New regulation spells out city's innovation ambitions

Chen Huizhi
Local deputies have passed a bill which establishes goals for turning Shanghai into a global center for scientific and technological development.
Chen Huizhi

A regulation on pushing forward the construction of Shanghai into an innovation hub was passed in the city’s legislature on Monday.

Deputies of the Shanghai People’s Congress voted the bill through on the closing day of the annual session of the congress.

The regulation lays out goals for the city to be built into “a comprehensive and opening science and technology innovation hub with global influence,” “an important origin ground for innovation, a strategic highland of domestic innovation and a key junction of the global innovation network.”

For this purpose, Shanghai will enhance international communication and cooperation on innovation, forge a favorable environment for innovation factors to move across borders and proactively incorporate itself into the global innovation network, the regulation states.

The regulation also encourages the establishment of joint laboratories and R&D centers between domestic and overseas parties, and the organization of major international science plans and projects.

International science and technology organizations, R&D centers of international companies and universities, science institutes and technology service agencies are encouraged to be set up or open branches in Shanghai.

Drawing on a policy previously introduced, the regulation stresses that overseas R&D agencies and scientists can join local innovators to apply for science and technology projects planned by the government.

In terms of talent, the regulation seeks to draw talent both home and abroad based on the needs and assessment of the market, with the key focus on drawing talent “urgently needed in constructing the city as a science and technology innovation center.”

The regulation requires the government to provide support for relaxing permanent-residency applications for foreign talent.

It encourages both domestic and overseas capital to set up professional startup investors in Shanghai.

The regulation emphasizes support for small and medium-sized innovation companies via the construction of public-service platforms, the establishment of special funds and through government purchase policies, encouraging the transformation of old commercial facilities, unoccupied buildings and former industrial plants into innovation parks.

It also encourages innovators to forge alliances in “studies of cutting-edge science and technology and key generic technology” in which they compliment each other in their strengths, share eventual results and also take common risks.

In terms of the protection of intellectual property rights, the regulation asks the government to establish rapid channels to punish infringement in “key industries and fields,” and asks the court to rule for high compensation to harmed parties according to the law.

Further, the regulation requires the assessment of credit information on research projects and respect of intellectual property rights. Those with good credit shall be offered convenience when applying for projects, while those with bad credit shall face restrictions when bidding for government procurement orders, applying for government financing as well as in raising capital and receiving awards.

According to the regulation, the city will forge ahead with the establishment of risk assessment and inspection mechanisms for ethical issues in the research and application of new technologies.

The regulation will take effect from May 1.

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