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Quality Services Attract Global Talent: A Case Study

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2022-01-13 09:42:44 | Author: JIANG Yun

A glimpse of the natural scenery in Ningbo’s Beilun district. (PHOTO: VCG)


As one of Zhejiang's manufacturing hubs, the Beilun district of Ningbo is home to more than 80,000 private enterprises, bolstering a strong economy.

Starting in the 1980s, it was the first national demonstration zone to attract foreign talent, bringing in foreign engineers to help local enterprises solve their technical problems. Over the past four decades, more and more foreign experts have been attracted to the district, significantly boosting the transformation and upgrading of local industries.

It took Konstantinos Pouleros just six months to decide to move back to Beilun after his first visit. Now, his wife works as a kindergarten teacher, and his son studies in an international primary school and speaks Chinese better than him.

Pouleros was a production manager in a Greek branch of Nexans, one of the world's top three cable and fiber optics companies, and a contributor to a dozen world-famous submarine cable projects.

In June 2019, Pouleros was invited to visit the Ningbo Orient Wires & Cables Co. Ltd. Impressed by the company's openness and future mission, he agreed to take charge of its Ocean Innovation Center as the chief engineer, focusing on the management of critical production processes of ultra-high voltage submarine and land cables, and core technology R&D. He was also a consultant to the company's submarine cable marketing department, helped boost productivity and expanded overseas markets.

In April 2020, the Ningbo High-End Equipment Overseas Engineers Collaborative Innovation Center (Overseas Engineers Center), a pilot project grouping specific related industries in Zhejiang, was founded in Beilun.

In recognition of Pouleros' contribution to local industrial growth, the Overseas Engineers Center assisted him in applying for a talent program, ensuring such foreign excellent talent could fully enjoy Beilun's policy dividends.

Enterprises that successfully attract foreign engineers will be granted annual salary funding, according to the district's Bureau of Science and Technology. Beilun district contributes the same amount of funding to the engineers as the Ningbo municipal government, with the total money from the two administrative levels potentially being as much as 40 percent of an engineers' annual salary.

For top foreign experts and overseas engineers who possess a doctorate degree and work full time in the district, they could also be subsidized by as much as one million RMB per year. The district will also allocate a maximum of one million RMB to support programs aimed at making technological breakthroughs and the commercialization of technological achievements. Those engineers whose children study in Beilun's international school will get tuition fee subsidies of 50,000 RMB.

To further improve service efficiency, Beilun managed to synergize the authorization of entry-exit and work permits for overseas engineers in June 2021, enabling the two permits to be issued almost simultaneously, the first of its kind in Ningbo.

In 2021, Beilun received more than 3,000 resumes from foreign doctorate candidates, finally selecting 1,000 who conformed to its industrial layout and strategic emerging industries. A regional talent pool has since been set up to strengthen, complement, and expand the original industrial chains in Beilun.

To better empower the manufacturing industry in Beilun, the Overseas Engineers Center streamlined the district's list of single-product champion enterprises, listed companies, and leading small and medium-sized enterprises that specialize in niche sectors, command a high market share, and boast strong innovative capacity and core technologies. A joint service list for these 120 enterprises was formulated. The center's staff visited the enterprises 220 times and concluded that there were 960 demands for experts and 200 for technological assistance.

By November 2021, the center had introduced 340 experts to 82 enterprises, and 62 talents were contracted.

Observing the principles of co-sharing talent and resources, co-building platforms, and jointly meeting challenges, Beilun is exerting great efforts to establish a centralized service platform for overseas engineers, innovate an integrated platform for talent resources, build a precise docking platform for technological supply and demand, and provide quality services to foreign experts. More and more enterprises in Beilun will become empowered to break bottlenecks in the fields of technology, management and marketing, as it gains in reputation globally.

The English version is created in partnership with China.org.cn. 

Editor: 陈春有

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