Am­bi­tious plan to pour mas­sive aid into tech zone

Guar­an­tee funds will back emerg­ing en­ter­prises in their quest to cre­ate in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies

China Daily (USA) - - IOT@ WUXI - By TANG ZHIHAO tangzhi­hao@chi­

One of the birth­places of China’s modern in­dus­try and com­merce, Wuxi in Jiangsu prov­ince will con­tinue to pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment of the in­ter­net of things in­dus­try to build a glob­ally in­flu­en­tial na­tional sens­ing in­no­va­tion demon­stra­tion zone in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) pe­riod.

The city plans to en­cour­age IoT ap­pli­ca­tion projects, ac­cel­er­ate in­dus­try de­vel­op­ment, at­tract re­lated busi­nesses, strengthen core tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tions and en­hance co­or­di­nated in­no­va­tions be­tween coun­tries and re­gions to sup­port na­tional in­dus­trial up­grade in the next five years, said Huang Qin, deputy mayor of Wuxi.

“We will en­sure Wuxi Na­tional Sen­sor Net­work In­no­va­tion Demon­stra­tion Zone re­ports sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in in­no­va­tion ca­pac­ity, in­dus­trial scale, em­ployee num­bers and in­flu­ence to achieve com­mer­cial­iza­tion of some re­search re­sults, at­tract lead­ing IoT busi­nesses and de­velop demon­stra­tion projects,” Huang said.

Wuxi ob­tained ap­proval from the cen­tral gov­ern­ment to con­struct the in­no­va­tion demon­stra­tion zone in 2009. The cen­tral gov­ern­ment hopes Wuxi can take a lead­ing and ex­ploratory role in IoT de­vel­op­ment and share its ex­pe­ri­ences with other Chi­nese cities.

By the end of 2015, there were 1,171 IoTre­lated com­pa­nies in Wuxi, an in­crease from 248 in 2009. Their to­tal sales rev­enue grew to 168.8 bil­lion yuan ($24.95 bil­lion) in 2015 from 22 bil­lion yuan in 2009, ac­cord­ing to Huang.

Sev­en­teen ap­pli­ca­tion projects in the demon­stra­tion zone cov­er­ing sec­tors such as trans­port, health­care, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and power gen­er­a­tion are sup­ported or funded by cen­tral gov­ern­ment de­part­ments. Those projects will be pro­moted na­tion­wide if they prove to be ap­pli­ca­ble.

Wuxi has be­come a gath­er­ing place for IoT or­ga­ni­za­tions and pro­fes­sion­als, with 53 pub­lic ser­vice plat­forms for IoT busi­nesses and 40 re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­ters in ser­vice in the city.

More than 2,500 high-cal­iber pro­fes­sion­als, in­clud­ing 66 mem­bers listed in the na­tional One Thou­sand Tal­ent Plan, work in Wuxi.

Sup­port for man­u­fac­tur­ing

Gao Yaguang, di­rec­tor of Wuxi Com­mis­sion of Econ­omy and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, said that the ben­e­fits the IoT in­dus­try brings to Wuxi reach far be­yond the busi­ness sphere.

“I think the most sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fit is that it in­spires many tra­di­tional busi­nesses and helps to change the think­ing of tra­di­tional man­u­fac­tur­ers,” Gao said.

“Man­u­fac­tur­ers al­ways con­sider high-qual­ity prod­ucts as valu­able. Ac­tu­ally, pro­duc­tion data are more pre­cious. Ma­chines can be used to cre­ate value but in­for­ma­tion pro­cess­ing and ap­pli­ca­tion can also cre­ate value.”

A grow­ing num­ber of man­u­fac­tur­ers in Wuxi are en­gaged in de­vel­op­ing IoT tech­nolo­gies or are us­ing them to in­crease op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency.

En­vi­sion En­ergy, a wind tur­bine tech­nolo­gies de­vel­oper in China, plans to ex­plore op­por­tu­ni­ties in the en­ergy as­set man­age­ment sec­tor with the sup­port of IoT.

Hailan Home, a menswear de­signer and pro­ducer es­tab­lished in Wuxi in 1988, has been im­ple­ment­ing ra­dio fre­quency iden­ti­fi­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy to up­grade its sup­ply chain sys­tem in re­cent years. The RFID tech­nol­ogy en­ables Hailan’s em­ploy­ees in the ware­house to scan and record in­for­ma­tion about 300 cloth­ing items in eight sec­onds.

“We had to scan clothes man­u­ally one by one in pre­vi­ous years,” said Liu Tong, who is in charge of RFID equip­ment at Hailan. “The tech­nol­ogy helps us to scan clothes packed in boxes. We can check the num­ber of prod­ucts and know ex­actly what types of clothes are in the box.”

Wuxi plans to pro­vide more sup­port to IoT com­pa­nies in com­ing years.

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