Shang­hai’s push for sci­ence and tech in­no­va­tion gain­ing pace

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By YU RAN in Shang­hai

yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The main fo­cus of the 27th In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness Lead­ers’ Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil (IBLAC) fo­rum held on Nov 1 in Shang­hai was on how the city can, with the sup­port from in­ter­na­tional busi­nesses, con­tinue to lead China’s push to­ward sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion.

In at­ten­dance at the fo­rum were about 500 del­e­gates, in­clud­ing mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, ex­ec­u­tives from ma­jor State-owned en­ter­prises, heads of higher learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions and se­nior ex­ec­u­tives from some of the world’s lead­ing multi­na­tional com­pa­nies.

Ac­cord­ing to Shang­hai Mayor Yang Xiong, the city will aim to speed up its trans­for­ma­tion into a global sci­ence and tech hub by re­duc­ing gov­ern­ment bu­reau­cracy as well as in­tro­duc­ing more poli­cies to at­tract tal­ents. He also said that Shang­hai has al­ready been for­mu­lat­ing poli­cies to pur­sue de­vel­op­ments in var­i­ous fields, in­clud­ing brain sci­ence, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, stem cell and tis­sue re­pair.

Apart from its fo­cus on sci­ence and tech, of­fi­cials are also ex­plor­ing in­no­va­tive ways in gov­ern­ment ser­vice pro­vi­sion to pro­vide bet­ter sup­port for new tech­nolo­gies, in­dus­tries and busi­ness for­mats.

“We have just re­leased a set of new re­form plans and they are be­ing read­ied for im­ple­men­ta­tion, while financial in­no­va­tion will also help to ac­cel­er­ate the gov­ern­ment’s re­forms,” added Yang.

“Shang­hai will also be de­vis­ing new poli­cies to at­tract over­seas tal­ents whose cre­ative in­put can help form a clus­ter of in­no­va­tion-ori­ented com­pa­nies in the near fu­ture.”

Shang­hai has al­ready been lead­ing the way in mold­ing an in­no­va­tion-led econ­omy by pi­o­neer­ing sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion in China. Cur­rently, the num­ber of re­search and de­sign cen­ters by multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tions in Shang­hai ac­counts for nearly a quar­ter of the to­tal num­ber in the coun­try. The pro­por­tion of Shang­hai’s in­vest­ment in re­search and de­vel­op­ment in its GDP has also risen from 2.8 per­cent in 2010 to 3.6 per­cent in 2014, reach­ing the level of de­vel­oped coun­tries.

Martin Sor­rell, chief ex­ec­u­tive of me­dia ser­vices firm WPP and chair­man of this year’s coun­cil, ex­pressed his con­fi­dence and be­lief that Shang­hai can achieve its goal to be­come an in­ter­na­tional in­no­va­tion cen­ter with its com­pre­hen­sive and allem­brac­ing strat­egy.

“Our vi­sion for IBLAC 2015 and fu­ture IBLAC con­fer­ences is to do more than adopt the best prac­tices for Shang­hai — we want to in­no­vate and cre­ate fu­ture best prac­tices in or­der to make Shang­hai a lead­ing city for the rest of the world to fol­low,” said Sor­rell.

Pe­ter Gruss, former pres­i­dent of the Max-Planck-Ge­sellschaft, a non-gov­ern­men­tal sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy re­search or­ga­ni­za­tion, pointed out that en­ter­prises should be more open-minded about ab­sorb­ing a va­ri­ety of tal­ents, as well as be more will­ing to ex­plore hav­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions with dif­fer­ent types of com­pa­nies. He also added that the com­pa­nies should train their tal­ents to be more ad­ven­tur­ous and not fear chal­leng­ing author­ity.

“It is very im­por­tant for lo­cal en­ter­prises, es­pe­cially small and medium-sized en­ter­prises, to un­der­stand and lever­age au­to­ma­tion and dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies to re­al­ize the goal of Made in China 2025,” said Ul­rich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB, a global leader in power and au­to­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies.

“It’s also es­sen­tial to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion with multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tions to es­tab­lish a mu­tu­ally de­pen­dent, mu­tu­ally sup­port­ing in­no­va­tive eco­nomic eco-sys­tem com­posed of com­pa­nies with pro­fes­sional skills.”

In the long run, Shang­hai will still need to learn from ci­ties in other coun­tries to main­tain its con­tin­u­ous re­forms, said the mayor.

“To be more in­no­va­tive, we will ap­ply the things learnt from other coun­tries to cre­ate a more ap­pli­ca­ble and flex­i­ble re­source al­lo­ca­tion sys­tem for larger scale re­forms,” said Yang.

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

About 500 del­e­gates in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, ex­ec­u­tives from State-owned and multi­na­tional en­ter­prises at­tend the 27th In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness Lead­ers' Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil (IBLAC) in Shang­hai on Nov 1.

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