Chengdu Hi-tech Zone: Quickly Immersing Into the Realm of Global Innovation

Feb 19, 2016, 05:18 ET from Chengdu High-tech Industrial Development Zone

CHENGDU, China, Feb. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- At the Chengdu Hi-tech Zone (CDHT), the 3D bio-printed blood vessel project, a part of the "National Hi-tech Research Development Plan (Plan 863)," made history by building the first-ever 3D blood vessel bio-printer.

Eleven years ago, Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat vividly predicted that new technologies and multinational capital was shifting the world toward a state where traditional borders and divisions would become irrelevant. These words ring true; the Chengdu Hi-tech Zone (CDHT) started in 2015 with a small plot of land measuring 130km2 and has assembled more than 6,500 tech companies that have applied for more than 18,000 patents. This is only the beginning: the aspiration is to turn the Zone into western China's "Silicon Valley" and an "international innovation and start-up center."

A world map hangs on the office wall of Xiong Ping, Deputy Director of the CDHT's Development and Planning Bureau. He points to Chengdu on the map and said: "In the realm of global innovation, our location is no longer in isolation. On the contrary, distance-wise we are closer to Europe than Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other eastern Chinese cities. The Internet and more than 80 international flights have helped Chengdu quickly integrate into the global innovation chain. Thomas Friedman's predictions are becoming a reality." He continues that at present, a new round of technological revolution and industrial shifts are emerging all around the globe, and a new industrial and economic age is just over the horizon. "After more than two decades of playing catch-up, in new and hi-tech sectors like IT and bio-medicine, Chengdu is now shoulder-to-shoulder with the world's leading economic powers, and an increasing number of our technological products and innovative services are entering the European and American markets."

Venture capital has always been a symbol of global technology centers such as Silicon Valley, Sofia and Tel Aviv. However, in recent years, VC has been spreading around the globe at a great pace and has become a beacon for locating emerging technology centers worldwide. The Martin Prosperity Institute recently published Rise of the Global Startup City, and the report indicates that Chengdu has received more venture capital than any other Chinese city except Beijing and Shanghai, and the figure is similar to many European and American cities.

Xiong Ping explains that innovation has already become one of China's "basic national strategies," and innovation and start-up are emphasized whether it is Beijing's Zhongguancun area or geographically isolated provinces, cities or counties. CDHT was approved by the State Council to be the first National Innovation Demonstration Zone in the western region of China, and given the task of becoming a leading area in innovation-driven development, a high-end industry cluster area, an open innovation demonstration area, and a new pole for growth in central and western China. Moreover, last October, Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of China, and Park Geun-hye, the president of South Korea, announced the set up of the China-South Korea Innovation & Entrepreneurship Park in Chengdu when Li visited South Korea, to enhance cooperation, creativity, intelligent manufacturing and the R&D of advanced technology. CDHT also devotes itself to a deeper global collaboration in creativity between Singapore, Germany, France and other countries.     

On the list of national-level new and hi-tech industry development areas issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology China Torch Center in 2015, the CDHT is ranked second only behind Beijing's Zhongguancun. In the recently-published 13th Five-Year Plan, the Zone proposes the construction of five million square meters of innovation space, as well as the establishment of coordinated innovation funds, large corporation innovation special projects funds and global leading talents special projects funds totaling RMB 5 billion in the next five years in order to fuel the implementation of the Zone's worldwide innovation plan. The goals for 2020 include total economic output of RMB 1 trillion, 10,000 technology companies, 10,000 innovation and start-up talents, more than 11,000 invention patents, and 1,000 international, national or industry standards.

SOURCE Chengdu High-tech Industrial Development Zone