Pudong the synonym of innovation in Shanghai
The Pudong New Area puts the emphasis on “new” when looking at its role in accelerating the development of advanced science and technology in Shanghai.
The Five-Year-Plan that begins on January 1 firmly places Pudong at the forefront of the innovation thrust. It has already proven its mettle in creating facilities to make it all happen and tapping talent to carry it out.
However, Pudong still lags somewhat in global resource allocation and in maximum momentum to drive development. How to overcome these challenges?
One answer is greater integration of zones in the area that play a role in the pursuit of innovation. That means, for example, the Lujiazui Financial District lending support to zones like the Zhangjiang Science City, and the Shanghai Free Trade Zone acting as a “guinea pig” for Zhangjiang by piloting new policies to remove institutional roadblocks.
Obviously, Pudong is pinning its future development on Zhangjiang.
According to Weng Zuliang, Party secretary of Pudong, the science and technology zone has become a synonym of innovation in Shanghai, and even in China to some extent.
“It has the most innovative elements, industries and talent,” Weng said in a recent radio interview. “It’s still growing, aiming to become a world-class science hub.”
New policies to foster that goal have been pouring out for years.
In Pudong, companies enjoy one integrated business license, combining what were formerly multiple licenses. With the license, they are free to do business anywhere in China.
Also, drug research institutes, like pharmaceutical companies, now have the ability to secure manufacturing licenses more easily. They are allowed to contract manufacturers to produce drugs, avoiding the delays and costs of setting up their own manufacturing facilities.
That has fostered wider, easier access to markets for new locally developed drugs.
Pudong now provides a full chain of business services, starting with nurturing startups. It has set up a foundation, with an initial investment of 5.5 billion yuan, as to invest in core industries like integrated circuitry, “smart” manufacturing and aviation and aerospace, Weng said.
Pudong is home to 166 facilities helping and accelerating the work of promising startup companies. The district has assisted 16 companies in initial public offerings on the Shanghai Stock Exchange STAR Market, accounting for 59 percent of IPOs there from Shanghai and 9 percent from China.
According to Weng, Pudong is now home to more than half of China’s Shanghai-based major science facilities, working in fields such as photon science, life sciences, oceanography and energy.
In particular, a photon science complex is taking shape in Zhangjiang, which includes the Shanghai Superintense-Ultrafast Lasers Facility, the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the National Center for Protein Science Shanghai and the X-Ray Free-Electron Laser Test Facility.
“Big science facilities are an important basis for developing biomedicine, integrated circuitry and artificial intelligence,” Weng said.
Pudong is expecting to host 10 major science facilities by 2025.
Over the past three decades, Pudong has witnessed tremendous development in innovation in various fields, especially along the riverfront.
For example, the Qiantan area, dubbed "the second Lujiazui," stands out as an emerging business center, while the legacy of World Expo 2010 Shanghai has deeply influenced the development of Pudong with countless innovations in every respect, such as arts and culture.