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Sci-tech Innovation
 
 
 
Shanghai Constructs Science and Technology Innova...
By Li Rong


“Innovation will not exist at all when no one asks questions.” This point-of-view was proposed by Yang Fujia, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and the former President of Fudan University, while discussing Yangpu District’s construction for the important bearing area of Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center in this year.


“Question mark” is the starting point of human wisdom. As long as people can ask questions, they would make a great progress in terms of innovation. Shanghai has proposed a strategic goal of constructing a science and technology innovation center with global influence. “Welcome to ask questions”: This has become an important “open space” during this process. Yangpu District, as one of the most important bearing areas in Shanghai for constructing Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center, has initiated a discussion on this issue since June 2015. So far, Yangpu District has received nearly 600 questions and suggestions from the public and sorted out on these questions one by one.


Gao Debiao, Minister of Department of Publicity of Yangpu District Party Committee, said that he was surprised to see that by examining these questions, the government has seen more “details” on constructing Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center, and the direction for construction is more specific. For example, Han Wei, Vice General Manager of Tus-Caohejing Park Incubator, has asked four questions in terms of constructing incubators: What should we do if we can not recruit sufficient professional staffs? What should we do when short-term investment and profit-seeking draws negative impact on long-term effect? What should we do if government policy and capital support failed to make marketized allocation? What should we do if new business starters can not get more tolerant space and more sufficient time? These four question marks are indeed four important points for the research on incubators. Yangpu District is a representative region during the construction process of Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center. As an old industrial district, Yangpu District is home to many traditional advantageous enterprises, e.g. Shanghai Diesel Engine Company Limited and Shanghai Machine Tool Factory. These old factories have left precious spirit of “craftsmanship” to Shanghai. Yangpu District is also a knowledge-based district. 10 universities and more than 100 scientific research institutes are located here. Moreover, as an innovation-oriented district, Yangpu District has attracted more than 6,000 hi-tech enterprises to settle here.


Since Yangpu District opens up the space for “asking questions”, valuable questions come one after another: For example, what should be the relation between industrial foundation and popular innovation? How to combine short-term innovation with long-term innovation? Yangpu District has made careful thinking on these questions. On the next step, Yangpu District will focus on constructing industrial ecology groups, create atmosphere for popular entrepreneurship and innovation through “cultivation”, introduce more representative enterprises to settle in the district through “transplantation”, and enable leading enterprises and entrepreneurs to stimulate the development of industrial chain and industrial cluster through “reproduction”.


During the entire process of constructing Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center, Yangpu District will always welcome the public to ask questions. Han Guobiao, Director of Policy Research Office of Yangpu District Party Committee, said that a good question will always be the most valuable part of the “answer”. Yangpu District government will give feedbacks on time to everyone who has asked questions during the process of discussion, and will thank them for providing the government with valuable suggestions. The government will follow the people’s advices as best as they could. 

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