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Life support zone for innovation

By Tang Zhihao | China Daily | Updated: 2016-09-05 15:26

Life support zone for innovation

A technician assembles a product at Shengrui Transmission Co’s 8AT production line. The company in the Weifang High-Tech Industrial Development Zone broke the monopoly in the Chinese market of foreign transmission manufacturers.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Established in 1991, Weifang High-Tech Industrial Development Zone has achieved outstanding results in promoting innovation and high-tech industrial upgrading in the past two decades.

Life support zone for innovation

However, it took the Shandong- based national development zone a while to get going, according to Chu Baojie, director of communications at Weifang and secretary of the zone’s Party Working Committee.

“The zone did not have leading universities and research institutions, and it had some defi ciencies in the early days,” Chu said. “But we created something from nothing for high-tech industries, and we are now striving to be better connected with global hightech resources to support innovation in the region.”

The zone has established fi ve pillar industries, namely vehicle and equipment manufacturing, acoustics and optoelectronics, bio-technology, software information and new materials, and there are industrial clusters for smart equipment manufacturing, bio-health and semiconductor luminescence products, all of which have played signifi cant roles in supporting the zone’s development. There are also 10 industrial parks such as a software park and bioscience park and 26 provincial-level industrial bases in the region.

There are more than 1,000 technology-driven companies in the zone. Among these, more than 50 companies have an annual output value exceeding 100 million yuan ($14.97 million).

The value of the development zone’s high-tech industrial output in the fi rst half of 2016 was 23.9 billion yuan, up 24.1 percent year-on-year, and fi xed asset investment in the zone has increased 13.4 percent year-on-year.

In April 2016, the development zone obtained approval from the central government to upgrade to a national independent innovation demonstration zone.

Life support zone for innovation

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