Force of high-tech grows in Beijing

09:01, September 01, 2010      

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High-tech companies as and information service providers in Beijing generated more than 130 billion yuan in the first half of this year - more than 20 percent of the city's GDP.

As well, nearly 24,000 patent applications were filed from Beijing over the period, with more than 14,000 of them granted, a year-on-year increase of over 27 percent.

Technology contracts worth 80 billion yuan were also signed in the first six months, a year-on-year increase of 37.4 percent.

The figures were announced at a recent news conference on the progress of a technology initiative begun in March 2009.

The four-year program aims to help local companies sharpen their edge in innovation and promote industrial advances by attracting large technology projects and adding R&D facilities.

Revitalizing tech-intensive industries including automobile manufacturing and electronic information along with building 12 technology parks are listed as priorities by the local government.

Over its first year, the program "achieved impressive results", said Wu Jianmin, deputy director of Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission.

Other highlights include the fact that more than one third of the nation's large national research projects were contracted by Beijing-based companies or institutions last year.

Of 12 key national research facilities planned by the National Development and Reform Commission in 2009, six were in Beijing and had combined investment surpassing 2 billion yuan, two-thirds of the total.

Project participants in Beijing applied for 11 billion yuan in aid from the central government, some 41 percent of the central government's technology funding.

The municipal government signed strategic cooperative agreements with nine companies last year in a bid to boost the city's solar energy, advanced equipment and medical device segments.

One of the results was the world's first megawatt-level wind power generator on a vertical axis developed in Beijing in April.

For its part, the city government began a 30 billion yuan fund this year to support the industrialization of technologies through equity investment and subsidies.

Industrial parks for new energy, biomedicine and electric cars are becoming major sites where technological innovation is commercialized.

The city government also released a three-year plan on food safety as one of 12 projects with priority in its "Beijing Science and Technology" program.

The plan aims to improve agricultural technology and standardize quality. Some 1,120 agricultural and processing sites reached health standards by the end of 2009.

More than 3,000 agricultural products from nearly 1,000 companies have now been certified as organic.

"We are promoting food safety standards first formulated for the Beijing Olympic Games and strengthening efforts in food safety testing and certification in Beijing supermarket chains and wholesale markets," Wu said.

Source:China Daily


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