Students learn to become entrepreneurs

Local universities are now active in educating students on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Local universities are active in educating students on innovation and entrepreneurship.

By the end of last year, 35 universities in Shanghai, or more than half of the total in the city, have set up over 1,000 innovation and entrepreneurship courses, including over 200 delivered online, according to the Shanghai Education Commission.

In about 30 universities, the innovation and entrepreneurship courses are compulsory.

Fudan University plans to integrate the innovation and entrepreneurship courses into its liberal arts education system that covers all undergraduates by 2020, according to a new plan released last year.

Nearly 400 teachers in local universities and 600 from outside are mentoring students who are interested in startups. Among them, 217 have been selected into the national pool of mentors for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Fudan University and ShanghaiTech University have been selected as national demonstration bases for innovation and entrepreneurship.

The city has also organized innovation and startup competitions under the theme of “Internet Plus” for three years. Last year, 14,950 students participated in the event, double the number in the previous year. They accounted for 2 percent of all the students in local universities. They presented 3,679 projects, up 260 percent from the previous year.

Universities are also encouraged to explore new ways to commercialize their scientific and technological achievements and reward researchers in a bid to stimulate them to be more active in innovation.

The total value of 4,220 contracts for translating university research achievements to applications exceeded 2 billion yuan (US$320 million) for the first time last year, up 8.8 percent from the previous year.

These include a case in Fudan University which permitted American Huya Co to use its anti-cancer drug patents, worth not more than US$65 million, for clinical development and sales globally except the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

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