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Sci-tech Innovation
Yangpu District Extends Brand within a Scope of 2...
By Meng Qunshu

The promulgation of “22 Items for Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center” provides rare opportunity to Yangpu District for creating more abundant atmosphere for entrepreneurship. 

Yangpu District’s positioning is to construct a demonstration area for popular innovation with domestic and global influence, and Knowledge & Innovation Community tries to take a lead in this demonstration area. That is to say, Knowledge & Innovation Community will not only “construct a city”, but will also create environment benefiting to popular entrepreneurship and innovation, like nurturing sand in shells into shining pearls.

“We will further expand the scope of Knowledge & Innovation Community, imitate its experiences and create broader environment for innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Zhuge Yujie, Yangpu District Party Chief.

Our reporter learned that Yangpu District will extend the brand of Knowledge & Innovation Community within a scope of 2 square kilometers. The planning floor area will extend to 1.4 million square meters, and Knowledge & Innovation Community will be a new engine for transformation and development of Yangpu District.

“Yangpu District has one hundred years of history in terms of industry, university and urban construction. These are precious treasures for Yangpu District. By constructing a science and technology innovation center, we hope to attract more outstanding talents and business starters to start up their own business in Yangpu District and provide powerful strength of transformation and development to Yangpu District,” said Xie Jiangang, Governor of Yangpu District.

Universities are source of innovation: overflowing effect is the key

Zhida Technology in Knowledge & Innovation Community has gained reputation since the company became one of the first batches of companies that signed agreement with Tesla for providing charging service to Chinese car owners. Careful visitors would see two plates at the gate of the company: “Tongji - Zhida Electronic Vehicle Development & Simulation Lab” and “Inclusive Design Lab for New Energy Vehicle Service”.

Huang Zhiming, General Manager of the company, used to be a manager of an international automobile corporation for more than ten years. While studying in Tongji University, he was a researcher in the electronic vehicle development and simulation lab. He is familiar with the development trend of the new energy automobile sector. In 2010, he resigned from his position and founded Zhida Technology. In 2012, when the development trend for new energy automobile sector in China was not good, many enterprises quit the market, but Zhida Technology did not. Two years later, executives of Tesla visited the company, and were amazed by the company, saying: “It never occurred to us that there is a startup business in Yangpu District with so profound experiences in developing new energy vehicles.”

Industry-university-research institute alliance benefited Zhida Technology and Tongji University at the same time. Tongji University added the name of “Zhida” to its electronic vehicle lab, and formed intensive partnership with Zhida Technology. The company also joined hands with School of Design and Creativity of Tongji University and established an Inclusive Design Lab for New Energy Vehicle Service, and endowed new design concepts to the company’s products.

University is the source for innovation. It is also the unique advantage of Knowledge & Innovation Community. Yangpu District should focus on integration of industries and the district. More importantly, it should realize “integration of universities and the district”, and give full play to the functions of universities. “Original technologies and ideas come from labs of universities. We hope to develop resources of universities into an open platform and further stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Zuo Weidong, Director of Yangpu District Development and Reform Commission.

Yangpu District will stimulate the overflowing effect of universities, help more enterprises to benefit from the academic resources of universities, and enhance the capability of innovation of universities. Yibao Technology has established a lab in Department of Insurance of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and provided selection courses to students. The company also opened up its database to students. In the future, enterprises in Knowledge & Innovation Community will interact with universities nearby more frequently.

“It is hard to describe the relation between Silicon Valley and Stanford University. They stimulated the development of each other. When we look at the development trend of science and technology innovation centers in the world, we could find out that urbanization is a significant feature of these innovation centers. The abundant information, talent advantages and convenient life in cities are sufficient to cover high costs. Yangpu District is located in downtown area of Shanghai, and it is home to many universities in Shanghai. Let’s imagine that if Fudan University and Tongji University is located in rural areas, and are surrounded by fields, it is no way to release the overflowing effects of these universities,” said Guan Yuanfa, Chairman of the Board of Yangpu Science and Technology Innovation Co.

To further explore the potential of Fudan University, School of Management, which is under construction, will pull down the walls of the school and open it to Knowledge & Innovation Community.

Innovation parks are inseparable from making researches and guiding industrial development

Recently, approved by Shanghai Municipal Economics & Information Commission, Knowledge & Innovation Community became a pilot unit for constructing “Four New” economic innovation base in Shanghai. Among the 9 innovation parks in Shanghai, Knowledge & Innovation Community is the only base focusing on cloud computing and big data, because Knowledge & Innovation Community has accumulated abundant experiences on these sectors in the past several years.

Three years ago, when Ucloud Information Technology Co., a cloud computing service provider, was newly founded in Knowledge & Innovation Community, the innovation park managed to lend a conference room to the company for business startups. Three years later, Ucloud has grown into a company with more than 20,000 users.

One can not establish an innovation park without making researches on industries. In the past years, after making profound studies on industries, Yangpu District has determined to develop cloud computing and big data. In 2010, Knowledge & Innovation Community took a lead on this aspect. It became a “Cloud Computing Innovation Base in Shanghai” and attracted nearly 200 cloud computing and big data enterprises to settle in the park.

Cloud computing is the “back stage” of an Internet company. Enterprises only need to concentrate on creative design and R&D, and entrust other things to the cloud platform. In Ucloud, many customers are Internet application companies in the park, including enterprises in Internet games, videos, online education and mobile medical service sector. Cloud computing and big data, as amazing technological innovation, has strong absorption power in industry. Whenever Ucloud moves into a new office building, many upper-stream and downstream enterprises would move into the same building. “Internet enterprises need our service,” said Hua Kun, Chief Operation Officer of Ucloud.

Good ecological system will be formed after choosing a suitable core sector. Cloud computing and big data enterprises, as technological innovation enterprises, they have attracted several “service innovation” Internet enterprises to gather around, and these enterprises would provide service to more traditional enterprises focusing on “pattern innovation”. In this way, the level of the park will be further enhanced. There will be more stories of “upstairs and downstairs changing into upper-stream and downstream.”

“Innovation is like nuclear infusion. The bigger the density is, the higher incidence of collision will be. Nuclear infusion will occur while focusing on a field and integrating a sector,” said Yang Ling, General Manager of Cloud Computing Innovation Base.

Now mobile Internet has become the feature of innovation and entrepreneurship in Wujiaochang area. On the next step, Knowledge & Innovation Community will continue to focus on cloud computing and big data, build up a big data dream factory and a big data alliance, and take a lead in cloud computing and big data sector.

The value of an industrial park lies in bonds, not in office buildings.

Tianhu Creative Design Co used to be a company providing derivative products of automobile culture to customers. The company has a powerful designer team and many designers are winners of “Red Point” Design Award. In Knowledge & Innovation Community, an innovation park with many mobile Internet enterprises, the company has made new progress. The company engaged in “Internet +” and established a creative website focusing on brand culture derivative products. Through this creative platform, the company would receive and dispatch orders online. “In the past, we would do everything by ourselves. But now, we keep Internet thoughts in mind and invite professionals to join us. With the support of professional teams, we have expanded out business scope,” said Hu Zhiwei, Chairman of the Board of the company.

Everyday, you could find out stories of enterprises to achieve further growth through mutual inspiration. Although Zhida Technology is a charging service provider for new energy vehicles, it is a company based on Internet fundamentally. Many outstanding IT employees in the company came from the company’s neighbor, IBM. All employees in the park have lunch in the same canteen, and they often talk about the companies that they work for. It is not rare that an employee was attracted by the work conditions in other company, resigned from his position and began to work for a new employer.

Starting business is the responsibility of enterprises. The government should provide enterprises with resources and spaces for innovation and create good atmosphere for business startups for them. The value of an industrial park lies in bonds, not in office buildings. This is important experiences that Knowledge & Innovation Community has accumulated. That is to say, the park should enable enterprises to have good interactions and create values during the process of interaction.

From 2004 to 2014, the tax revenue of Knowledge & Innovation Community has increased from 26.21 million yuan to 1.164 billion yuan, with a 44 times accumulated growth rate. “Knowledge & Innovation Community began to construct an innovation community since long time ago. We hope to nurture the values of advocating innovation, open competition and mutual progress, and help more enterprises to achieve success here,” said Du Juan, General Manager of Yangpu Knowledge Innovation and Development Co, Ltd.

Knowledge & Innovation Community is promoting innovation resources and achievements in wider scope. Construction for the innovation living axis on Daxue Road, the green axis in Knowledge & Innovation Community and the traffic axis on Songhu Road is under way. These three axes will consist of a “golden triangle” covering wider area. Knowledge & Innovation Community also attracts innovative elements and service resources of universities, government, enterprises and social organizations for establishing a regional innovation network; give full play to the leading role of Bay Area Office, branch of Californian Trade & Investment Co., and the Bay Area Digital Industrial Park, and build Knowledge & Innovation Community into a highland for innovation and entrepreneurship with global influence. 

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