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Sci-tech investments stimulate innovation
2019-01-28Text Size: A A A

Scientific and technological innovation is the dynamic support to promote Ningbo’s high-quality development. While in the development of new growth power and competitive advantage, the scientific and technological investments are indispensable elements.

In 2018, with the focus on “strengthening sci-tech investments”, Ningbo made great efforts to improve its input on innovations. For example, the issue of the “46 new policies on science and technology”, the approval of the national demonstration zone for independent innovation, the implement of over 120 “sci-tech innovation 2025” projects, the leap-forward growth of the turnover of technological markets, the accelerated development of investments in high-tech industries, and the in-depth involvement of social capitals. The joint efforts of the different parties have injected a strong impetus to the innovation work of the city.

In this strong atmosphere for innovation, an increasing number of enterprises have taken initiative to jump into the torrents of sci-tech revolution and grasp the commanding heights of the industry. From January to November 2018, Ningbo achieved a total added value for the strategic emerging industries of 91.06 billion yuan, up by 13.3% over the same period of the previous year. It is estimated that the added value for the whole year will exceed 100 billion yuan, hitting a record high.

Grand blueprint and clear goals

In order to speed up the making up of the weaknesses in sci-tech innovation, Ningbo has identified its sci-tech development goals at a high starting point since 2018. The “three-year action plan (2018-2020) for promoting sci-tech inputs” was set, with the high standards for the innovation actions and the “two striding forward” and “eight doubling” goals.

The “two striding forward” project refers to the goal that by 2020, Ningbo will take the lead to striding forward to be a leading national innovative city and its regional innovative capacity will stride forward among the top ones in China. The “eight doubling” project refers to the goal that by 2020, the city will achieve the doubled growth in such eight innovative indexes as R&D inputs, investment in high-tech industry, added value of high-tech industry, amount of high-tech enterprises, number of patent ownership per 10,000 people, sci-tech turnover, number of introduced top talents like academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering, and number of high-level institutes.

To realize the goals, in 2018, Ningbo made active efforts to improve the coordinated linkage working mechanism and established the cooperative promoting organization structure for sci-tech inputs. So far, the working mechanism has been established involving the municipal departments and district or county departments, as well as a working team with the leadership responsibility system, problem tackling by special members and liaison communication. Other policies have been launched to promote the sci-tech inputs, such as strengthening financial inputs in sci-tech development, and coordinating the financial capitals for sci-tech innovation, industrial development and talent introduction and cultivation.

In addition, the city has regularly conducted the supervision and monitoring evaluation, established the task-implementing mechanism, put the major projects to annual and monthly working plans, and conducted the supervision and evaluation in the form of project management. The dynamic monitoring mechanism for innovative development indexes has been established. With the quarterly public releasing of the major sci-tech innovation indexes, the work has taken on a strong atmosphere of “ranking and competition”.

Upgraded platforms and supporting policies

The construction of high-end innovation platforms has been strengthened, and the science and technology innovation systems have been further improved. In 2018, the city promoted the construction of the national demonstration zone for independent innovation with high standards, and issued the “implementation proposals on promoting the construction of the national demonstration zone for independent innovation with sci-tech inputs”, proposing the 46 important supporting policies.

As for the construction of the high-level institutes, in 2018, Ningbo accelerated the settlement and construction of the Ningbo Innovation Institute of Beihang University, Ningbo Ruiling Energy-conservation and Environment-protection Innovative and Industrial Institute, and Ningbo Advanced Energy Materials Institute. Focused on te new materials, advanced manufacturing, marine industry and bio-medicine, the city also accelerated the construction of the Geely Auto Institute, the Wanhua Ningbo High-quality Materials Institute, Ningbo Microelectronic Application Institute attached to the CAS Microelectronic Institute, and Ningbo New Materials United Institute.

As for the development of the industrial innovation service complexes, in accordance with the principle of “one featured industry for one district and at least one service complex for on industry”, Ningbo has established the innovative ecology for industrial branches based on the innovation chain deployed around the industrial chain. So far, the construction of 19 industrial innovation service complexes at and above the municipal level has been launched, including three for establishment and five for cultivation at the provincial level. Some service complexes for new materials, new photoelectric display and intelligent equipment (pneumatic) have been inaugurated.

Accelerated layout and abundant “backup”

Enterprises are the main undertakers of innovation. The key point of promoting the sci-tech inputs is to motivate the enterprises. In 2018, Ningbo actively adjusted and optimized the enterprise-related policies and thus produced the leverage effects for enterprises involved in the construction of innovative R&D organizations, the implementation of technological transformation and the introduction and cultivation of talents.

It is an important motivation for the industrial transformation and upgrading to speed up the research and development of the core key technologies. The year of 2018 is the launching year of the “sci-tech innovation 2025” scheme. Ningbo tried to attract technologies and talents from all over the country in such ten fields as new-energy auto, intelligent appliances, advanced semiconductor and application software, and advanced materials. With the carrying out of the scheme, the city has attracted 289 enterprises or natural persons from inside and outside the city, with 365 high-end innovative teams, leading to the first batch of 107 projects.

The small and medium-sized enterprises are the “reserve force” for the sci-tech innovation of Ningbo, as well as the main force for innovative research and development and industrial development. In 2018, a total of 1,976 innovative start-ups were registered, 1,951 technological SMEs and 1,039 potential technological enterprises were cultivated, 618 enterprises were identified as high-tech enterprises, and 865 were identified as high-growth technological SMEs at the provincial level, ranking No.1 in the province.

Ecological optimization and financial support
To optimize the innovative and entrepreneurial atmosphere, Ningbo has carried out the “innovative and entrepreneurial action”. 28 new provincial-level or municipal-level maker spaces or business incubators were established, as well as ten state-level agricultural maker spaces. One provincial overseas innovative incubator center and the only one provincial “incubation base for Chinese overseas entrepreneurial park” were constructed. The Yinzhou Zhongrui (Ningbo) Technology Incubator was inaugurated, the first foreign-related alliance for intellectual property rights was established, and a capacity-building arbitration agency for intellectual property rights was approved as one of the first batch at the state level.

The close integration of technology and finance has motivated the high-tech industry. In 2018, Ningbo improved the technology-finance supporting service chain, introduced the sub-fund for venture of the national guidance fund for sci-tech achievement transfer and the 10 billion-yuan national fund for sci-tech achievement transfer, and established the technology branch of the Ningbo Bank. With the 12-time magnifying effect of the municipal angel investment guidance fund and the listing of Yongxin Optics and Xingrui Electronics, the city is now taking on a new look of social funds supporting acceleration of sci-tech inputs. With the implementation of the preferential policies for R&D fund of businesses and income tax of high-tech enterprises, the city achieved a total reduction of enterprise income tax of 7.16 billion yuan for 2017, up by 34.7% over the previous year.

New breakthroughs made through sci-tech inputs

In 2018, with the focus on the “six battles and three-year action plan”, Ningbo implemented the strategy of development driven by innovation, and made great efforts to attract projects and talents for innovation. It has made great breakthroughs in such aspects as the layout of major national strategies, the construction of high-level innovative platforms, the introduction and cultivation of innovative talent teams, the major sci-tech development and sci-tech achievement transfer and industrial transformation and upgrading driven by sci-tech innovation.

The innovative platform is the gathering field of sci-tech elements, the gravity field of sci-tech inputs and the place of origin of sci-tech innovation. The national demonstration zone for independent innovation in Ningbo was approved in 2018, serving as a major breakthrough in the city’s construction of innovative platforms. By taking advantage of this zone, Ningbo has promoted such major projects as the new materials sci-tech city, the international marine ecology sci-tech city, the aerospace intelligent sci-tech city, the “1,000-talent” industrial park and the entrepreneurship and innovative street of the Zhongguan Road, accelerated the introduction of a tach of innovative agencies, enterprises and teams and strengthened the radiating function of the projects to the whole city’s innovative development.

Ten high-level institutes have settled down in Ningbo, including the Ningbo innovation institute of Beihang University, the Ningbo institute of Dalian University of Technology, the southern center of China Academy of Machinery Science & Technology, Ningbo industrial internet institute and Ningbo Lingrui Energy-conservation and Environment-protection Innovative and Industrial Institute. With the technological breakthroughs, the amount and level of the emerging industrial clusters have made new breakthroughs. Among others, the Lingrui Energy-conservation and Environment-protection Innovative and Industrial Institute settled down in Ningbo within one month after its registration and within one year the first batch of industrialized radiation refrigeration film products were produced. In addition, the city has launched a new round of innovative space layout, and the sci-tech innovative corridor along the Yongjiang River and the front bay new zone have been included in the top seven strategic platforms for the provincial “greater bay area construction”.

Talents are the strategic resources and the first resources, without which it is very difficult to change the lagging-behind status of the city in technological and economic competition. In 2018, Ningbo placed the talent work at a strategic place by upgrading the existing talent plan, talent project and talent platforms on an overall basis, constantly increasing the inputs on talent development and further enhancing the competitive advantage of the talent policies.

Within a year, Ningbo has managed to introduce such top talents as Academician Chai Zhifang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Academician Zhu Zhiwei from the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and introduced nine full-time academicians from home and abroad, making a breakthrough in attracting the full-time academician of Ningbo origin.

The key fields and bottleneck problems are the major points for great breakthroughs of technological problems and sci-tech achievement transfer of Ningbo. In 2018, Ningbo achieved such core technologies and strategic products as the first domestic deep-sea umbilical cable with the capacity of 500 kilovolts, the first industrial internet operation system with independent IP rights and the hybrid electrical whole vehicle platform for new energy automobiles, and promoted the technological innovation of the industrial sectors. The year witnessed the addition of 13 national championships in the manufacturing industry, ranking No.1 in China in terms of newly added number. The “waste polyester high-efficiency regeneration and industrialized integration technology of fiber preparation” of Ningbo Dafa Chemical Fiber Co., Ltd. won the Second Prize for the 2018 National Science and Technology Progress, as the only award-winning project presided over by an enterprise in the province. The dishwasher (sink-type Q6) developed by Ningbo Fotile Kitchenware Co., Ltd. won the city's first Chinese Gold Award for Patent Design. Great breakthroughs have also been made in the fundamental research area. For the first time, a university in Ningbo (Zhejiang Wanli College) became the first author unit for a research paper published on the “Science”, which unveiled the mystery of the temperature dependent molecular mechanism of sex determination that has confused the biological field over the past half century.

Sci-tech innovation has promoted the industrial transformation and upgrading and resulted in the rapid development of new industries and new economic drivers. In 2018, Ningbo achieved an added value for high-tech industries of 187.21 billion yuan, up by 6.9% over the previous year, accounting for 50.2% of the added value of the large-scale enterprises, with a contribution rate of 54.65% to the industrial growth of large-scale enterprises.

Implementing “five actions” and strengthening “five innovative powers”

With the prosperous private economy, active business starting and strong atmosphere for entrepreneurship and innovation, Ningbo has a large competitive edge among the domestic cities at the same level. However, compared with other advanced cities, there is still a long way to go in its innovative ecology, sci-tech inputs and innovative capacity.

“The differences with the advanced cities can serve as both a kind of pressure and driving force for us, and we can catch up with them through ceaseless efforts. We will face bravely our weaknesses and cultivate stronger developing drivers based on the first drive of innovation.” said Huang Zhiming, Director of Ningbo Municipal Bureau of Science and Technology.

In the following period, Ningbo will focus on the major task of sci-tech inputs and the construction of the national demonstration zone for independent innovation, and implement the five actions for the level improvement of the innovative platforms, the tackling of the major technological problems, the cultivation of the technological enterprise echelon, the opening cooperation of science and technology and the optimization of the innovative and entrepreneurial ecology, through the “high production driven by high inputs” means, strengthening the “five innovative powers” with the improved sci-tech inputs.

In 2019, led by the construction of the demonstration zone, Ningbo plans to build the sci-tech innovation corridor along the Yongjiang River and the Front Bay New Zone, integrate the innovative resources of colleges or universities and leading enterprises, build the laboratories for marine new materials and advanced polymer materials, and construct the national key laboratories. By taking advantage of the industrial chain and the innovative chain, the city will plan to build the innovative centers for such fields as graphene, future auto and green petrochemical industry, and cultivate new industries and new industrial patterns. By the end of 2019, Ningbo will have built over 20 industrial innovative service complexes at the provincial or municipal level, and completed the public scientific and technological research facilities in such fields as sci-tech appliances, intelligent manufacturing and advanced manufacturing.

To tackle the bottleneck technological problems, Ningbo will make great efforts to implement the “sci-tech innovation 2025” strategy and accelerate the development of key core technologies and strategic products by taking advantage of the domestic high-end R&D agencies and innovation teams. 20 high-value patent combinations will be formed to support the “little giant” enterprises and leading enterprises. The construction of the national demonstration zone for sci-tech achievement transfer will be strengthened to promote the settlement of the major national sci-tech achievement transfer and the two-way transformation and transfer of military and civilian sci-tech achievements. The application of the independent innovative products will be promoted, the recommendation list for key independent innovative products will be drawn and engineering tests will be supported.

In order to further strengthen the dominant position of enterprises, Ningbo will implement the cultivation action for sci-tech enterprises to enhance their ability of independent innovation. It will carry out the “multiplying plan” for sci-tech enterprises and improve the echelon incubation mechanism. The small and medium-sized sci-tech enterprises will be advanced into large-scale enterprises, and the high-tech enterprise incubation base will be established to accelerate the cultivation of high-tech enterprises and leading innovative enterprises. The R&D capacity of enterprises will be strengthened, the “three clearing” action for large-scale enterprises will be implemented, and such R&D carriers as enterprise institute and enterprise project technological centers will be built. Enterprises will be encouraged to improve the R&D inputs by such preferential tax policies as income tax reduction for high-tech enterprises and R&D expense deduction for enterprises.

The sci-tech opening cooperation has strengthened the gathering of the innovative resources. By actively integrating into the Yangtze River Delta integration, Ningbo will conduct the cross-regional cooperation of major scientific and technological projects, promote the cooperative pilots and actively explore the common-use mechanism of the sci-tech innovation certificates in the Yangtze River Delta area. It will implement the “Belt and Road” sci-tech innovation action, encourage the enterprises to build overseas incubators and R&D agencies and introduce the foreign high-quality innovative resources. Based on the city’s industrial innovation demands and layout, Ningbo will introduce the state-level innovative platforms and high-end sci-tech talents, and accelerate the agglomeration of the top innovative talents.

In addition, Ningbo will implement the innovative ecological optimization action and enhance the innovative and entrepreneurial ecological appeal. The upgrading project for incubators of sci-tech enterprises will be carried out, the construction of such new-type technological incubation carriers as maker space and agricultural maker space, and leading enterprises will be encouraged to build specialized maker spaces. The integrated technology-finance development will be promoted, the sci-tech market operation mechanism will be improved, the angel investment and venture capital agencies will be strengthened, and the sci-tech credit and sci-tech insurance will be developed. Ningbo will expand the rights of the innovative subjects, carry out the reforms on technological achievement ownership and “three assessments”, explore the pilots for negative list management of sci-tech research expenditure, and give greater autonomy to high-end innovative and entrepreneurial talents. It will strengthen the protection and application of the intellectual property rights, promote the construction of the operation service system of the intellectual property rights, give full play to the rapid authorization, confirmation and right protection functions of China (Ningbo) IP Rights Protection Center, and enhance the penalties for the infringement of IP rights. Ningbo will also strengthen the construction of the sci-tech integrity system, establish the record information system for serious credit-breaching behaviors, and create a social atmosphere of “advocating innovation and respecting knowledge”.

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