China-Israel Innovation Hub phase 2 is underway

Yang Jian
Construction has begun on two key projects at the China-Israel Innovation Hub (Shanghai) at Taopu Smart City in Putuo District.
Yang Jian
China-Israel Innovation Hub phase 2 is underway
Ti Gong

Construction is ready to start for the second phase of the China-Israel Innovation Hub (Shanghai) on January 8. The first two projects include a garden-style scientific research center (above) and an international office high-rise. 

Construction has begun on two key projects at the China-Israel Innovation Hub (Shanghai) at Taopu Smart City in Putuo District.

A garden-style scientific research center and an international high-rise office are emerging from Shanghai’s former dye chemical factory and its prestigious pen company in the northwest downtown area.

The two projects also marks the beginning of the innovation hub’s second-phase expansion, which opened stage one in December.

The former site of the Shanghai No. 8 Dye Chemical Factory is giving way to office buildings and R&D centers, covering about 420,000 square meters.

Jointly developed by the state-owned Huayi Group, owner of the chemical factory, and Lingang Group, the project covering an area of 62,000 square meters aims to attract R&D centers and the headquarters of multinational enterprises.

The other project, with a total construction area of 125,000 square meters, will stand out amidst the preserved buildings of the Shanghai Hero Pen Factory, a brand dating back to the 1930s.

The pen factory features industrial building styles from the 1950s and 1990s. The gold fountain pens manufactured there were once presented as gifts to foreign leaders.

The newly built high-end office building will accommodate additional scientific enterprises and startups from Israel and China.

The first series of 20 companies and institutions, 10 from Israel, have settled in at the renovated factory buildings on the site. They include leading Israeli life science incubator Ehealth and Trendlines, which focuses on medical and agri-food tech.

The China-Israel Innovation Hub and Taopu Smart City project acts as a city development blueprint and part of the national strategy, Cao Liqiang, Putuo’s Party secretary, told a ceremony launching the construction of both projects on January 8. Led by the two initial projects, construction will be in full swing for the innovation hub and the smart city in the new year.

The blueprint reveals the innovation park is being developed in three phases.

The first phase of the hub has been completed on the former site of Shanghai’s Hero pen factory, which dates back to the 1930s. It offers 1,500 square meters of exhibition space and a service center, and another 1,500 square meters of support facilities and 4,500 square meters of office space.

The second phase is being expanded to the Top Plaza by 2021. It will feature about 50,000 square meters of office buildings and over 10,000 square meters of apartments.

The hub can be further expanded at other smart city sites based on demand, the Putuo government said.

To support the companies based in the innovation hub, Putuo has accelerated infrastructure construction around the center to improve the environment, along with up-market commercial, talent apartments, education and medical services, ecological construction and community centers.

The Taopu Smart City blueprint reveals modern office buildings within the region will replace the former factories to create a beautiful skyline in the northwest downtown area.

It is expected to be on a par with Zhangjiang Science City in Pudong as a key hub in the western downtown area for the development of Shanghai as a technology and innovation center.

Shanghai’s first chemical industrial parks surrounded Taopu. Set up in 1954, the development of industrial enterprises were at a peak in the 1980s. However, rapid industrial development also resulted in pollution. To restore the area’s environment, the city has relocated most of its factories and is converting the industrial land into a 500,000-square-meter park, the largest in the downtown area.

Construction is under way on an integrated pipeline system, a high-tech commercial and business park as well as a US international school.

The smart city project is expected to help Taopu, which literally means “peach river,” return to its original environment. It was once an agricultural village with a small creek and peach trees on both sides, according to the district government.

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