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New phase of innovation begins between China and Singapore

By CHEN HONG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-06-29 08:41

The China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, is a landmark government project between China and Singapore. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The China-Singapore Smart Park was officially opened on Sunday in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province, a new move between the two countries to promote innovative cooperation.

As an important part of the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, a landmark Sino-Singaporean government project, the CSSP will focus on the fields of digital economy, green development, biomedicine and smart city construction.

With an investment of more than 1.4 billion yuan ($219.1 million), the smart park has 12 buildings with major functions featuring demonstration and exchange spaces, industrial incubation and acceleration rooms and residential facilities.

The China-Singapore International Joint Research Institute set up its headquarters in the smart park. The institute, sponsored by South China University of Technology and Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, serves as a key research and development hub for the knowledge city and also works as an international innovative cooperation platform.

The park has introduced a large batch of industrialization projects so far. They include Lion TCR, a biotechnology company incubated in Singapore; NCS, a market leader in information technology services in Singapore and Southeast Asia; Concord Medical Sci-Tech Innovation Center, a Chinese academic-led platform engaged in tumor immunodiagnosis; and CSGKC International LaunchPad, where investors, startups, scientists and researchers as well as policymakers can meet and get one-stop services.

"We have seen that financial technology has vigorously developed in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area," said Li Shan, president of NCS China. NCS, which was founded in Singapore about 40 years ago and entered the Chinese market more than two decades ago, set up a delivery center for financial technology in the CSSP.

"Hopefully, our professional team will have 1,000 senior technicians of information services and financial technology in two years, who will better serve our financial clients in the Bay Area," Li said.

The company representatives said the environment of the CSSP, which drew on experience from a Singaporean industrial park, is friendly and convenient.

The concept of eco-friendliness has been applied to the smart park, which has a floor space of about 180,000 square meters. It has kept some natural slopes, built roof gardens, and corridors to connect buildings and embraces the idea of a "sponge city" to make better use of rainfall.

Rising attraction

The China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, where the CSSP is located, has been in development since 2010. The knowledge city was upgraded to a State-level bilateral cooperation project in November 2018.

In 2020, the State Council approved the long-term development plan for the CSGKC from 2020-35. The knowledge city set a goal to be a national knowledge center with global influence and become a highland of knowledge creation, a free port for international talents, a source of innovation in the Bay Area, and an open cooperation demonstration area.

The fixed asset investment of the CSGKC surpassed 81.3 billion yuan in 2021, despite COVID-19, which represents a year-on-year increase of 37 percent, according to the official figures. The accumulative fixed asset investment amounted to 301.6 billion yuan.

A total of 89 projects were completed or began operating last year, which generated an industrial output value of more than 170 billion yuan, figures showed.

Accumulatively, 24,000 entities have been registered with CSGKC over the past 12 years with total registration capital of nearly 500 billion yuan.

Transforming from a piece of farmland to a modern urban area, the CSGKC has made remarkable changes and will have more diversified development in the future, Xu Hui, deputy director of the collaboration affairs office of the CSGKC, told reporters.

Currently, the knowledge city has outperformed many other industrial parks in the sectors of biomedicine, integrated circuits and new energy vehicles.

It has introduced more than 40 heavyweight biomedicine projects, such as BeiGene, InnoCare, Akeso and GE-Lonza. When these projects are put into full operation, they will make the CSGKC the largest biomedicine production base in Asia, according to the official release.

In terms of the integrated circuit industry, the knowledge city has attracted more than 80 companies from throughout the industrial chain of semiconductor chip development and production, with Guangzhou CanSemi Technology as a leading company. Such companies have made breakthroughs in several key technologies, according to the CSGKC.

In the area of new energy vehicles, Baidu Apollo's autonomous driving service platform was first put into service in the knowledge city.

Xiaopeng, a Chinese e-car brand, has built a new manufacturing plant in the CSGKC. It took just nine and a half months from the groundbreaking ceremony of the factory to the first vehicle rolling off its production line.

Meanwhile, the CSGKC is striving to be one of the best places in China to realize the management of patents, trademarks and copyrights to be good at creating, utilizing and protecting intellectual property.

Also, the knowledge city plans to build itself into an industrialization highland with a strong innovative capacity of nanotechnology in China.

"After more than a decade of efforts, the knowledge city has become a leader in Guangzhou's reform and innovation and a model for urban construction," said Loh Tuck Keat, consul general of Singapore in Guangzhou, in a video address on Sunday.

He said the CSGKC has good prospects and will serve as an impetus to reform and opening-up, as well as knowledge innovation in Guangzhou and even the province. It will become a model of China-Singapore cooperation, he added.

"We will deepen cooperation with the Singaporean side in the sectors of digital economy, green development, internationalization of renminbi and IP in the future, and raise the all-around openness and collaboration levels," said Zheng Yong, director of the collaboration affairs office of the CSGKC.

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