R&D firms join platform to share data

A total of 35 research and development institutions of foreign investment companies based in the city have joined Shanghai R&D Public Service Platform.

SGS, an international inspection, verification, testing and certification company, has made over 100 million yuan (US$16 million) by sharing its research and development, testing and other facilities with other companies in the past two years in China.

Including this company, a total of 35 research and development institutions of foreign investment companies based in Shanghai have joined Shanghai R&D Public Service Platform, an R&D facility sharing platform, the government said on Monday.

The companies now have 149 facilities worth over 200 million yuan in total at their disposal, serving companies in the fields of electronics, material science, new energy and biomedicine, among others.

Companies interested in using the facilities can submit requests online — once prices are agreed on by both sides, access will be given to the facilities.

The government offers up to 100,000 yuan every year to companies who use a facility on the platform, and there are also incentives for facility owners.

Shanghai Science and Technology Commission, which runs the platform, said there has been growing interest in joining the platform from foreign invested companies in Shanghai in the past few years.

Currently there are 10,049 science facilities worth over 13 billion yuan available for use on the platform, including Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility and Shanghai Supercomputer Center, according to the commission.

The commission said it hopes to convene more foreign companies on the platform, considering there are over 400 foreign research and development institutions in the city.

An event to promote the platform was held for over 20 such institutions on Monday, including a few which have already joined the platform.

Companies expressed huge interest in the platform but also raised a few concerns such as legal liability issues like intellectual property protection and possible contradictions with company accounting rules in charging money directly from other companies for the use of R&D facilities.

The commission said it’s open to all questions and suggestions from foreign companies.

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