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New materials and innovation fuel growth
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08:37, September 11, 2008

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The 7th China (Zibo) International New Material Technological Forum will start on September 16 with over 500 academicians and experts from home and abroad gathering to give suggestions on the development of Zibo's new materials and new technologies.

The annual new technology forum is part of Zibo's activities to push scientific and technological innovation.

"Zibo's technological innovation system has shown huge prowess, driving the city's development," noted Liu Huiyan, secretary of Zibo Municipal Committee of the CPC.

The events of both China (Zibo) International New Material Technological Forum and meeting of 100 academicians have been held annually since 2002. About 900 experts have attended and 2,000 enterprises have participated in the events.

Due to the joint efforts of experts, universities, colleges, scientific research institutes and enterprises, 1,500 technological cooperative projects have been signed and 600 technical problems have been solved in the past five years.

Among already signed projects, over 300 have been industrialized, with 70 hi-tech enterprises established with annual output valued at 20 billion yuan.

Innovation is a fundamental decision for Zibo, one of the old industrial cities in China, to pursue future development, Liu told China Daily.

A scientific and technological innovation system combining industries, universities and scientific research institutes have been established in recent years.

The total industrial output value of Zibo's large-scale industries topped 443 billion yuan in 2007, an increase of 116.5 billion yuan.

Zibo boasts 26 key enterprises under the National Torch Plan, ranking third in Shandong province. It also has 30 famous brands and 23 well-known trademarks.

The city is now speeding up the construction of national new material industrialization base and national bioengineering and medical industrialization center. It is also exploring new materials and technologies and upgrading the transformation of scientific and technological results.

The Zibo government gave priority to the development of new materials, new medicines, chemistry, ceramics and electronics. The production value of new materials now accounts for 80 percent in Zibo's hi-tech output. The materials include metals, composites and nanometer materials.

Eighty-six of the 160 hi-tech companies in Zibo are manufacturing or selling new materials. Some 180 kinds of products made of new materials account for 60 percent of all hi-tech products in Zibo, which leads the development of China's new material industry.

Local government encourages and guides enterprises to invest more in research and development (R&D), to employ more scientific and technical personnel, and to undertake key technological initiatives of national and provincial levels.

The whole city, with a hi-tech science and technological park as the lead, attaches great importance to independent hi-tech innovation.

Measures are also taken to promote the transformation of traditional industries by utilizing advanced technologies.

Dongyue Group uses as uch as 20 percent of its annual profit to develop new products, with many breaking technologies.

Shandong Institute of Advanced Ceramics Co Ltd independently developed the techniques to produce bone china and series of white-ware named Chinese Dragon for State banquets.

Zibo GT Industrial Ceramics Co Ltd's revenue from its hi-tech products amounts to 85 percent of its total profit, with its glass refractory having a 20 percent market share.

Currently, the city boasts 300 items made from new materials and new technologies.

Financial sectors of all levels in Zibo have carried out the strategies of "rejuvenating the city through science and technology" and "strengthening the city's vitality by employing talents" in the past five years. The accumulative investment in science and technology reached 800 million yuan.

Local government invited 17 academicians from the Chinese Academy of Engineering to be advisers of science and technology, with five establishing R&D centers in Zibo.

A division of chemical, metallurgical and materials engineering under the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a macro-structural material branch under the Russian Academy of Sciences set up bases in Zibo to transform scientific achievements.

Both academicians and experts contribute to Zibo's progress in science and technology, injecting vigor and vitality to a batch of traditional industries.

Up till now, Zibo has established 70 engineering research centers and technology centers over provincial level, including five of national level.

The city also undertakes 13 projects under the State 863 Plan, eight under national science and technology research projects and 41 under National Torch Plan.

The output value of Zibo's hi-tech industry accounts for 35 percent of large-scale industries' total value, ranking third in Shandong province, while its annual sales revenue surpasses 150 billion yuan.

Zibo government also encourages enterprises to cooperate with universities and scientific research institutes and to develop new products and new technologies.

Local companies have collaborated with over 60 universities including Peking University, Tsinghua University and Shandong University. They have developed over 200 new products, 20 among them proving advanced both at home and abroad.

"The city is striving to list among top cities in Shandong province in terms of comprehensive strength of science and technology by 2010, the end of the 11th Five-Year Plan," Liu told China Daily.

"We plan to rank among advanced cities with strong scientific and technological strength in China by 2020, building a modernized city with innovative strength in Zibo," he added.

Source: China Daily

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