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Innovation hub takes off

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-03-31 10:07

Continued growth and development at Beijing's high-tech zone, Song Mengxing reports.

Zhongguancun Haidian Science Park in Beijing, the home of several scientific and technological enterprises, aims to become a globally influential hub of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Statistics showed that the park was home to more than 12,000 technological companies by the end of 2013 and 5,200 of them were national-level high-tech businesses.

The park, the website of which is www. zhongguancun.com.cn, is the key area of Zhongguancun Science Park and has long focused on technological innovation to become an iconic hub for China's innovation development, according to the park's website.

Baidu Inc, a giant Internet company based in the park, is developing a project called "Baidu Brain" that uses computer technologies to simulate human brains.

During the recent annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Li Yanhong, CEO of Baidu, suggested that the Chinese government should set up a "China Brain" project to accelerate the development of artificial intelligence.

The project would focus on fields including military and civil robots, unmanned vehicles, smart drones and smart medical diagnosis, he said.

Li advised government agencies to jointly establish platforms that offer resources and public services for artificial intelligence and promote commercialization of research achievements in the field.

He said that the project would help traditional industries and social services become more intelligent and would help China's innovation-driven development strategy.

Beijing Xinwei Telecom Technology Co is another innovative business in Zhongguancun Haidian Science Park. The company set several international and national communication standards including Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access, or SCDMA, and its technologies have been commercialized in 33 countries.

Some former Chinese ambassadors, invited by the Department of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Science and Technology, visited Beijing Xinwei on March 16. Jiang Bofeng, vice-president of the company, told visitors about Xinwei's development and achievements in industrialization and standardization of China's independent communication systems.

The company received several awards including first prize in the State Science and Technology Progress Award and China Gold Patent Awards.

The company's website said it helped China's Wi-Fi communication technologies rank among the highest in the world.

Entrepreneurship

The park is also home to several startups and has become more attractive to entrepreneurs since Inno Way, or Zhongguancun Innovation Street, opened on June 12, 2014.

The innovation street transformed from what was a street of bookshops into somewhere that attracted 2,000 angel investors and investment organizations as well as 4,000 entrepreneurial teams in a year. In the street, 123 teams received investments and the average investment was 5 million yuan ($806,000).

There are more than 20 service organizations in the street that offer startups cheap or even free office facilities and access to investors.

Garage Cafe was set up in 2011 and was the first service organization in the street where entrepreneurs can work for a whole day for the cost of one cup of coffee.

The cafe helped Zhang Guo register biquu.com, a micro film broadcasting website, in 2012 and set up Beijing Biquu Technology Co several months later.

As a student Zhang applied for temporary absence from Jishou University, in Central China's Hunan province, in 2011 and left for Beijing with only 1,000 yuan.

Zhang returned to university on June 22, 2014 and told other students how he launched the website and established his company in Beijing.

Zhang told the Beijing Morning Post that he hopes his website will help publicize films and micro movies and become an interesting and popular platform. Today, some 200 entrepreneurs and investors visit Garage Cafe every day and they connect with each other easily with the help of a signature wall in the cafe. Lagou.com, a job seeking website for employees in the Internet industry, launched in the innovation street in July 2013.

The website received an angel investment of more than 1 million yuan from noted investors including Xu Xiaoping and Zeng Liqing shortly after it came into operation. Four months later, the website received about 1,000 resumes every day. Lagou.com has a public account on social media platform WeChat and applicants can track their resumes via the account. They can see if their resumes have been sent to employers, whether the employers have looked at their resumes and if they will be offered an interview.

Human resources personnel working at Internet companies can access new resumes via the WeChat account.

The website also provides job seekers with micro blog accounts of employers whose companies are not known to them to help them find out about more opportunities.

Statistics from the website showed that by October 2014 its number of registered users hit 1 million and 3 million resumes had been sent to the platform. The website serves more than 20,000 Internet companies including Baidu, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Holdings Ltd.

The Internet companies cover 25 fields including mobile Internet, e-commerce, online games, big data, cloud computing, social networking, Internet finance, online education and online travel services.

Lagou.com received an investment of $5 million in March 2014 and another $25 million in August.

Last week, the website held a recruitment event in the innovation street where 50 Internet companies offered 1,000 jobs and more than 3,000 job seekers joined in. Traditional organizations including Haier, a home appliances maker, and Hunan TV station, one of the most popular TV program providers in China, also took part in the event.

Different service organizations in the innovation street formed a complete service chain for startups. People preparing to set up a startup frequent Garage Cafe and 3W Coffee.com, while startups like to visit 36 Kr, which provides companies with free office facilities for three months. Small and medium-sized businesses prefer other organizations including the AAMA Club, which helps its members raise finance.

The service organizations also host events for startup owners and those preparing to found companies. Binggo Cafe holds an event called "Friday Cafe" every week where one entrepreneur is invited to share their experience of setting up a company.

Garage Cafe usually asks entrepreneurs who work there to share their ideas and products with other customers at noon every day to help find investors and partners. 3W Coffee.com holds events with the theme of Internet knowledge where leading businessmen from all walks of life share their experience of micro blog marketing, e-commerce, mobile Internet and Internet investment. The innovation street also cooperates with financial organizations and became a pilot area for institutions to offer startups and small enterprises financial services.When the street opened the administrative committee of Zhongguancun Haidian Science Park and the Zhongguancun branch of Bank of Beijing signed an agreement.

The two agreed to cooperate on long-term exclusive financial services, financing recommendation for startups and small enterprises and credit systems for small and medium-sized businesses.

Contact the writer at songmengxing@chinadaily.com.cn

Innovation hub takes off
 
The Angel Crunch screen at the Zhongguancun Innovation Street can telecast live the bell-rung ceremony at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange when startups from Haidian Science Park go listed on the capital market, which is known for housing China's Nasdaq-type exchange for high-growth, high-tech companies. photos provided to China Daily
 
Innovation hub takes off
 
               Young people take part in a recruitment party in Haidian district.

 

Innovation hub takes off
 
              The Young Global Leader Learning Journey is held in Binggo Cafe in the park.
 
Innovation hub takes off
 
The China International Technology Transfer Center in Zhongguancun Haidian Science Park is a platform for international technological communication and cooperation. It has attracted 120 noted technology transfer organizations from across the world.

 

Innovation hub takes off

 

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