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City lauds ‘giant’ incubator

By Ding Congrong and Zhao Yongjin (China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-23 14:39

Easy access to Nantong Port and preferential policies have already attracted a number of innovative companies, Ding Congrong and Zhao Yongjin report.

Nantong, a coastal city in Jiangsu province, has rolled out an ambitious plan to attract high-tech companies both at home and abroad.

A key part of that plan is the city’s expedited construction of the Nantong High-Tech Industrial Development Zone.

Its unique geographic advantage — it is located at the intersection of the country’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Yangtze River Economic Belt — is another attractive pull for companies.

City officials boast that the zone’s easy access to the Port of Nantong is a major advantage that other similar zones in the country do not have.

“Against the backdrop of the new normal, Tongzhou will spare no efforts in pushing forward the development of the high-tech zone,” said Song Lewei, Party chief of the city’s Tongzhou district, where the new zone is located.

China’s new normal economic situation is marked by slower but higher quality growth. Song said the district has prioritized the work of advancing innovations.

City lauds ‘giant’ incubator
Technicians operate machinery at a power equipment plant in the Nantong High-Tech Industrial Development Zone. [JIE FEI FOR CHINA DAILY]

He added that the new zone hopes to attract high-tech companies with its sound infrastructure and preferential policies. A number of notable high-tech companies have already established offices and facilities in the zone.

One of them, Nantong Yaohui New Energy Equipment Co, was founded by Professor Chen Qiang of the Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication. It finished its registration in the zone in September and produces a type of plasma singeing machine that is widely used in the textile industry.

“Our new zone serves as a giant incubator helping talented people like Chen to realize their ambitions,” Song said.

At present, most of the high-tech companies in the new zone are focused on the clean energy and new materials industries.

Jiangsu Deming New Materials Co, which established offices in the zone in 2010, is mainly engaged in the research and production of environmentally friendly construction materials.

With six stainless-steel and two graphite polystyrene board production lines, its annual revenue has already exceeds 100 million yuan ($15.76 million).

Talented recruits

The zone has targeted many high-end professionals.

Lu Yantao, who holds a master’s degree from Yangzhou University, is a research specialist in LED photoelectric materials.

He has designed a smart sunshade for cars using LED technology that can adjust its tint according to the sun’s brightness. He claimed that the sunshade costs half of what similar products in the market are priced at.

The product is now being exported to Japan.

Top-notch talents have also been attracted to Tongzhou district through its annual project fair.

Yuan Hongliang, who returned to China after getting his master’s degree from a German university, got to know Nantong through the fair and eventually set up his own company — Wotai Energy — in the city.

The company is now developing a smart energy storage system for everyday use by families.

Yuan said one of the major reasons he picked Nantong was the local government’s firm support. The biggest problem startup companies will always face is money, said Yuan.

“Thanks to a 5-million-yuan loan provided by the Nantong government, we were able to secure enough money for the first round of financing,” he said.

The company has now received domestic and international orders that are worth more than 30 million yuan. Global orders have come from the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria.

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