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Sci-tech Innovation
 
 
 
“Micro Innovation” and “Micro Integration” of Gra...
By Li Rong


Source: The Xinhua News Agency: No one would have imagined that there is an incubation base for new business starters in a residential quarter by the side of the hustle-and-bustle Shuifeng Road in Yangpu District, Shanghai. As the person-in-charge of the incubation base told our reporter, “The community is a grassroots society. The environment here is suitable for grassroots makers to start new business.”


Our reporter paid a visit to the incubation base recently, and found out an interesting phenomenon here: There is a long row of “talking islands” in the center of the base. Shrubs and flowers created a “center of the circle”, surrounded by several benches; there are several incubation rooms on both sides of the base. The doors are opened for everyone, and no one has the habit of shutting the doors. Makers walked to and fro from different incubation rooms and discussed creative ideas with their companions on the “talking islands” outdoor. Their discussions covered both imaginative aspects and practical details of ideas.


An official from Yanji Sub-district, who takes charge of this grassroots maker project, praised the reporter for his “keen observation”. Indeed, grassroots makers need to talk to each other. Micro innovation requires micro integration, learning from each other and thus forms a joint force. “Fixed deposit by installments” will be a trend for grassroots business startups. The social demands of the sub-district itself provide market circumstance to business startups. The sub-district should provide new business starters on grassroots level with a platform of integration.


Yangpu District takes a lead in Shanghai to put the “grassroots platform” for science and technology innovation in sub-districts and communities, which are organizations on the most basic level, and makes the seemingly “high-end” science and technology innovation truly “down to earth”. So far, Yangpu District has completed construction for seven business startups incubation bases for young people in community and college students. These bases have accepted over 170 applications for business startups projects. Over 30% of them have succeeded in incubation and registered as companies. Zhuge Yujie, Party Chief of Yangpu District, said that both community governance and innovation and settlement of innovation and business startups are integral parts of innovation. Innovation doesn’t “appear out of thin air”. It often evolves from connections between two things that “seemed to be irrelevant to each other”. Once you have found out these connections, you are on the way of innovation. There are several “intermediate regions” between two innovation processes. This is the place for makers to show their ability.


Our reporter met with two makers, Qin Ming and Jiang Gongbao, in China (Shanghai) Public Training Base for Entrepreneurs. Qin and Jiang are co-founders of Long’ai Culture, a business startups project. Our reporter asked them, what’s the meaning of “co-founders”? They also praised the reporter for his “keen observation”. Behind this word, there is a story of “micro integration” in “micro business startups”.


“Long’ai Culture” used to be a business startups project for college student that was incubated on sub-district level. This project acted as a go-between for customers and on campus service. However, as a single grassroots business startups project, it soon encountered a bottleneck for further growth. Later, this project participated in online and offline activities on the entrepreneurship connection platform in community and formed partnership with other grassroots projects on several core sections, e.g. customer, service, design and product matching. The success in “micro integration” enables this project to “graduate successfully” and seek further development in industrial parks.


Experts of community studies, e.g. Xu Zhongzhen, Executive Vice President of Shanghai Research Institute of Community Development, considered that serving innovation and business startups is an undertaking with bright future for sub-districts. It builds up various platforms for innovation-oriented social governance and provides guidance to connect with various kinds of resources. Apart from economic function, grassroots business startups also have human elements and other functions, such as cultural life. You will often feel the “fragrance of coffee” in places with abundant atmosphere for innovation. This is a beautiful landscape in community. 

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