Shanghai urged to focus on building a digital talent pool

Zhu Shenshen
Shanghai should boost its digital talent pool and accelerate talent introduction to support its pioneering sectors and digital economy.
Zhu Shenshen

Shanghai should increase its digital talent pool and accelerate talent introduction to align with the city's vision for developing pioneering sectors and the digital economy.

The proposals suggested at the 2023 Two Sessions fit with Shanghai's goal of achieving 5.5 percent GDP growth in 2023, with 18 percent coming from the digital economy.

Delegates at the sessions in Shanghai said that a mature and better digital talent pool will boost the growth of three pioneering industries (AI, semiconductor and biomedicine and alleviate the effects of the US tech embargo.

Five members of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference have proposed that Shanghai improve the talent pool and build a digital talent information service platform; establish more incubators for digital talent; reconstruct digital talent training systems in colleges and research organizations; and focus on the core industries of Shanghai's digital economy.

The members include researchers and administrators from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and East China Normal University.

According to the proposal, Shanghai already has a large talent pool for metaverse, chips and artificial intelligence that ranks among the best in the country. However, more talent is required for the development of the digital economy, which requires more smart factories and Internet application innovations.

During a panel at the Shanghai People's Congress, delegate Xu Yan recommended that the city initiate additional programs to attract and retain semiconductor talent. Xu is the deputy general manager of the Shanghai GTA Semiconductor Co, which has invested 22 billion yuan (US$3.19 billion) in the construction of facilities in Shanghai.

"Talent are the primary resource for development, and the semiconductor industry is driven by talent," added Xu.

"With a rapidly expanding semiconductor sector, Shanghai has a reasonably large talent pool, but there has been a risk of talent flight in recent years. Therefore, it is recommended to implement measures to attract talent."

Fang Qizhong, head of the IT company Qishi and a member of the CPPCC Shanghai Committee, proposed the establishment of a dedicated fund to attract semiconductor talent.

Fang said that a stronger and more specialized industrial policy will "help in establishing an autonomous and secure domestic chip manufacturing chain to ensure supply."

Zhang Shicheng, a senior executive of the Nan Fung Group, urged Shanghai to attract more overseas research talent and enterprises for basic and cross-industry research, thereby enhancing the city's status as a national science and innovation center.

A suggestion by two Shanghai CPPCC members from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai Jiao Tong University encouraged the city to promote and encourage ideas from high-caliber individuals older than 45.

According to experts, entrepreneurs typically have more experience and greater opportunity to translate research into commercial outcomes.

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