Shanghai has long aimed to become an international pioneer in science and technology, and now it is taking legislative action that could make it an innovation powerhouse, China Daily reported.
Officials there are leading the way with a new bill that will support entities to lead, organize and participate in science projects and encourage R&D, data and big science facilities in the region, the report said.
The city’s plan is to build a basic framework for a scientific and technological innovation center with global influence by the end of this year, according to the municipal government, the report said.
Stats from the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission show that Shanghai scientists published 87 papers in top international scientific journals such as Science, Nature and Cell last year, the report said.
The city has also launched big scientific facilities, such as a super-intense and ultrashort laser system and translational medicine infrastructure, the report said. The construction of other major projects, including a seabed observation network and high-efficiency low-carbon gas turbine experimentation facilities, has also commenced.
A series of R&D institutes have also been inaugurated, including the Shanghai Research Center for Quantum Sciences, the International Innovation Center of Tsinghua University Shanghai, the Fudan University Human Phenome Institute and the China-Israel Innovation Hub, the report said.
Liu Minghua, a legislator for the city, said that she and some other lawmakers were delighted to see in the government work report that Shanghai’s R&D expenditure accounted for 4% of its GDP last year, and the large investment will continue in the new year.
“The R&D expenditure ratio in the United States, Germany and Israel, which are famous for advanced innovation worldwide, were 2.8 percent, 3 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, and Shanghai’s figure almost doubled the national average,” said Liu, who is also managing partner at East China for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
Wang Zhimin, a legislator for the city, said the bill will encourage innovation from not only government-funded research institutes but also companies in the areas of basic and applied research.
“This is particularly important to the further development of some of the city’s key innovation zones, such as Zhangjiang in Pudong district, and will play a vital role in realizing Pudong’s development goal of breaking 2 trillion yuan (US$290 billion) in GDP in around seven years, doubling the figure of 2018,” said Wang, who is also a researcher with the Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai.