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Sci-tech Innovation
 
 
 
Yangpu District Party Chief: Construct Important ...
By Xu Min, Zhang Jun and Gu Yong


Yangpu District is facing with an important opportunity for the third time: Construct a science and technology innovation center with global influence. This opportunity has strong connections with the two opportunities that Yangpu District has faced with previously. We should grasp this opportunity, build up an upgraded version of national innovation-oriented pilot urban area and try to become an important bearing area for Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center.


As a central urban district covering the largest area in Shanghai and has the most abundant science and education resources, Yangpu District has made explorations on knowledge innovation area and national innovation-oriented pilot urban area, and has become a district with completed elements and solid foundation for innovation. How to make a good positioning, focus and layout while fully participating in the process of Shanghai to construct a science and technology innovation center with global influence? Zhuge Yujie, Yangpu District Party Chief, accepted an exclusive interview from our reporters.
 
Grasp opportunities and become an important bearing area for Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center


Reporter: Shanghai is constructing a science and technology innovation center with global influence. What’s the positioning of Yangpu District in this process? 


Zhuge Yujie: Shanghai needs to accelerate the pace of constructing a science and technology innovation center with global influence. This news greatly inspired all officials in Yangpu District. Constructing a science and technology innovation center with global influence is a powerful support for Shanghai to construct “four centers”. This is a feasible objective for Yangpu District.


As we all know, Yangpu District used to be an old industrial base of Shanghai. Its industrial output used to account for one-fourth of the total industrial output of Shanghai. For this reason, Yangpu District became a key object of industrial adjustment in the last industrial transformation. At that time, as for “what kind of breakthroughs we should make”, we have got clear answer, but we were still confused as for the strategies that we should take in the future. In 2003, Yangpu District got its first important opportunity. Shanghai Municipal Party Committee and Shanghai Municipal Government have made a strategic decision for constructing a knowledge innovation area in Yangpu District. This decision has made a breakthrough in our reliance on ideology, channel and pattern, and helped us to work out a strategy of transforming from a traditional industrial district to a knowledge innovation district. We met our second opportunity in 2010. In that year, Yangpu District became a national innovation-oriented pilot urban area in China and stood on a higher starting point. In the past, there were less than 1,000 innovation-oriented enterprises in Yangpu District, but in that year, this number increased to 6,000. In the past, no Fortune 500 enterprise in the world has ever established a head office in Yangpu, but in that year, 8 Fortune 500 enterprises established head offices in Yangpu. The Silicon Valley Bank established its first foreign-funded technology-oriented bank in China. Now Yangpu District is facing with its third great opportunity: Construct a science and technology innovation center with global influence. This opportunity has strong connections with the two opportunities that Yangpu District has faced with previously. We should grasp this opportunity, build up an upgraded version of national innovation-oriented pilot urban area and try to become an important bearing area for Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center.


Reporter: What advantages does Yangpu District have as an important bearing area for the science and technology innovation center?


Zhuge Yujie: Yangpu District has unique advantages. After making over ten year’s construction, Yangpu District has accumulated solid foundation: The proportion of undergraduate students and postgraduate students in Yangpu accounts for 20% and 30% respectively in Shanghai; there are 57 academicians in Yangpu District, accounting for one-third of the total amount of academicians in Shanghai; There are 3 national engineering technology research centers and 19 engineering technology research centers on municipal level in Yangpu District, accounting for 14.3% and 10.8% respectively in Shanghai; there are 10 state-level key labs and 23 key labs on municipal level, accounting for 25% and 21.3% respectively in Shanghai. We have built 20 hi-tech parks with universities, scientific research institutes and large-scale enterprises. 7 hi-tech parks are state-level high technology parks in universities, accounting for 54% of all university-level hi-tech parks in Shanghai. 111 enterprises in Yangpu District are specialized and high-quality enterprises in Shanghai. This number is the highest among other downtown districts in Shanghai. There are 135 talents under the “One Thousand Talents Plan” by the Central Government, accounting for 20% in Shanghai. There are 481 enterprises founded by overseas talents returned to China.


Yangpu District makes great efforts to encourage business startups. We have constructed an innovation service chain with the structure of “before business startups — business startups nursery — incubator — accelerator”. The incubation carrier in Yangpu District with a certain degree of scale covers 180,000 square meters in total. We have invited outstanding talents, e.g. Li Kaifu’s “Innovation Factory” base in Shanghai and Shanghai Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Foundation for College Students, and professional incubation platforms to settle in Yangpu District. In each year, these platforms will incubate 200~300 enterprises founded by college students and teachers. The ratio of entrepreneurship-driven employment is 1: 8.2, higher than the average level of Shanghai. We founded a China (Shanghai) Public Training Base for Entrepreneurs with Shanghai Municipal Human Resource and Social Security Bureau. So far, we have given supports to 250 business startups projects. The success rate of incubation is around 50%. These achievements laid solid foundation for us to construct an important bearing area for Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center. 
 
Breakthrough both tangible and intangible barriers


Reporter: What kind of bottlenecks does Yangpu District need to break through for constructing an important bearing area for Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center?


Zhuge Yujie: We need to break all tangible and intangible barriers. The most important thing is to lower the threshold for all reasonable flow of innovation elements. So far, we need to solve two bottlenecks of flow. The first one is in universities. We should break all barriers in systems and ensure the sufficient flowing of innovation achievements. Recently, we are seeking partnership with Fudan University for constructing “two institutes and two alliances”: an industrial technology research institute, an urban development research institute, an entrepreneurship alliance for college students, and an industry-university-institute alliance in Jiangwan. We will also promote the joint development of Fudan University’s Jiangwan Campus and Bay Valley Hi-tech Park in terms of space and functions, construct a diversified and open sharing mechanism for innovation resources and join hands with Tongji University for enhancing the level of Tongji knowledge economic circle. In terms of forward-looking technology, we would focus on frontier sectors and explore core technologies on advanced level in China. The other bottleneck lies in technological market. We need to promote the allocation of innovative research findings on the market. It is necessary to accelerate the development of service-oriented platforms, e.g. intermediate service for science and technology. In this way, we would solve problems like loose connections between innovation objects and incomplete coordinate innovation mechanism. By relying on China’s construction for National Eastern Tech-Transfer Center, we should attract intermediate service agencies to settle in Yangpu, strengthen the functions of technological exhibition, technology transfer, re-R&D of technology, technological service and technological evaluation, and build a market for science and technology innovation elements that is “based in Shanghai, serves the Yangtze River Delta and covers the entire country.”


Reporter: What plans does Yangpu District have on the next step for constructing an important bearing area for Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center?


Zhuge Yujie: As the only national innovation-oriented pilot urban area in Shanghai, Yangpu District shares heavy responsibilities for constructing Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center. Yangpu District is actively seeking a starting point. According to the innovation resources and industrial space layout in Shanghai, we hope to give full play to our advantages on regional science and technology innovation and our basic advantages while making exploration in the past ten years, and “build up highlands of three categories and strengthen one support”, which means to construct a highland for knowledge and technology, a high land for technology transfer and cluster, a highland for incubating new industries, actively create atmosphere for “popular entrepreneurship and innovation” as a fundamental support for implementing innovation-driven strategy, and enable Yangpu District to become an important bearing area for Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center. 

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