Pudong unveils blueprint to encourage business innovation

Li Qian Yan Jiayin
The district released its Group Open Innovation plan, calling on industry leaders with business in Pudong to build innovation platforms and create collaborative networks.
Li Qian Yan Jiayin

Pudong is giving new impetus for big business to embrace open innovation as to support its high-level reform and opening-up strategy.

The new area government on Thursday released its Group Open Innovation plan, calling on industry leaders with business in Pudong to build open innovation platforms and create collaborative innovation networks.

Roche Accelerator, the first in-house accelerator globally, JLabs @ Shanghai, Johnson & Johnson's first overseas JLABS incubator outside North America, and Microsoft's AI & loT Insider Lab, the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region, were among the first 20 to join the plan.

Notably, most of them focus on "hardcore industries," namely artificial intelligence and biomedicine.

"We are dedicated to strengthening our investment in R&D specifically in biotech innovation in China, and are aiming to enhance collaboration with government and local partners," said Dr. Harm-Jan Borgeld, Global Head of Pharma Partnering Asia, Roche.

He said many startups have great ideas, but they often need help to materialize them and transform an idea into an actual treatment that reaches patients.

In the startup stage, biopharma know-how is crucial to supporting early research.

"As one of the global leaders in the health-care industry, Roche is committed to taking an active role in further accelerating innovation, fostering collaboration and supporting innovation by catalyzing and empowering the creative minds of entrepreneurs in the very early stages of the scientific process," he said.

Over the past 31 years, Pudong has grown from farmland to a strong innovation engine.

A scientific and technological innovation hub with global influence is taking shape, supported by tens of key labs and advanced research institutes, hundreds of big companies, as well as tens of thousands of startups.

The GOI plan will promote deeper integration between these innovation agencies with authorities, financial agencies and other departments to achieve open innovation, said Wu Qiang, deputy director of Pudong.

Today, big businesses no longer relies on themselves for innovation, and instead they welcome external resources with open arms to share complementary strengths to decrease costs and increase efficiency.

Open innovation has become a global trend, Wu said, adding there is expected to be at least 100 open innovation centers set by up big business within three years.

Accordingly, Pudong will unveil a set of favorable policies to industry leaders joining the GOI plan, such as a maximum of 10 million yuan (US$150,000) to help open an innovation center.

Special Reports