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Shanghai forum looks at innovation and trends

Updated: 2013-11-15 16:15
By SHI JING in Shanghai (

Business development and trends were brought into sharp focus by specialists and entrepreneurs at a key forum in Shanghai on Friday.

The Innovation China 2013 Forum in Shanghai was co-organized by the Shanghai-based investment and advisory firm China Materialia LLC, the UCLA Anderson School of Management and John S. and Marilyn Long US – China Institute for Business and Law.

Zhou Yupeng, president of the Shanghai Modern Service Industry Association and former vice-mayor of Shanghai, said that a new technological and industrial revolution is underway with the era of big data.

As this coincides with the country's restructuring, communication and exchanges will take on greater significance for Chinese companies and institutions.

"Forums can help to facilitate communication between the government, academia and companies. It also presents great opportunities to study the successful experiences of the world's leading multinational companies," Zhou said.

Guo Rong, director of the Institute of Science and Technology Investment at the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development, said that China saw approximately 1 trillion yuan ($164.1 billion) invested in research and development in 2012, up 16.8 percent year-on-year. This accounted for about 1.98 percent of GDP.

Guo said that the government has introduced a number of policies to facilitate funding for small- and medium-sized enterprises in the science and technology sector.

About 10,000 projects are introduced every year to boost SMEs in the hope of speeding up science and technology development.

"But the issue that needs immediate addressing is to let the banks shoulder responsibility for the SMEs. Usually, they are not willing to risk funding SMEs. We can learn from the successful experience of SPD Silicon Valley Bank in terms of funding SMEs in science and technology sector," said Guo.

Zheng Yuexiao, from the Shanghai Overseas High-Level Talents Innovation and Entrepreneurship Service Center, said that it is only through entrepreneurship that the results of innovation can be transformed into industry profits. But he has also seen over the years that SMEs usually face difficulty in terms of funding. There is seldom a so-called angel fund or funding that really focuses on startups.

"Regarding this, we offered some kind of startup funding as government funding. We also help these companies in terms of market exploitation. We do this as we understand that expertise not only helps boost a company but also a whole sector," said Zheng.