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New Pattern of Guangdong’s International Science and Technology Cooperation ——Open and Innovative

On December 23rd, 2011, Cao Jianlin, Vice Minister of Ministry of Science and Technology, met with the Standing Deputy Director of Ukraine Barton Welding Institute and the Ukrainian delegation

 

   As the economic globalization accelerates the progress of the internalization of research and development (R&D), to deepen the international science and technology cooperation is the strategic choice to realize the open innovation. To meet the demand of the industrial transformation and upgrading in the whole province and the construction of an innovative and happy Guangdong, Guangdong, with a global mindset, is strengthening the international strategic deploy of scientific development, taking initiative to participate in the global cooperation and competition in science and technology, and economy. It is activity joining the international network of scientific innovation, earnestly upgrading its capacity in coordinating the external and internal resources, improving the strength of the R&D institutions and the innovation ability of the high-tech enterprises, providing solid support for the development of the economic society. Guangdong has established partnership in scientific communication and cooperation with more than 40 countries with more than 50 scientific cooperation agreements signed, and generally set up the new pattern of Guangdong’s international science and technology cooperation, which is open as well as innovative.

 

The Stable Mechanism as a Safeguard

In recent years, the pragmatic cooperation between Guangdong and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries has witnessed prosperous development. Guangdong has signed a series of scientific cooperation framework agreements on the development of the industrial technology, with some CIS countries and their research institutions, for example, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Through promoting the cooperation between governments and building platforms for scientific innovations, a stable mechanism has been formed as a safeguard. To this day, more than 10 agreements on scientific cooperation have been achieved between Guangdong and the famous research institutions in the CIS countries.

As the participants of the Dongguan International Science and Technology Cooperation Week has grown from a small number of regions and countries in the past to 22 regions and countries now, the internalization of the Cooperation Week has been deepened. More than 120 foreign guests attended this activity. The display zones, forums, symposiums all reflected the advanced science and technology of the participant countries, showing the new trend of international science and technology cooperation.

 

The Open Innovation Network

In the process of promoting the international science and technology cooperation, Guangdong has focused on establishing the long-term partnership between the research institutions in the province and their internationally famous counterparts. Surrounding the demand of industrial technology, Guangdong aims to further grasp the idea of the international science and technology cooperation and development, actively explore and innovate the cooperation pattern of the international science and technology cooperation, and establish the persistent and stable strategic partnership with foreign countries.

The Guangdong General Research Institute for Industrial Technology has set up a common R&D institute with the Barton Welding Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and started the comprehensive cooperation with the relative institutes of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Foshan has cooperated with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to promote the construction of Sino-Germany service zone. Dongguan has used the Dongguan SSL National High-tech Industrial Development Zone as the carrier to start the cooperation on scientific innovation with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The cooperation with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel has been exploited to integrate the advanced national innovation resources.

Guangdong has established scientific cooperation with the European Union in various fields including new energy and energy saving, precision manufacturing, research on    traditional Chinese medicine, and prevention of severe diseases. Guangzhou took the initiative to set up the China-UK Cambridge Technology Venture Park with the Cambridge University with the main purpose of promoting the internationalization of the traditional Chinese medicine. The International Innovation Park for Scientific Service in the Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center has been built to mainly absorb the scientific innovation resources from Europe and America. Foshan and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft acted hand in hand to build a “sample zone for Sino-Germany scientific service”, supporting the industrial development through scientific service. The Huizhou Zhongkai Hi-Tech Development Zone has worked with the Silicon Valley to establish the allopatric incubation base to enlarge the sources of incubation enterprises and business creators. At the same time, Guangdong has carried out extensive cooperation and sharing with Singapore, Japan, South Korea and other countries in fields including talent resources, R&D conditions, information resources and so on. The Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City is a symbolic project of the cooperation between Guangzhou and Singapore. In recent years, Israel has been acknowledged as the country that we should preferentially carry out scientific cooperation with. According to the Agreement on Technological Innovation Cooperation to Boost Industrial Research and Development signed by the Guangdong government and the Israeli government, Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology and the Dongguan municipal government actively explore the constructing module of industrial park with the distinct characteristics of  “folk forces under official help”, “combination of the three types of capitals”, and “international cooperation”, fully arouses the civil capitals and international capitals, efficiently integrate the advanced environmental protection technologies of water treatment at home and abroad and the strong industrialization capacity of Dongguan, promote the construction of innovation cluster to form the cluster of emerging industries in the high-tech industrial development zone, and boost the sustainable development of the regional economy.

Almost 30 innovative enterprises, such as Mekorot, Israel’s National Water Company, and IDE Technologies and so on, have signed the agreement to settle in the National Water Treatment Technology Innovation Park.

Guangdong and the relative departments of the Israeli government have set up the joint cooperation groups to improve high-tech industries, scientific innovation, new energy for public transportation and other fields, tackling issues of water treatment technology, environment protection, new energy, gene sequencing applications, high-energy physics, and etc. The high level cooperation in the major fields has be processed in a pragmatic and efficient way.

The China-Israel Industrial Park for International Collaboration in Science and Technology, located in Dongguan SSL National High-tech Industrial Development Zone, will bring in 12 Israeli enterprises with a focus on water treatment technology. In addition, a China-Israel R&D center and a knowledge innovation center is in store.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Shantou University has signed a cooperative agreement in Tel Aviv to build the Guangdong-Technion Israel Institute of Technology, together with the innovation platform and SME innovation industrial park in Shantou.

 

 

The Regional Innovation Pattern with the Principal Axis of “Hong Kong-Shenzhen-Guangzhou”

       Guangdong takes advantage of its adjacency to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, depends on the industrial base and the supply and demand conditions, and etc., and matches the resources supplied by the three regions to the scientific demands of different cities. Various scientific cooperation projects with correct positioning and distinct characteristic have thus been carried out.

       The development pattern with the kernel of the “Guangdong and Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Corridor” is taking shape. Guangzhou and Hong Kong has signed 46 projects under the framework agreement of strategic collaboration, with the total investment of 11.519 billion yuan. Foshan has established the strategic partnership with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks to introduce the advanced technology and high level talents in the LED and FPD industries, accelerating the localization of Hong Kong’s innovation results. Dongguan has joined the organizations including the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Invest Hong Kong, Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department and so on for several times to launch a series of promotion activities, removing obstacles in the cooperation between Dongguan and Hong Kong. The key bidding projects in key fields of Guangdong and Hong Kong have been carried out for 10 years, and the financial capitals invested by Guangdong has reached 2.1 billion yuan, driving more than 24 billion yuan of social capitals and creating more than 200 billion yuan of economic benefits. The fruitful results of these include around 3,000 new products, 850 innovative technologies, 240 new materials, 750 new equipment, 6,000 patent applications and 2,400 patent authorizations. Also, there are 420 foreign patent applications and some 1,000 computer software copyrights. The economic benefits are pleasing. The Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province has set up the “Special Fund to Jointly Building the Scientific Innovation Platforms between Guangdong and Hong Kong”, with the main purpose of supporting the relative universities and research institutions to construct the scientific innovation platform with the counterparts in Hong Kong and Macao. By now, seven scientific innovation platforms including the SCUT and CUHK Automation Science & Engineering Joint Research Center and the CUHK-Jinan University Joint Laboratories for Regenerative Medicine have been established, surrounding the industries and areas of environment, automation, traditional Chinese medicine, information software and so on.

 

Innovation Platform of Cooperation and R&D

       To set up all kinds of R&D platforms with the relative foreign research institutions and to launch applied basic research as well as joint develop are the important methods to upgrade the capacity of R&D and innovation of the relative research institutions, and also the important content to build the open regional innovation system. Through building joint laboratories, joint research units, technology transfer organizations and other methods, we can cooperate to build R&D platforms.

       The Guangdong General Research Institute for Industrial Technology and the University of Technology of Belfort-Montbéliard have set up the China-France Joint Laboratory of Surface Engineering to integrate the external and internal technologies as well as innovative edges, share the resources, form a persistent and stable mechanism for talent communication and scientific cooperation, release the innovative potentials of Guangdong, and provide technological support to the transformation from labor intensive industries to high-tech intensive industries. The French government has promised to offer relative assistance to the projects under the framework of China-France cooperation.

       The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Lancaster University in Britain have officially signed the strategic cooperative agreement concerning R&D, talent cultivation, technology transfer, and the construction of joint research units.

       The International Research & Innovation Centre for the Environment has been jointly founded in Guangzhou by the Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Lancaster University, becoming the important platform for research on environmental science and innovation between China and Britain, and even the international community.

       Both the CAS Foshan Center of Environmental Equipment and the Institute of Urban Environment have signed the cooperative agreement of technology transfer with the Lancaster Environment Centre.

       Based on the Cooperation Framework Agreement between Guangzhou Municipal People's Government and University of Birmingham, the Guangzhou municipal government and the University of Birmingham have jointly founded the University of Birmingham Guangzhou Centre. At present, based on the cooperation framework of the center, Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, Guangzhou First People’s Hospital, Guangzhou Twelfth People’s Hospital, Guangzhou Women and Children Medical Care Center, Guangzhou University and other organizations are participating in the cooperation of the treatment of stem cell to liver damage, the Birmingham-Guangzhou Brain and Cognition Centre Birmingham, the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study, the birth cohort study of child health, the evaluation system of the land use of the urban service industry, and other projects. Among these, the project of stem cell gained the pre-funding from the Research Councils UK as well as the National Natural Science Foundation of China. All the practice of these cooperative projects not only increases the academic and R&D output of various fields in the international community, but also cultivates a group of local scientific talents.

       In order to absorb the international innovative resources and comprehensively promote the construction of the International Science and Technology City of the Pearl River Delta, Foshan High-tech Industrial Development Zone, the ISIS Innovation, Oxford University and the Research Institute of Tsinghua University in Shenzhen (RITS) have signed the memorandum of understanding to jointly build the China-Britain ISIS Joint Development Centre. The center will take advantage of the international resources of ISIS to introduce, to Foshan High-tech Industrial Development Zone and its industrial cluster, the technology, talents and projects, including introducing the scientific results of the Oxford University and other European universities to match the local enterprises, introducing the international teams with innovative talents and international cooperation projects, seeking opportunities to invite internationally famous universities and research institutions to set up R&D institutions and technological platforms in Foshan, assisting the enterprises to expand their market in the international level in aspects like trade investment, organizing the local elite entrepreneurs to receive training in Oxford University and so on. The three parties will integrate the projects introduced in this plan to set up an innovation base with European technological industries in the Leaguer Science Park of RITS.

       The technology of forming the stable PIN knots in the organic thin film, invented by Pei Qibing, professor of the University of California Los Angeles, and other people, is hopeful to remove the bottleneck of the technology. His research team took the lead in the whole world in this aspect. The materials of phosphorescent conjugated polymers, exclusively obtained by the South China University of Technology, is the necessary material in producing the organic light emitting devices with high efficiency. The project combines the distinct technologies of the two teams, exploiting their own advantages to develop the critical technology and solve the material issue before the large scale production of the PIN knots and organic light emitting devices.

       The South China University of Technology and the Forest Products Laboratory of the Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture has carried out international cooperation. They combine Forest Products Laboratory’s research results in the field of wood cellulose ethanol with South China University of Technology’s base and results of the efficient utilization of the by-product lignin in paper manufacturing industry. Through developing the preprocessing technology that is suitable for the straw cellulose ethanol, enzymolysis, fermentation technology and the technology of efficient utilization of lignin and so on, the bottle-neck technology that impedes the development of Chinese straw cellulose industry has been broken, and the cost of producing cellulose ethanol has been reduced. Also, the full utilization of the biomass resources has been realized, and the threat and pollution of the by-products to the environment has been decreased to mitigate the energy crisis that is haunting China.

 

 

Scientific Research Teams with the Focus on Innovation

       Guangdong has introduced in three groups, all together 57 innovation research teams, attracting about 500 top level talents to come here. Among them, 29 are from the well-known foreign research institutions and universities, accounting for half of the introduced teams. The team leaders, tenured professors and vice professors introduced from the famous universities and research institutions such as the Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Phillip Institute of Technology in the Netherlands and so on, are around 50 in number, of whom two are the Nobel laureates, one is the judge of Noble Prize,11 are the foreign doctors, and nearly 20 are the scholars of the Thousand Talents Plan, Cheung Kong Scholars, or the winners of the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars. A provincial financial fund of 840 million yuan has flown to these teams, accounting for 56% of the total funding for the innovation research teams.

 

The Innovative Use of the resources of the International Organizations

       Agricultural research institutions, like the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, have founded a long-term partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Totally, around 8m000 rice mutants have been introduced form the IRRI, producing a series of new species to fight against rice blast. Fruitful research has been carried out with the IRRI in the fields of the durable resistance to blast, the gene chips –assisted breeding, rice functional genomics and so on. Among them, the research result of the durable resistance to blast won the first prize of the Guangdong Science and Technology Progress Award. To study the Molecular genetic mechanisms of rice in low temperature and cold damage through introducing the technology of gene expression analysis and the SNP detection technology, which are efficient and economical, has received breakthroughs in the study on cold tolerance of rice now.

The Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences has introduced the technology of site-specific nitrogen management from the IRRI, and innovated the fertilization technique, becoming the first rice cultivation technology with and application area of more than 10 million mu, since the advent of the technology of seedling throwing in Guangdong. In the recent four years, this technology has been promoted, and been applied to more than 50 mu in Guangdong and Southern China. Professor Roland Buresh from the IRRI has thus been awarded by the People's Government of Guangdong Province with the first session of the Guangdong International Friendship Contribution Award

       The Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, through the cooperation with the international banana modifying network, has introduced totally 3 groups, all together 185 germplasms. Then, it has selected and cultivated 9 germplasms that are resistant to blight, high-yield, and of high quality. They have been applied to more than 330,000 hectares in total, bringing the product value of more than 40 billion yuan. At the same time, the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences is also responsible for many international cooperation projects concerning with bananas, for instance, the UN Trust Fund, contributing a lot to the healthy development of the banana industry in Guangdong.

       On the basis of the long-term cooperation with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences has invented the first high-density peanut gene chip in the world, worked out the first molecular genetic linkage map for peanut cultivation in the world, and successfully cultivated the peanut species that are resistant to aflatoxin, making the infection rate of aflatoxin lower than 15%. The stimulation technology of peanut in the rain-fed areas in South China has thus been created, and applied to Guangdong and other southern provinces, increasing the output of peanut growing in rain-fed areas by 20% to 30%, receiving compliments from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

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