High-tech development fuels innovation, improves lives

Tian Shengjie
Fengxian District is further increasing high-tech development. It already boasts over 1,800 companies, making strides in various fields from genetics to new energy.
Tian Shengjie

For high-quality development, Fengxian District is home to many high-tech companies, with many of them making great leaps in various fields.

Shanghai-based fuel cell technology company SinoFuelCell is one of them.

"When we started out in 1998, the fuel cell was a minority, and most people hadn't even heard about them. Thanks to the support and trust of the city and district government, we've continued with hydrogen energy for 25 years," said Dai Wei, general manager of SinoFuelCell.

The company is a pioneer in the fuel cell industry, focusing on independent innovation. Dai said the fuel cell stack developed from the company in 2021, with 150 kilowatts, is even smaller than the one with 5 kilowatts issued in 2002.

He said the company is also trying a new way to promote and popularize fuel cell products.

High-tech development fuels innovation, improves lives
Tian Shengjie / SHINE

A 120kW hydrogen fuel cell engine developed by SinoFuelCell

"In the beginning, we wanted to promote private use and then the commercial use, like the strategy in many foreign countries, but we were stuck with the 'chicken or egg question' and realized that it wasn't suitable for development in China," Dai said.

He explained: "If we haven't enough hydrogen stations, people will refuse to use our products. But if there are fewer people driving hydrogen-powered electric vehicles, we can't build a lot of stations for refueling."

To solve this problem, the company is promoting commercial-use fuel cell products and the location of refueling stations is based on relatively fixed routes. "Now the basic network of hydrogen stations can be established and we don't need to worry about the number of private users," he said.

Their hydrogen-powered vehicles have serviced many international and domestic events, such as the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games and Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics.

The company's shipment volume in 2022 has exceeded the total volume over the past 24 years, Dai said.

"We hope our technology can serve thousands of households in the future," he added.

In March, Chinese President Xi Jinping said accelerating the achievement of sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening at higher levels is the only way to promote high-quality development. It's also the core of the Kunyi Electronics Technology Company, also headquartered in the district.

To meet the need of the auto industry for the test, the company has improved its investment in manpower and financial resources for innovation. Kunyi's co-founder Chen Zhongming said now it has over 460 employees and 60 percent of them are research staff, and research and development expenses account for 30 percent of revenue.

High-tech development fuels innovation, improves lives
Tian Shengjie / SHINE

A simulation detective system for the intelligent driving sensors of the Kunyi Electronics Technology Company

He said: "Although the industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic during the past three years, it achieved a compound growth rate of 50 percent."

To support innovation, the district enhances cooperation with the universities, such as East China University of Science and Technology and Shanghai Normal University, to build innovation platforms for the companies and industrial zone of the university science and technology park.

As of the end of last year, there are nearly 1,800 high-tech companies in the district, ranking the 5th in the city. Hundreds of companies in the district won prizes in various innovation competitions, and got tens of millions of yuan as supporting funds.

"The reward system and the policies launched by the city and the district help our company in innovation," said Ren Jun, chief technology officer of the medical diagnosis technology corporation Yikon Medical.

Its core technology MALBAC (multiple annealing and looping-based amplification cycles) has been widely used in gene detection at home and abroad.

In the 10 years since it was established, Yikon has helped hundreds of thousands of people with rare diseases, infertility or advanced maternal age to have healthy babies.

"Some people realized their recessive genetic issues and seek our help after they have an unhealthy child. We want to use our high technology to benefit all families, such as premarital medical examination, to reduce tragedies," said Ren.

The purpose of the quality and efficiency of development is to better meet the growing expectation of our people in all areas, Xi said in 2019, and companies in Fengxian are making it happen.

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