Hu Kaihong (host):
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the State Council policy briefing. The topic today is the construction of a national sci-tech innovation center in Beijing. We are pleased to have Mr. Li Meng, vice minister of Science and Technology, and Sui Zhenjiang, deputy mayor of Beijing. They will give us introductions about the national sci-tech innovation center. Now, Mr. Li, please.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, we are honored to have such an opportunity to be here, and thanks for your longtime concern and support of our work. During an inspection in Beijing on Feb 26 in 2014, President Xi Jinping instructed that Beijing should continue to strengthen its core function as a national sci-tech innovation center. Premier Li Keqiang stressed at the national conference on science and technology innovation that innovation-driven development should be pursued to ensure that the economy maintains medium-to-high speed of growth and achieves medium-to-high level of development. According to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council’s policies and decisions, the Ministry of Science and Technology, National Development and Reform Commission, and Beijing municipality and other related departments made the overall plan to strengthen construction of a national sci-tech center in Beijing, in a bid to implement strategies of national innovation-driven development and Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei joint development.
As a national-level strategy and an important measure to transfer regional development mode under the context of the new normal and forge new driving forces, the construction of a national sci-tech innovation center in Beijing is of great significance to promote national comprehensive competitiveness and build China into an innovative and sci-tech power. According to the plan, Beijing will become a leader in sci-tech innovation, economic growth, and talent hub, cultural innovation, and ecological conservation. To do so, three steps will be taken. First, the national sci-tech innovation center will initially take shape in 2017, with marked development in science and technology innovation; second, the role of Beijing as the national sci-tech innovation center will be further strengthened, and Beijing will become an influential global center of sci-tech innovation; third, the national sci-tech innovation center will be further optimized and serve as the new engine to drive the development of global sci-tech innovation, helping China become a world leader in innovation.
The plan put forward five tasks in the construction of the national sci-tech innovation center. First, strengthen original innovation and build a world renowned scientific center, including Zhongguancun Science City, Huairou Science City, and Future Science City. Prepare for frontier studies in advance, enhance training of basic research talent, and build world-class universities and research institutes. Second, accelerate technological innovation, construct a “high-quality, refined and advanced” economic structure, implement leap-forward projects in technological innovation, consolidate innovation capacity of key industries, develop an innovation-oriented economy, and promote sharing of innovation results with the public in ecosystem, food security, and health care. Third, push forward collaborative innovation, build word-level innovative city clusters, including optimization of sci-tech innovation layout of the capital and construction of an innovation community of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, to lead innovation development nationwide. Fourth, adhere to open innovation to attract global high-end innovation resources, and construct a world technology transfer network to turn Beijing into a world leader in sci-tech innovation and an important part of the global sci-tech innovation network. Fifth, promote overall innovation reform, and optimize the environment for entrepreneurship and innovation, including reform of talent development system, construction of international sci-tech financial centers, and increased cooperation between central and local governments on innovation. These are the main points of the plan. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr Li. Let’s welcome Mr Sui.
Good afternoon, journalists! Welcome to today’s policy briefing. I will give a brief introduction about establishing a national sci-tech innovation hub in Beijing, and answer your questions later.
President Xi Jinping inspected Beijing on Feb 26, 2014, clearly defining the city’s position as the center of four aspects and proposed the goal to build the capital city into an international first-class harmonious and livable city. Building it into a national sci-tech innovation hub is the new position assigned by the central government, the city’s mission and responsibility, and the necessary road for the city’s development. The State Council executive meeting on Sept 1 decided to break through major difficulties in basic and frontier research, make advances in key generic technologies, construct a coordinated innovation community among Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, and expand the reform of Zhongguancun Science Park to other areas in the process. Mr Li introduced the whole content of the plan just now, which will guide the direction of the innovation-driven work in the next step and provide big opportunities for Beijing to implement the innovation-driven development strategy and build new development advantages in the capital city.
According to the general plan, Beijing will make full use of its advantages of high-end talent gathering and strong science and technology fundamentals to comprehensively serve the implementation of national big strategies and build the “three big sci-tech cities” -- science cities in Zhongguancun and Huairou district and a future science city in Changping district. Based on the three cities, Beijing will further build itself into an innovation city in original technology, cutting-edge technology, coordination, opening-up and systems.
To carry out the spirit of national sci-tech innovation conference and the State Council executive meeting, Beijing will hold a sci-tech innovation conference next week to deploy the work of building the city into a national sci-tech innovation hub and release some policy measures to further deepen the reform of sci-tech system. The city government of Beijing will carry out the deployment of the Party Central Committee and the State Council and stick to the development concepts of innovation, coordination, green, opening-up and sharing to speed up the overall innovation that focuses on sci-tech innovation. It will also implement the development goals, key tasks and guarantee measures and help them achieve real effectiveness to make contributions to build an innovation-driven country and a world power in science and technology.
Thank you, Mr Sui. Now questions, please.
Mr Sui, we would like to know what concrete measures Beijing will take to promote the building of the national sci-tech innovation center.
The overall plan for the construction of the national sci-tech innovation center in Beijing introduced by Mr Li defined the overall mission of such work and can be summarized into building “four highlands”.
First is the construction of original innovation. Beijing will combine resources from both central and local governments and vigorously promote innovation development. It will carry out the construction of three science cities — Zhongguancun, Huairou and Future Science City. Among the three, Zhongguancun Science City, with the most universities, science and research institutions and sci-tech enterprises, will present a series of original innovation achievements and make major breakthroughs in leading-edge innovations with global influence. Another science city, Huairou, will become a new-type science city through establishing basic innovation platforms based on frontier research platforms and clusters of large-scale scientific facilities — synchrotron radiation, experiments under extreme conditions, and data simulation of terrestrial systems. At present, Huairou Science City is under planning and construction, while applying for the construction of a comprehensive national science center, which is another new major sci-tech innovation project. The third one, Future Science City, located in Changping district, already gathered a large number of research institutes under the operation of the State-owned enterprises (SOEs), with years of construction. It is now committed to building a large-scale high-tech innovative conglomerate, with top priority on strengthening core technology and original innovation ability in key areas.
Meanwhile, the overall plan arranges ahead of schedule to integrate leading basic research, major action plans and cutting edge technology innovation. It also urges carrying out a series of basic research and breakthroughs in key areas such as brain science, quantum calculation and communication, life and health, and strategic lead compound, leading an advanced development in key scientific research.
Second, build an innovation highland of frontier technology. Beijing will implement action plans for tech-innovation, guidelines for practices of Made in China 2025 strategy and internet Plus. Building a batch of national sci-tech innovation centers will be on the agenda to make advances in key technologies in integrated circuit, mobile internet, aviation, biomedicine, green manufacturing and smart manufacturing. We will put in place 12 major patent projects including new generation mobile communication, digital manufacturing and biomedicine, make progress in key generic technology research, and grow innovative leading enterprises with global competitiveness. Meanwhile, Beijing will make efforts to develop key technology standards and speed up developing applicable technologies.
Third, construct a coordinated innovation highland. Beijing will implement the strategy of coordinated development among Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. First, we will undertake the task of interaction in innovation among the three regions. Second, coordinated development in innovation will be promoted, with efforts to foster innovation parks, strengthen the dominant role of enterprises in the move, step up the layout of important industries and projects, and promote recruitment of talent and cross-regional recognition of certification. Third, facilitate the flow of innovation-related elements. Fourth, promote integration and sharing of incentive policies for innovation. We will implement a total of 18 reform measures in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei — the only innovation pilot area that contains two or more province-level regions.
Fourth, build a system innovation highland. Beijing will put its focus on key areas, such as market access, FinTech and talent development, to strengthen system and mechanism innovation and pilot policy implementation, and enhance 47 innovation reform measures in the whole city in an effort to tackle mechanism obstacles in innovation and development and stimulate innovation and creativity throughout the whole society.
The city will further reforms, especially sci-tech system reform, to activate all innovative elements and make full use of innovation talent and platforms. Currently, we are pushing a batch of pilot reform policies, with support from the Party Central Committee and the State Council. On March 1, a total of 20 immigration policies issued by the Ministry of Public Security took effect. Such measures help attract more overseas talent to develop their careers in the capital city. As of Sept 1, a total of 227 people have received green cards. Such efficiency is a great improvement. Between 2004 and 2015, 1,700 overseas talent in Beijing were issued the cards. However, the six months from March 1 to Sept 1 this year has seen more green cards issued than in the whole year before. The processing time was also shortened from six months to 50 days. Meanwhile, immigration facilitation services, including work visas, are becoming more convenient.
After the national sci-tech innovation conference in May, the central government released a guideline on improving central finance’s sci-tech research fund management. Following the guideline, Beijing municipal government organized related departments to conduct policy research and formulated the city’s measures on improving finance and sci-tech funds management. The measure will be released at Beijing’s sci-tech innovation conference next week. Those measures include specific requirements and arrangements following the State Council’s circular. In the meantime, the city also put forward dozens of supportive policies and measures to make breakthroughs on the original mechanisms and systems to bring sci-tech funds and research project management in line with the law of sci-tech innovation and give greater autonomy to sci-tech personnel.
To speed up the construction of the national sci-tech innovation hub, we will further strengthen related organizations and leadership and closely follow the national sci-tech reform and innovation system construction strategy. The municipal government will also establish a special working mechanism to push related work and promote the sci-tech hub construction with the whole city’s resources.
My question goes to Mr. Li. There are some internationally recognized scientific and technological innovation hubs, such as Silicon Valley in the United States. In your opinion, what are the features of scientific and technological hubs? What roles should they play? And some highlights of this overall plan?
There are hundreds of scientific and technological hubs around the world, but few of them can be called “international innovation hubs”. Scientific and technological innovation hubs with global influence have the following characteristics: First, they are global leaders in cutting-edge technology, and are able to constantly produce major achievements of originality; second, they are leading the trends of industrial development, give birth to most advanced technologies and products, and are home to several innovation-oriented enterprises with global influence; third, they are supported by world-renowned high-level scientific institutions, universities and other innovation platforms; fourth, they are able to gather world-class teams of scientists and entrepreneurs. In addition, such hubs are also the center of new technologies, knowledge and products, which are open to international exchanges.
From a global perspective, innovation hubs play roles in the following three aspects: First, they lead and drive national economy with the most advanced scientific achievements, industries and enterprises; second, they export some technological achievements to the world; third, they connect their own nations with the world in terms of innovation activities.
This overall plan, approved by the State Council, highlights the following aspects: First, enhancing basic research capability and spillover effects. As mentioned by Mr. Sui, the construction of Zhongguancun Science Park, Huairou Science Park and Beijing Future Science Park relies on their adjacency to first-class universities, scientific infrastructure and research and development centers of large enterprises. They all focus on enhancing their innovation capabilities. Second, the plan will integrate innovation resources from Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei province and even the whole nation to support the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei. Third, it stresses building talent teams, aimed at attracting global talent with the green-card system. Fourth, the plan strives to build a favorable ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship through implementing institutional and system reforms and related policies, and give full play to the roles of central institutions and enterprises in Beijing, which has been stressed by Premier Li Keqiang. He also urged related ministries and central institutions to support Beijing in building its national scientific and technological innovation hub.
CCTV news center:
I would like to ask Mr Li, the construction of a national sci-tech innovation center in Beijing is a national strategy, so will it receive any support from the national level?
The construction of the national sci-tech innovation center in Beijing is indeed not only a matter for Beijing, but also a national strategy, which is seen as a great move in promoting the innovation-driven development strategy. In the process of formulating the project, all related forces were mobilized to support the construction.
First, support Beijing to establish a number of major innovation platforms and technology projects. In terms of the layout of innovation platforms, the three science and technology centers will be taken as major venues for constructing the national sci-tech innovation center in Beijing. Beijing’s advantage in scientific research in the fields of brain science, nanometer science, biotechnology, and information science will be explored in major science and technology projects before 2030.
Second, explore a series of new breakthrough policies such as enabling Zhongguancun Science Park to function as a demonstration zone, and roll out some reform measures to make new breakthroughs in unleashing the enthusiasm of researchers.
Third, make efforts for talent recruitment and flow, as Mr Sui just mentioned, to carry out pilot reforms in the entry and exit of foreign personnel, simplify the procedures for permanent residence and visas, intensify efforts in implementing the rules including “green card” applications for high-level foreigners, and construct offshore innovation and entrepreneurship bases for overseas talent.
Fourth, promote the coordination between central and local like I said just now.
Fifth, support Beijing to promote institutional reform. In terms of innovation and entrepreneurship, efficient and convenient commercial service mechanism should be established to lower the threshold of innovation. Pilot zones for service industry should also be expanded, while constructing public service platforms for national intellectual property rights. In financial innovation, venture capital fund system for State-owned capital should be established to invest start-up innovation activities, and explore policy support.
Meanwhile, we should support the development of the New Third Board, and regional equity market, and promote the innovation of preferred stocks, asset securitization and private debt transactions, promote linkage of investment and loan, and support technological innovation and entrepreneurship.
As for the market mechanism of technological innovation, efforts will be made to conduct pilot reform in innovative products, including medicines and medical equipment, establish a technical standards system for government procurement, increase the evaluation proportion of technological innovation in the business performance of State-owned enterprises.
Thank you all.
China News Service:
My question is about Zhongguancun Science Park. How is it related to Zhongguancun Science City? Is it the 2.0 version of the latter? What kind of role will Zhongguancun play as the country steps up efforts to build science and technological innovation centers nationwide? What is the new vision for the area in the 13th Five-Year Plan period?
Zhongguancun Science Park was the first independent innovation demonstration zone approved by the State Council. Practices piloted in the area have been expanded to other tech zones across the country. It is a necessary choice to establish a national science and tech innovation hub based on the demonstration zone. The target and demand outlined in the plan are higher, which requires us to upgrade the current Zhongguancun during the process by improving the ecosystem of innovation. After years of development, Zhongguancun has evolved into a hotbed of technologies incubating and transforming. Tech startups are also springing up, with double-digit growth in the past few years.
To improve the innovation environment, we need to expand reforms. In the plan released in early July, which is aimed at carrying out innovation reform trials in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, there is a pilot project for Beijing to innovate and reform in an all-around way, with 47 measures and 80 tasks. It is a complex reform project that involves various aspects, such as sci-tech finance, venture loans, and private banks. Zhongguancun plays a leading role in stimulating venture capital development. Currently, Beijing boasts the most institutions and funds of venture capital across the country.
Second, we will try to make upgrades in transformation of sci-tech achievements, technology innovation groups, and business incubators.
In the past, we only offered land, houses and basic public services for the innovation demonstration zone. Then we built business incubators, offering houses, land and helping with some procedures for business startups. Now we are going to build a professional, deeply integrated innovation services and business incubators platform. It includes building a batch of public technology service platforms focusing on certain professional areas, selection of a talented group specializing in transformation of sci-tech achievements and allocation of supportive funds while absorbing social capital. It is quite natural to continue the commercial system reform in the innovation demonstration zones.
The mass entrepreneurship and innovation in Zhongguancun was just mentioned. Actually, after two years’ work, the mass entrepreneurship and innovation represented by Zhongguancun Innovation Street has been spread nationwide, from the earliest spark, and now it is gathering new development momentum. In the earlier stage, we evaluated Innovation Street and the mass entrepreneurship and innovation work in Zhongguancun. We discovered that its innovation results and projects are more mature now. For example, Zhongguancun opened a new intelligent manufacturing street, most of which are the result of the last two years, and they are speeding up growth in the street now. The intelligent manufacturing street also provided support for a batch of hard technology, including integrated circuit and circuit board assembly, physical tests, performance tests and platforms for public tests. After the first and second round of fundraising, companies usually develop themselves to scale, and some mature companies that got further technology support in the street will become more professional and more technology-driven. Actually, everything should experience its own development process. The mass entrepreneurship and innovation work in Zhongguancun is more professional and technology-integrated with improved targeted services, and has become mature. From increases in quantity to improvements in quality, Zhongguancun’s innovation work has been extended to other districts in Beijing and Hebei and Tianjin, from the central area of Haidian District. Guided by the plan of establishing a national sci-tech innovation hub in Beijing, Zhongguancun still has great potential for development and will undertake more important missions in the future.
China Radio International:
Mr. Sui, as the capital, what kind of foundation and advantages does Beijing have in the nation’s drive for sci-tech innovation development?
It is a nation’s strategy to build Beijing into China’s sci-tech innovation center, and the city has many advantages.
First, intensive innovation resources. Beijing has 89 universities, around 400 central and local research institutes, 400,000 sci-tech enterprises, and 12,400 new technology companies. These are the resources of both Beijing and the nation. Beijing, as a sci-tech innovation center, should converge and mix the resources to achieve fusion effect.
Second, a hub of innovation factors. There are 370,000 researchers, and 1,300 talents introduced under a special program, accounting for 25 percent of the nation. The input in science and technology has accounted for 6 percent of local GDP.
Third, abundant innovation achievements. During the 12th Five-Year Plan, projects that won the National Prize for Progress in Science and Technology from Beijing accounted for 30 percent of the nation. Patent applications and licensing increased by 13.2 percent and 25.9 percent year on year. Many of them are world-leading original innovations.
Fourth, robust momentum in innovation. The contribution rate to economic growth by finance, information and science and technology service industries surpassed 70 percent. In the first half of 2016, the revenue at the Zhongguancun demonstration zone amounted to about 1.9 trillion yuan, a 15.4 percent year-on-year growth. The new driving forces at the Zhongguancun demonstration zone are expanding.
Fifth, outstanding spillover effect. Technology contract transactions in Beijing accounted for 37 percent of national volume. About 70 percent of such transactions in Beijing are made with other provincial regions or foreign dealers. One of the very important goals of constructing Beijing into a national science and technology innovation center is to exploit all kinds of resources in Beijing, promote innovation and technology services, boost transformation of science and technology achievements, increase industrial innovation capabilities, and forge an innovation-driven economy. Beijing’s economy is a typical innovation-driven economy. Science and technology achievements will be spread nationwide. As the national science and technology innovation center, Beijing will play a leading role in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinated development, development of Yangtze River economic belt, and the “Belt and Road” initiative.