Forum set to highlight patterns, prospects of innovation hubs

The annual Pujiang Innovation Week will launch its opening ceremony in Shanghai tomorrow morning.
Forum set to highlight patterns, prospects of innovation hubs
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The annual Pujiang Innovation Forum, which opens tomorrow, has attracted over 140 officials, scholars and entrepreneurs from nearly 20 countries and regions.  

China’s Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang and Danish Minister of Science, Technology, Information and Higher Education Soeren Pind will deliver keynote speeches at the opening ceremony in Pudong. 

The annual forum, which runs until Monday, is themed “Global Science and Technology Innovation Hubs: Patterns and Prospects.”

Denmark is the “Country of Honor” this year. Chinese and Danish experts from academics, government and industry will share their insights on how to create a center of excellence and its implications on science and technology.

“Denmark is one of the most innovative countries in the world,” said Luo Dajin, deputy secretary-general of the forum. “The country has been particularly successful in developing cooperation between universities and enterprises, particularly in technology commercialization.”

He added that China and Denmark have close cooperation in several fields such as biomedical, and the forum will further deepen the cooperation between the two countries in science and technology.

For the first time the forum will honor a province — Anhui — and a municipality — Beijing — at the same time. 

Shanghai, Beijing and Hefei, capital of Anhui, are all investing heavily to develop comprehensive national science centers. 

The four-day event will have a plenary session, a country of honor forum, a seminar on the Belt and Road Initiative and 12 sub-forums.

Forum set to highlight patterns, prospects of innovation hubs
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Four reports to be released by think tanks during the forum

Four think tank reports are expected to be released during the forum, two were released today — the Asia and Pacific Knowledge Competitiveness Index and the Annual Report on the Eco-system of Science and Technology Finance in China.

Shanghai remains fifth on knowledge competitiveness in Asia Pacific region in 2017 as same as last year, according to the index.

Singapore continues to rank first, followed by Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul.

The index, released by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, evaluates 33 areas from countries including China, Japan, Australia, India, Singapore, South Korea, Israel and New Zealand with 19 indicators, such as enterprises’ spending on research and development per capita. 

Seven out of the top 10 on the index are from emerging economies, including Beijing and Guangdong Province. 

Shanghai has been ranking among the top 10 in the index for four consecutive years. Luo Shougui, professor of department of applied economics of the university who led the research, said Shanghai’s position can be attributed to the city government’s increasing investment on research and development, talent policies, mounting venture capital, and strong development in knowledge-intensive industries such as automobile, mechanical engineering and information technology.

“Shanghai has been working hard in attracting high-end talent, but to further develop knowledge-intensive industries also needs large number of ordinary technical staff,” Luo said, suggesting the city shall roll out more preferential policy to attract these professionals. 

The index has been released for eight consecutive years since 2010. Luo added his team plans to release an index on global knowledge competitiveness next year.

Meanwhile, the science and technology finance report said China has been speeding up nurturing startups, providing government subsidies, boosting the development of private funding to bolster the advanced technology growth.

China’s venture capital funding has ranked second worldwide following the United States. Last year China's venture capital totaled 827.7 billion yuan, up 24.2 percent from a year ago. 

China’s companies settled 923 overseas mergers last year with total worth US$221 billion — exceeding the sum over the previous four years, suggesting the fast growing competitiveness of China's technologies, according to Zhang Mingxi, researcher at the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development.

Among the regions nationwide, Shanghai is leading credit funding to high-tech companies by amount, said Jin Aimin, researcher at Shanghai Institute for Science.

By the end of last year, Shanghai has provided 150 billion yuan to 4,303 local high-tech companies. Most of the funds flew to electronics, information technology, car making and integrated circuit sectors, according to the report. 

"That means Shanghai provides a more friendly and active financial environment to bolster high-tech industries," Jin said.

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