Jiangsu: China's Sci-tech Powerhouse by Recruiting Talents Globally
A glimpse of Xianlin University Town in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.(PHOTO:VCG)
By WANG Qin
Blessed with fertile farmland and abundant lakes and rivers, China's eastern Jiangsu province has been known as the "land of fish and rice" since ancient times. It boasts not only impressive natural beauty, but also a surging innovation momentum and undaunted pioneering spirit.
Despite covering just one percent of China's territory, Jiangsu is home to six percent of the country's population and produces 10 percent of the national GDP. In 2020, Jiangsu achieved a GDP of 1.5 trillion USD, reached an import and export volume of 645 billion USD, and had a foreign direct investment of 28.38 billion USD, all leading in the country. Jiangsu is called the "world's factory," with its manufacturing industry accounting for around one eighth of the national total and three percent of the global total.
As a leading province in science, technology and education, in 2020, Jiangsu invested more than 300 billion RMB in R&D, which was 12 percent of the national total, accounting for 2.93 percent of the province's GDP. There are more than 36 patents per 10,000 people in Jiangsu, the highest figure among all provinces in China. The province has 167 colleges and universities — ranking first in the country — and more than two million college and university students on campus. It is also home to 858 independent R&D institutions, and more than 900,000 scientists and engineers. Ranking among the top for regional innovation capacity for many years, Jiangsu has become one of the most dynamic, productive and innovative provinces.
Attracting talent from around the world
Jiangsu aims to attract talent from around the world and improve innovation through opening-up. We have jointly established an inter-governmental cooperation mechanism on industrial R&D with nine countries and regions, including Israel, the UK, Finland, Norway and Singapore. Up to now, more than 170 projects have been jointly supported. We have maintained extensive cooperation and exchanges with more than 70 countries and regions, and built the China-Israel Changzhou Innovation Park, the first of its kind between the two countries. In total, the province has issued more than 100,000 work permits to foreigners.
Providing research and innovation platforms
Jiangsu has made great efforts to build the Purple Mountain Laboratories, Gusu Laboratory and Taihu Laboratory to attract talented foreign personnel. We have founded the Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute (JITRI) based on a new and effective mechanism, and recruited around 200 project managers and more than 10,000 researchers from all over the world. JITRI has undertaken the Secretariat of the World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organization, cooperated with the World Wildlife Fund in building the Global Green Technology Center, and collected nearly 600 technology solutions globally by demand-driven method.
Building a better eco-system for innovation
From 2008 to 2020, Jiangsu had successfully hosted "China Jiangsu Conference for International Technology Transfer and Commercialization" seven times, attracting more than 2,000 representatives of overseas innovation institutions from more than 40 countries and achieving over 700 cooperation intentions. Demonstration zones for intellectual property rights (IPR) protection were piloted in the province, establishing seven high-level national IPR protection centers. An annual talent recruitment program was launched, which has attracted more than 1,700 experts to Jiangsu. In total, 327 foreign experts have been awarded the Jiangsu Friendship Award. Nanjing, Suzhou and Wuxi have been on the list of the "Most Attractive Chinese Cities for Foreigners."
During the 14th Five-Year Plan period, we are speeding up the development of Jiangsu into a sci-tech powerhouse. We will launch an action plan to bring talent from all over the world, and create more opportunities for talent development. We will further expand international collaboration by integrating into the global innovation network, strengthening international exchanges and cooperating in the areas of technology, talent and platform, which will also improve our research and innovation capability through high-level opening-up. In addition, the province seeks to further improve the innovation environment, tighten regulations on IPR protection, and provide foreign talent with high-quality services to start businesses and realize their potential.
We sincerely welcome experts from around the world to pursue their careers in Jiangsu, and work together to achieve mutually beneficial cooperation.
WANG Qin is Director-General of Department of Science and Technology of Jiangsu Province.
The English version is created in partnership with China.org.cn.