SIP Advances from Manufacturing Base to Innovation Height
When SIP celebrated its 10 anniversary in 2004, a new development goal was set forth to build another new Suzhou in the next decade, namely, an innovation-oriented industrial park marked by "innovated in SIP".
Highly intensive clusters of hi-tech industries are the foundation as well as the superiority of SIP for building up an innovation-oriented industrial park. SIP has set forth the primary aim from the beginning of development to embark on the road of new industrialization. Through unswerving efforts, 53 of the Fortune 500 have set up 85 projects in SIP, of which over 60 invested 100 million USD each, including 6 1-billion-dollar projects. Hi-tech industrial clusters are being formed in IT, IC, TFT-LCD, precision machinery, bio-pharmaceutical, new material, and aeronautical parts. Currently there are more than 100 provincial-level hi-tech enterprises. IT industry has hit the record high of 100 billion RMB annual sales, about 1/5 that of the whole province. SIP is also the largest R&D and production base for crystal screens of the new generation.
Attention has been paid to introducing high-quality and large-scale enterprises to build superior industrial chains. Fortune 500, technology-intensive enterprises, capital-intensive and base-type hi-tech projects are major selections in marketing for overseas investment, especially those at the core of industries closely related with upper-stream and down-stream enterprises. With keen attention on intensifying innovative capability, SIP has increased financial input by annual rate of 30% in sci-tech innovations.
SIP is never content with being a "workshop" of the "global plant" by having a superior manufacturing industry supported by foreign core technologies. To sustain its international competitiveness, SIP lost no time in formulating the strategic shift from "marketing for industrial clusters" to "marketing for innovative environment", and from "made in SIP" to "created in SIP".
In the last couple of year, SIP has successfully introduced clusters of innovation-type enterprises, and built a number of national-level bases for application of technological researches in IT, IC, animation, and software industries. New carriers are being planned and constructed in SIP: China-Singapore Science Hub, conceptual industrial park, nanobiotechnology town, etc., with the entry of over 50 multinational corporations and national research teams. Besides, more than 400 technology-oriented enterprises have entered the SIP Int’l Technology Town, and R&D institutions were established here by well-known enterprises like Samsung, Panosonic, Fangzheng of Beijing University, etc. Currently SIP is deepening its cooperation with Chinese Academy of Sciences, Luoyang Non-ferrous Metal Research Institute, Nanjing University, Dudan University, and other research institutions to enhance SIP technological innovative capability. After ten years’ persistent efforts, SIP has initially built up a new technological innovation system with enterprises as the mainstay in combined endeavor of the government, manufacturers, education and research institutions. The scientific and technological progress has contributed to 70% of economic growth.
General environment is a decisive factor in technological innovation. SIP has attached overriding importance to building public platform for innovation in terms of technology, finance, services, and policies, such as IC designing service center, IC productivity promotion center, software training center, etc. CAS IC Designing Center, for instance, has developed the internationally most advanced EDA designing software, and became the only IC testing service center in Jiangsu Province.
Meanwhile, SIP is actively involved in optimization of financing environment so as to provide powerful fiscal support to innovation. The first Sino-foreign venture investment fund in China was founded in SIP with 1.73 billion RMB registered capital. SIP also set up the SME Venture Guarantee Co., Ltd. and became the controlling shareholder. To reinforce the work of intellectual property rights, SIP has built the IPR protection public platform to render services and consultancy to enterprises in respects of patents, trademarks, and software authorships. Last year, SIP earmarked 40 million RMB to support technological innovations by enterprises.
As to how to accelerate innovation and make breakthroughs, SIP makes a clear distinction of what to do and what not to do. A scientific and technological development program, with major stresses and stages, was formulated in SIP to carry out the "three projects" of primary innovation, integrated innovation, and re-innovation based on digestion and absorption. Consigned software designing and production and animation industry are selected as points of breakthroughs, whereas bio-medicine and nanotech industries, which have strategic impact on the regional development, are being promoted in a big way. By the end of 2005, the export volume of software amounted to 100 million US dollars, comprising 90% that of Suzhou and 60% that of the whole province. Remarkable achievement is seen in animation industry of SIP, and the annual output value from the 30 enterprises reached 450 million RMB.
Human resource is looked upon as the first resource in enhancing competitiveness of SIP. The attraction of talent is carried out in a market-driven mechanism. A network database of talent demand and availability has been constructed to publicize information for enterprises and applicants. A complete HR market configuration system is being shaped with agencies, vocational training, labor price control, legalized management, and programmed evaluation and feedback. Job fairs and recruitment campaigns have been conducted both in SIP and other regions of the country to attract talent. SIP has established contractual relations with noted institutions of higher learning on supply of graduates, and has on many occasions organized recruitment campaigns overseas, such as in Silicon Valley, Tokyo, Hong Kong, etc.
Presently, SIP is speeding up the converging of high-caliber talent from domestic and overseas sources. Technical personnel employed in SIP number 173,000, expatriates nearly 10,000, and over 1,000 returned students from overseas. In every 10,000 employees, there are 3,400 with college education background. A contingent of technical talent is being expanded and strengthened to meet the rising demands for the innovative growth of SIP in the next 10 years.
May 12, 2006