Jiashan innovation center to open in Shanghai

Shanghai has become a magnet for regions in the Yangtze River Delta seeking integrated development in innovation.

Shanghai has become a magnet for regions in the Yangtze River Delta seeking integrated development in innovation.

The county government of Jiashan, in Zhejiang Province, on Wednesday announced it will open a 20,000-square-meter innovation center, featuring a startup incubator, cultural platform and talent pool, in the emerging business hub of “Big Hongqiao” in west Shanghai.

The Jiashan International Innovation Center is set to open in June in the Hongqiao World Center in Qingpu District, just across the street from the National Exhibition and Convention Center.

The first group of tenants include the Research Center of Composite Materials of Shanghai University, plus Hangzhou-based nihub, a landing platform for foreign startups in China. The center’s operator is Zhejiang Greenroot Sci-Tech Industry Development Co.

Wang Chunliu, deputy director of Jiashan, said the county has complementary advantages with Shanghai in developing innovation.

On the southeast of the Yangtze River Delta, Jiashan has grown from a traditional agricultural county in the early 1990s to a modern manufacturing base.

Jiashan has become an emerging “satellite town” for Shanghai families to settle in and for Shanghai companies to set up factories. 

Also, it is China's only county-level demonstration zone for scientific development. Today, its key industries include electronics and precision machinery such as smart sensors.

“It means that we can enjoy many favorable policies and are allowed to show regulation flexibility to encourage innovation,” Wang said.

Jiashan has granted “green channel” approval for companies making smart medical equipment, halving the amount of time it takes to go through administrative procedures. Companies can now be registered in 40 days.

And to attract foreign businesses, Jiashan has set up a department to offer one-stop services, from registration, construction to production.

Joshua Bunnell, nihub's chief marketing officer, said it chose to set up offices at the Jiashan International Innovation Center because it wanted to offer better services to clients based in Shanghai.

He said Shanghai has great innovation ambiance, a large startup community and an open mind for new business.

Under the plan, new ideas will be incubated at the center and then put into production in Jiashan. 

It will also open a window for people from home and abroad to get to know Jiashan’s innovation development.

“Together with Shanghai’s Qingpu and Jiangsu’s Wujiang, we hope to form our own bay area rivaling the New York Bay, San Francisco Bay and Tokyo Bay,” Wang said. 

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