Business / Industries

Engineers in smaller cities top innovation drive

By WANG ZHUOQIONG (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-30 08:03

Chinese engineers, especially those in second-tier cities, are increasingly taking to innovation, with creativity peaking among those aged 50 and above, an industry survey said.

TE Connectivity Ltd, a world leader in connectivity, which released the report on Tuesday, said about 87.8 percent of the respondent engineers in its survey had a favorable disposition toward innovation.

The study, which tracked Chinese engineers' situation, challenges and achievements in 2014, said most of the engineers are also favorably inclined to macroeconomic policies and the steps to foster an innovation environment.

Most of the respondents said an environment that is conducive to innovation is important. According to the report, a flexible management model and decision-making process along with opportunities to test out the various processes are also equally important.

The research was conducted among 1,219 engineers working in State-owned, foreign-invested and private companies in automobiles, telecommunications, mechanical manufacturing, energy and pharmaceutical sectors between June 2014 and June 2015.

Wan Pengyuan, deputy director of the Electronic and Technology Information Research Institute under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said there is tremendous potential for Chinese engineers to boost their innovation and creativity.

Intellectual property rights protection and higher investments on research and development are key to further progress in innovation, the report said.

The survey also ranked the top 200 respondents to understand the key attributes of their success. Based on the findings, it was found that the innovation index among leading engineers in second-tier cities like Nanjing in Jiangsu province and Chongqing Municipality are the best in the nation. Of the leading 13 industrial cities, in terms of the innovation index among engineers, Chongqing was ranked the first, followed by Shanghai, Xi'an, Nanjing and Dalian.

Engineers in Chongqing achieved better results because of their increasing opportunities to get involved with project decision-making process. Their longevity at work has helped them gain more experience along with the higher investments in research and development.

The report found that about 23.33 percent of the top engineers in China are based in Chongqing, close behind the top-ranked Shanghai with 27.01 percent.

Though most of the innovation activities among engineers are strongly linked to policies, those engaged in automobiles, telecommunications. information technology and electronics manufacturing have achieved above-average ranks in innovation.

Engineers in their 50s are found to be most creative, accounting for 24.3 percent of the total age group with innovation index as high as 150.25, much higher than that of other age groups, the study said.

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