Shang­hai set for huge science role within three years

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHANG YUE zhangyue@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China will make Shang­hai a com­pre­hen­sive science cen­ter within three years by im­ple­ment­ing sys­tem­atic in­no­va­tion re­form, it was de­cided on Wed­nes­day dur­ing an ex­ec­u­tive­meet­ing of the State Coun­cil presided over by Premier Li Ke­qiang.

Ad­di­tion­ally, new in­de­pen­dent dis­tricts for in­no­va­tion will be es­tab­lished in Cen­tral, East and North­east China in an ef­fort to boost in­no­va­tion-driven devel­op­ment and sup­ply-side eco­nomic re­form.

The three re­gions in­volved are He­nan prov­ince (Zhengzhou, Luoyang and Xinx­i­ang), the Shan­dong Penin­sula and Liaon­ing prov­ince (Shenyang and Dalian).

At the meet­ing, the State Coun­cil, China’s Cab­i­net, de­cided that Shang­hai will en­joy more flex­i­ble poli­cies in re­search fund­ing, the trans­fer of sci­en­tific re­search find­ings and col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween uni­ver­si­ties and lo­cal en­ter­prises. Com­pa­nies’ in­no­va­tion ac­tiv­i­ties will also face fewer lo­cal gov­ern­ment hur­dles.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity will also ex­per­i­ment with stream­lin­ing for­eign in­vest­ment pro­ce­dures.

In 2014, 83.1 bil­lion yuan ($12.82 bil­lion) went to­ward re­search and devel­op­ment in Shang­hai, ac­count­ing for 3.6 per­cent of its GDP. In May last year, the city ap­proved a plan to es­tab­lish it­self as a tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion cen­ter.

Lin Lei, a re­searcher at the Cen­ter for In­no­va­tion and Devel­op­ment at the Chi­nese Na­tional Academy of Sciences, be­lieves Shang­hai was cho­sen be­cause it has taken quick steps to wel­come in­no­va­tion ta­lent and strong col­lab­o­ra­tion

The city car­ried out fa­vor­able poli­cies to at­tract overseas ta­lent years ago.”

com­pa­nies.

“The city car­ried out fa­vor­able poli­cies to at­tract overseas ta­lent years ago,” Lin said.

Since 2009, China has set up 11 self-in­no­va­tion demon­stra­tion ar­eas, in­clud­ing the Zhong­guan­cun tech­nol­ogy hub in Bei­jing, which was the first such area.

Shi Yu­long, a re­searcher of China’s re­gionale­con­o­myat the Academy of Mi­croe­co­nomic Re­search at theN­ational Devel­op­ment and Re­search Cen­ter, said such poli­cies are de­signed to boost in­dus­tri­alup­gradin­gin cen­tral and north­ern China as part of the coun­try’s eco­nomic tran­si­tion ef­fort.

“China’s east, cen­tral and west re­gions have faced a large eco­nomic gap due to the open­ing-up pol­icy in the 1980s,” Shi said. “Now a gap is emerg­ing be­tween the north and the south, as north­ern China faces big­ger chal­lenges in up­grad­ing such in­dus­tries as iron, steel and coal.”

Shi be­lieves the three re­gions cho­sen on Wed­nes­day for in­no­va­tion dis­tricts were se­lected due to their ad­van­tages in in­no­va­tion in­fra­struc­ture. Liaon­ing prov­ince, for ex­am­ple, has taken strides in robot re­search and sales.

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