­tion-driven in­dus­tries, which are sup­ported by the gov­ern­ment,” said Chen.

Com­pa­nies, which are awarded in­no­va­tion vouch­ers, are al­lowed to pur­chase tech­nol­ogy ser­vices in­clud­ing prod­uct de­sign, prop­erty rights, sci-tech con­sul­ta­tion, tech­nol­ogy de­tec­tion, au­then­ti­ca­tion and high per­for­mance com­put­ing, at a dis­count of up to 70 per­cent from public re­search in­sti­tu­tions, ac­cord­ing to Chen.

For ex­am­ple,

a

com­pany could buy com­put­ing ser­vice from Tianhe II, the world’s fastest su­per com­puter based in Guangzhou, at only 1.2 mil­lion yuan ($193,500) a year, which usu­ally costs 2 mil­lion yuan for a sin­gle equip­ment cab­i­net, if it is granted with an in­no­va­tion voucher.

“The move, which is aimed at boost­ing in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy re­search ca­pa­bil­ity of tech-in­no­va­tive com­pa­nies, can help build closer re­la­tion­ships be­tween SMEs and public re­search in­sti­tu­tions,” said Chen.

He made the re­marks dur­ing ameet­ing with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from do­mes­tic In­ter­net media groups, who are on a es­pe­cially to sup­port tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment,” said Chen.

Chen also called for wider sup­port from public tech­nol­ogy re­search in­sti­tu­tions to lo­cal small busi­nesses as the city is try­ing to cre­ate an in­no­va­tion-driven econ­omy.

“For years, the trans­for­ma­tion of science and tech­nol­ogy into a pro­duc­tive force has been a ma­jor weak­ness for Guangzhou,” Chen said.

Guangzhou’s fi­nan­cial in­put in science and tech­nol­ogy re­search ac­counted for just 34 per­cent of that in Shen­zhen, or China’s Sil­i­con Val­ley, in 2013.

Huawei Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd, based in Shen­zhen, in­vested about 40 bil­lion yuan in tech­nol­ogy re­search in 2014, sur­pass­ing Guangzhou’s to­tal in­vest­ment in the sec­tor in the year, ac­cord­ing to Chen.

Ac­cord­ing to Chen, Guangzhou’s gov­ern­ment in­vest­ment in science and tech­nol­ogy re­search will in­crease from 5 bil­lion yuan in 2013 to 10 bil­lion yuan in 2017.

“Usu­ally, one yuan from gov­ern­ment fi­nan­cial in­put in science and tech­nol­ogy will help re­sult in four to five yuan in­vest­ment from so­cial funds,” Chen said.

Ac­cord­ing to Chen, up to 70 per­cent of large-scale com­pa­nies will es­tab­lish tech­nol­ogy re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­ters in 2017.

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