Wuhan implements flexible policy to attract overseas talent
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.
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.
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.