Hardcore technologies emphasized in Xi'an high-tech zone

2021-01-06 14:37:44 , Source : China Daily

View of the Xi'an Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone in Shaanxi province. CHINA DAILY

Region in Shaanxi province becomes first in China to focus on innovation in the industry.

The Xi'an Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone in Shaanxi province has propelled the development of hardcore technologies with its resources of talented people and industries.

In June, the zone started the construction of the country's first demonstration zone for hardcore technology innovation to boost long-term economic growth.

Casstar has provided assistance to many startup companies in the high-tech zone in areas such as management, property and marketing. LI YIBO/XINHUA

Mi Lei, co-partner of Casstar, introduces the hardcore community to visitors. CHINA DAILY

Casstar was the first hardcore technology incubation platform established in the zone. It aims to help the industrialization of technological achievements in the laboratory.

"We have established a fund focusing on hardcore technology investment to help scientific researchers transform into entrepreneurs," said Li Hao, founding partner of Casstar.

"We have also established a series of technology entrepreneurship service projects that include training, policy consultation and financing services."

In recent years, Casstar has provided assistance to many startup companies in the zone in areas such as management, property and marketing.

Yang Xiaojun was a researcher at Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and has been devoted to the research on ultrafast laser processing technology.

In 2015, Yang decided to start his own business and set up a company in the zone. He said almost all of the company's executives have participated in Casstar's training camp on hardcore technology entrepreneurship.

"The courses are highly targeted and directly address the challenges of entrepreneurship," he said. "Through training, everyone's abilities have been greatly improved," he said.

The zone also launched the technical manager model to support startups.

Information asymmetry has always been a difficult problem in the transformation of scientific and technological achievements.

"For example, in the process of transforming scientific and technological achievements, researchers are more concerned about the advancement of technology, while business operators care about issues such as input-output ratio, rate of return and market advantage," said He Huiming, head of the hardcore science and technology innovation bureau as well as the statistics bureau of the high-tech zone.

"A technical manager who understands both the market and technology is needed to effectively communicate between the two parties and expand technological achievements," he said.

Wang Haidong, general manager of Xi'an Yuannuo Technology Transfer, said his team has worked hard to find and match technical achievements that suit the needs of many companies. The efficiency of technical achievement conversion has also been greatly improved.

Five years ago, Wang became a professional technical manager after he participated in an event in the science and technology market of the zone.

"The role of technical managers in the technological transformation and industrial upgrading of enterprises is very important," he said.

"On one hand, technical managers can help enterprises tailor scientific and technological achievements.

"On the other hand, they can also help universities and research institutes find application scenarios," Wang said.

The zone's technical manager model has been promoted nationwide as a case of reform and innovation.

To ensure simultaneous growth of the number and quality of high-tech enterprises, the zone has established a gradient cultivation system of "small and medium-sized enterprises, high-tech enterprises and technological giants".

"From the initial stage of the enterprise's establishment to the subsequent stages, the high-tech zone's support is well-rounded," said Feng Zhenjun, deputy general manager of Stacox Communication Technology.

After six years' development, Stacox has nearly 100 employees, a research and development center and a production base of more than 3,000 square meters. "At different stages of development, we have all enjoyed solid policy support from the high-tech zone," Feng said.

With the rapid growth of enterprises, problems such as small office areas and insufficient production bases have become increasingly prominent. In response, officials in the zone are searching for ways to coordinate and solve various problems as quickly as possible.

Zhang Yu, director of Xi'an Giant Biogene Technology, a high-tech enterprise focusing on genetic and biomaterial engineering, said: "In recent years, the high-tech zone has been very effective. Recently, as the company's production capacity continues to expand, the zone has approved another 150 acres of land for us to build a new factory."

Huang Shenglan, deputy general manager of Clover Sec, a network security solutions provider in the zone, said: "Our company's business is network security, and it is very difficult to cultivate and discover talented people in this area."

"After learning about this situation, the high-tech zone organized campus tours and other recruitment activities, which opened up channels for us to attract outstanding talents."

In the past three years, the zone has cultivated more than 1,100 small technology companies and over 5,000 high-tech enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises. It has also cultivated 305 hardcore technology companies.

To alleviate the impact of COVID-19, the zone has issued a number of measures to help enterprises to resume work and production.

Novastar, a company that makes software for state-of-the-art giant LED screens, is one of the beneficiaries.

"During the epidemic prevention and control period, the zone's software park reduced or exempted our rent by more than 1 million yuan," said Weng Jing, deputy general manager of the company.

In the first half of last year, the output value of the semiconductor manufacturing industry supported by hardcore technologies increased by 76.5 percent year-on-year, and the output value of the new energy manufacturing industry increased by 46.5 percent year-on-year.

At the same time, the zone encourages enterprises to increase investment in science and technology. R&D expenditure accounts for more than 6 percent of its GDP, which exceeds the national average.

A steady stream of technological innovation achievements in the zone-such as ultra-wide bandgap gallium oxide power devices, ultrahigh-strength magnesium-based composite materials, and core chips for the internet of things-have been made in recent years.

Officials in the high-tech zone hope to build four 100-billion innovative industrial clusters by 2025.The four clusters comprise electronic information, autos, high-end equipment, and biomedicine. The total output value of advanced manufacturing is expected to exceed 800 billion yuan.

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