Wuhan im­ple­ments flex­i­ble pol­icy to at­tract overseas tal­ent

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By REN XIAOJIN renx­i­ao­jin@chi­nadaily.com.cn As the Chi­nese econ­omy en­ters the new nor­mal with its growth rate slow­ing, in­no­va­tion has been placed at a core po­si­tion in China’s over­all development. China Daily re­cently in­ter­viewed peo­ple in­volved with a l

Wuhan, cap­i­tal of Hubei province, is look­ing to ex­pand its tal­ent pool by im­ple­ment­ing open poli­cies and high­tech off­shore ex­per­i­ments.

As a State-level in­no­va­tion pi­lot zone, the city is home to more than 80 higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions and the largest num­ber of un­der­grad­u­ates of the world.

It is de­vel­op­ing into a tech­no­log­i­cal cen­ter of Cen­tral China, re­ly­ing on its in­cred­i­ble num­ber of un­der­grad­u­ates and post­grad­u­ates, which ac­counts for al­most 5 per­cent of the to­tal in China.

But Wuhan is far from sat­is­fied with its ex­ist­ing tal­ent pool, and is seek­ing brain power from abroad.

The off­shore tal­ent bank project is a bold ex­per­i­ment Wuhan has en­gaged in with two other na­tional high­tech cen­ters, Shang­hai and Shen­zhen.

The con­cept of “off­shore” is bor­rowed from the fi­nan­cial world, in which as­sets or com­pa­nies are based in off­shore fi­nance cen­ters.

But in the con­text of Wuhan’s pol­icy, it refers to the ex­per­i­men­tal mode of ap­ply­ing ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy and re­search from Chi­nese ex­perts liv­ing overseas into production in China.

“The essen­tial con­cept in the off­shore tal­ent pool is to put the re­searchers’ work to use, but not nec­es­sar­ily call them back to China,” said Li Yanyang, gen­eral man­ager of the Global Tal­ents En­trepreneur­ship Cen­ter in the Op­tics Val­ley.

“The main aim is to trans­form sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal achieve­ments in Wuhan and help small and medi­um­sized com­pa­nies in medicine, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and in­tel­li­gent man­u­fac­tur­ing to start off with strong tech­ni­cal sup­port,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tive bureau of East Lake, Wuhan’s high-tech zone, Op­tics Val­ley has set up of­fices in many lo­ca­tions across Europe and Amer­ica to stay in con­tact with overseas ex­perts.

It has in­cu­ba­tors and in­no­va­tion cen­ters in cities like Lon­don.

The val­ley also en­cour­ages lo­cal com­pa­nies to take field trips overseas to learn from their for­eign coun­ter­parts.

But merely in­tro­duc­ing the ad­vanced sci­en­tific achieve­ments is far from enough.

Wuhan is aim­ing higher, to at­tract and re­tain Chi­nese ex­perts from overseas to move to the city.

One sig­nif­i­cant step made is the 3551 Schema for Tal­ents in Op­tics Val­ley of China.

To aid the world­wide bat­tle for tal­ent, the val­ley has of­fered at least $20 mil­lion to fund young en­trepreneurs and in­ven­tors.

Flex­i­ble and open poli­cies have also been an­nounced to en­cour­age the brain gain, such as dis­counted rent, and up to mil­lions of yuan in re­wards for out­stand­ing achieve­ments and monthly sub­si­dies for star­tups.

Con­fer­ences, meet­ings and work­shops or­ga­nized by the ser­vice and sup­port in­sti­tu­tions of the val­ley not only serve to link tal­ents with op­por­tu­ni­ties, but also pro­vide le­gal and fi­nan­cial guide­lines.

The ad­min­is­tra­tors of the high-tech zone re­al­ize that ex­perts are look­ing for more than a job, but also a com­fort­able and cre­ative liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

The res­i­den­tial area of Op­tics Val­ley is equipped with in­fra­struc­ture con­ve­niently link­ing it to in­ter­na­tional shop­ping cen­ters, brand­name ho­tels to host con­fer­ences, hos­pi­tals, clin­ics and sports cen­ters.

Yan Zhongn­ing, deputy direc­tor of the East Lake Development Bureau, has been work­ing tire­lessly to make the high-tech zone an ideal place to live.

“We should not only be con­cerned about in­fra­struc­ture, but also a bet­ter liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment, such as cleaner wa­ter sup­ply, less pol­luted air, the en­tire ecosys­tem. We need to fo­cus on the res­i­dents’ feel­ings.

“For so many years we have been work­ing on eco­nomic development only,” said Yan.

“It’s time for a change, to fo­cus on sports, cul­ture and other fa­cil­i­ties to pro­vide bet­ter ser­vices for the peo­ple in Op­tics Val­ley.”

Since the 3551 Schema for Tal­ents launched in Op­tics Val­ley, the area has at­tracted more than 8,000 ex­perts with doc­toral de­grees and 40,000 with masters de­grees work­ing in the zone, as well as more than 3,000 on­go­ing do­mes­tic and off­shore re­search projects. With the help of this new brain­power, many com­pa­nies and en­ter­prises in Op­tics Val­ley are am­bi­tiously ex­pand­ing their for­eign mar­kets.

For ex­am­ple, Hu­man­well Health­care Group has thrown $550 mil­lion into ac­qui­si­tions in the United States.

Yan Zhongn­ing,

deputy direc­tor of the East Lake Development Bureau

We should not only be con­cerned about in­fra­struc­ture, but also a bet­ter liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment.” based in Op­tics Val­ley have in­vested in overseas projects

Kaidi En­ergy has also in­jected $150,000 into a project in Canada this year.

In to­tal, 74 com­pa­nies based in Op­tics Val­ley have in­vested in overseas projects, and nine of them have gone pub­lic in for­eign stock mar­kets.

“Even com­par­ing with Shang­hai and Shen­zhen, I have the faith to say that Wuhan is do­ing re­ally well, both in pol­icy or fi­nan­cial sup­port,” said Li.

PHO­TOS BY CHU LIN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Fresh grad­u­ates at­tend a two-way se­lec­tion job fair at Cen­tral China Nor­mal Uni­ver­sity in Wuhan, Hubei province. is of­fered by the Op­tics Val­ley to fund young en­trepreneurs and in­ven­tors world­wide

A cen­ter for the largest num­ber of un­der­grad­u­ates of the world, Wuhan is home to more than 80 higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions.

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