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Weeklong event highlights Beijing's tech prowess

By Li You | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-16 08:09

Zhongguancun Science Park puts spotlight on latest innovation and entrepreneurship

This year's National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week was held at Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing from Oct 9 to 15, alongside a series of supplementary activities such as the Zhongguancun Innovation and Entrepreneurship Festival, and an innovation and entrepreneurship themed exhibition.

Organized by the National Development and Reform Commission, the Beijing government and the China Association for Science and Technology, the event celebrates Beijing's high-tech industry, emphasizing its achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship.

At the opening ceremony, the Zhongguancun administrative committee announced an innovation-boosting project, involving 27 "hardcore" science and technology incubation platforms.

 Weeklong event highlights Beijing's tech prowess

From top: An endoscopic surgery robot showcases its flexible manipulator arms at the Beijing venue of the National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week, held from Oct 9 to 15. A robot pouring water catches the attention of young visitors at a themed exhibition during the event. Primary school students interact with a robot at the show. Photos by Wang Zhuangfei / China Daily

These incubation platforms established under the aegis of a wide range of bodies - universities, research institutes, State-owned enterprises, foreign-funded companies and private enterprises - are scattered across Changping, Fengtai, Fangshan, Daxing, Haidian and Huairou districts and the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, also known as Beijing E-Town.

The platforms will place more emphasis on the commercialization of research findings and breakthroughs, giving rise to innovation and a new generation of technologies - ranging from information technology, healthcare and intelligent equipment, to artificial intelligence, integrated circuits and new materials technologies.

Officials said the maximum annual support for each platform can reach 10 million yuan ($1.44 million), supporting their work in guiding investment and financing, "matchmaking" projects and information exchange.

In addition, Zhongguancun is also rolling out initiatives to support the development of more sub-parks.

Zhai Lixin, director of the science park's administrative committee, said that in the future, the Zhongguancun administrative committee will work closely with its sub-parks to enhance service capabilities by upgrading infrastructure and introducing more skilled personnel.

By leveraging cutting-edge technologies, the total revenue of companies in Zhongguancun reached 1.9 trillion yuan in the first half of 2017, according to Wang Yingjian, a member of the Party leadership group of the Beijing Commission of Development and Reform.

"It is significant that the 2018 National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week is being held when we have entered a critical period of transforming the old drivers of the economy into new ones," said Yin Yong, vice-mayor of Beijing.

Given that Beijing is currently constructing a national-level science and technology innovation center that aims to hold global influence, the innovation week has become an important platform for innovative entrepreneurs to exchange ideas and achievements, Yin said.

The Zhongguancun Innovation and Entrepreneurship Festival, running through Oct 15, showcases the stories and experience of entrepreneurs from both home and abroad.

The themed exhibition, covering an area of 18,000 square meters, has attracted more than 300 exhibitors displaying more than 600 items, according to the administrative committee of Zhongguancun Science Park.

Multipronged approach to success

Beijing's "mass entrepreneurship and innovation" campaign focuses on five key areas:

Developing cutting edge technologies, led by artificial intelligence, which will give rise to a new wave of mass entrepreneurship

Associated projects, which apply and industrialize original frontier or disruptive technologies, have increased significantly.

About 45 percent of startups based in Beijing have centered on new areas such as AI, big data, intelligent healthcare and robots.

Increasing the amount of knowledge based entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship among young people and serial entrepreneurship

About 49 percent of entrepreneurs are former executives or technicians in major companies. Researchers, college teachers, doctorate holders and college students make up the rest.

Members of the younger generation have become entrepreneurial mainstays, with 39 percent of all entrepreneurs born in the 1980s and 11 percent born in the 1990s.

Integrating technology with entrepreneurial business models and making this part of the mainstream

Solutions-based entrepreneurship is becoming a new standard in China, with the information technology, healthcare and education industries adopting cross-disciplinary integration of mass entrepreneurship and innovation, thus helping to improve the quality and efficiency of manufacturing and public services.

To date, 27 sites within Zhongguancun have been selected as core technology incubator platforms.

Better organizing innovation and entrepreneurship to focus on the transformation of scientific findings

A total of 191 innovative incubators have been established in the Zhongguancun Demonstration Area, of which 54 are at the national level.

The incubators, covering a total area of 1.67 million square meters, support the growth of 4,641 budding entrepreneurs.

To date, 7,442 startups have graduated from these incubators.

Research institutes such as Peking University, Tsinghua University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have founded dedicated teams to promote the commercialization of their research achievements.

Growing global entrepreneurship and innovation

As innovation and entrepreneurship internationalizes, global entrepreneurship promotes the upgrading of mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

Domestic incubators such as Techcode and TusPark are setting up subsidiaries abroad.

The Sino-Israel Technology Innovations Center and the Beijing-California Innovations Center are also taking shape.

(China Daily 10/16/2018 page7)

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