Xuhui taking on global leaders to lure scientific services business

The district wants to match world leaders such as Boston and Silicon Valley as a center for the scientific services center.

Xuhui District aims to develop its scientific services sector to match Boston and Silicon Valley, the district government said yesterday.

Xuhui plans to create a similar “ecological environment” to that of Boston, where high-tech enterprises and startups communicate and cooperate with each other helped by introductions by the government, said Zhang Lan, deputy director of the development and reform commission of Xuhui.

Scientific services include research, technological promotion, training, consultancies, intellectual property rights and scientific assessment.

The district aims to become a global center for technological transformation by 2020, gathering some of the world’s top high-tech and scientific services enterprises.

It is part of the district government’s contribution to the city government’s campaign to promote Shanghai’s four brands: manufacturing, services, shopping and culture.

“We decides to be based in Xuhui because of the education and medical services and other preferential policies offered by the government that will help to retain most of our key professionals,” said Ding Gaoxiang, chief operations officer with Titan, a startup that has broken the monopoly of foreign manufacturers on laboratory equipment and reagents.

Titan’s sales revenue was 660 million yuan (US$103.4 million) in 2017 and is expected to reach 1 billion yuan this year.

Ding said most of the company’s main customers are based in Xuhui, thanks to the district’s scientific environment.

It is home to the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry and the Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences, both under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Open AI Lab, an artificial intelligence startup, said it was easier to recruit high-end professionals in Shanghai. The number of employees in its Xuhui-based office has increased fivefold since it was established in May last year.

About five industrial “leagues,” or company groupings, in areas such as robotics, AI, Big Data and chips have based in Xuhui.

Scientific service companies like Titan and Open AI Lab contributed 101 billion yuan in revenue in 2016, an 11 percent increase year on year, said Zhang.

By 2020, the district aims to attract 15 regional headquarters of multinational enterprises, six national technological centers and 50 research and development centers from around the world.

To achieve that goal, the government plans to turn its Caohejing high-tech park into a Silicon Valley-like base for scientific enterprises and startups, backed by the necessary support services.

These include a service for intellectual property rights protection. The Shanghai Patent and Trademark Law Office and other professional IPR organizations are also based in Xuhui.

The district will also work with LinkedIn and the CIIC human resources company to bring in more professionals to work in the district.

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