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Shanghai Special: Pujiang Innovation Forum: Engaging the big questions

Updated: 2013-10-26 07:53
By Han Tianyang ( China Daily)

Shanghai Special: Pujiang Innovation Forum: Engaging the big questions

Outdoor advertisement of the forum. The forum has attracted 300 speakers over the past five years. Provided to China Daily

New ideas, traditional values, startups and business systems

As a gathering to facilitate new ideas and interaction among government departments, enterprises and research institutes, the 2013 Pujiang Innovation Forum opens today in Shanghai.

Centering on the theme "Innovation-Driven Development and the Role of Enterprises", the two-day event will have a plenary session, a symposium hosted by guest-of-honor country Finland as well as eight panel discussions.

Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang and Erkki KM Leppaevuori, president of the VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland, will both give keynote speeches at the plenary session this morning.

Chairman of the forum and an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Xu Guanhua and Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong will also attend the general meeting.

Other noted speakers invited to the plenary session include Andrei A. Fursenko, assistant to the president of the Russian Federation, former US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Kris Gopalakrisnan, co-founder and executive vice-chairman of Infosys Ltd, Lin Zuoming, president of Aviation Industry Corp of China, and Jussi Pesonen, president and CEO of UPM Corp of Finland.

A country rich in technological innovation, Finland was invited to be the guest-of-honor country at the forum this year.

Sichuan, an important center of high-tech companies in China's western region, is the guest-of-honor province.

Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori and Sichuan Deputy-Governor Liu Jie are heading delegations to the forum.

The theme of the symposium hosted by Finland is "Innovative Economy - Innovation Builds Up Competitiveness". Participants from the government, academia and the business world from both China and Finland will have in-depth discussions on investment in knowledge and talent as well as new business models.

The session on regional synergy by the guest-of-honor province Sichuan focuses on how to connect more cities and townships in joint development.

Senior management from multinational companies and domestic enterprises as well as scholars well-known for their research on innovation clusters will exchange their opinions during the session.

Two sessions will be about specific industries - one on health and the other about modern agriculture.

An emerging industry in China, health-related businesses have huge market potential, said organizers. Topics covered include digital health management and the integration of traditional Chinese and Western medicine in preventive treatment.

Closely associated with modern agriculture, food safety and pollution are of high concern to the public, so a session will explore the possibility of developing a new urban agriculture that combines the needs of agricultural production, people's lives and ecological protection.

In recent years, Chinese government has released many preferential policies to encourage innovation, and there will be a session about policymaking and innovation in the forum.

"It is important to learn from advanced experience of foreign countries in how to balance incentives and effectively create an environment full of creativity," organizers said.

A highly anticipated session on entrepreneurs and startups will include outstanding entrepreneurs and incubator representatives who will discuss the roles of technology, management, marketing and funding in starting a company. They will also discuss how business incubators can help enterprises successfully commercialize new technologies.

Another session will focus on how companies can create new wealth by finding the best position in the innovation and value chains.

"Today, the entire human race is facing common challenges in energy, resources, environment and climate. It requires joint efforts by all countries in the world to solve the problems," said organizers.

"The session on future science will invite speakers to share their views on sustainable development and how science could build a better life for all."

The final session is on inheriting and rebuilding the entrepreneurship in traditional Chinese culture.

One of the world's oldest civilizations, China has a long history in business. But what kind of entrepreneurship the modern era requires and how to renew the traditional spirit are new questions that will be debated, said organizers.

The Pujiang Innovation Forum was first created in 2008 by China's Ministry of Science and Technology and the Shanghai municipal government.

It attracted nearly 300 noted speakers and more than 4,000 participants from both home and abroad in the previous five years.

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