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Tianfu becoming growth hub in western China

Updated: Sep 30, 2019 中国日报 Print
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The Tianfu New Area in Chengdu is emerging as a key growth zone in western China, as it attaches great importance to the development of the new economy and makes efforts to explore new technologies and business models.

Since the area was approved by the State Council in October 2014, local officials said the national new area has a mission to promote the country's economic development strategies, reform and opening-up.

They said the area is focusing on high-quality growth, contributing more to advancing major national initiatives, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, developing in the Yangtze River economic belt and internationally, and playing a leading role in Chengdu-Chongqing integrated development.

From left: A visitor tries out an advanced driver assistant system developed by SenseTime, a high-growth high-tech company at the Tianfu New Area. Tsinghua University's energy internet research institute in the area. Photos Provided to China Daily

"Innovation is the first driving force for development," said an official with the bureau of strategic research in Chengdu Tianfu New Area. After much research and analysis, the bureau decided to embark on a new innovation-driven growth path, rather than following traditional industrial development models.

From the beginning, the local authorities chose high-end industries and projects as a focus for investment attraction. By making great efforts in research and innovation, Tianfu New Area aims to drive the development of its surrounding regions.

The vision has come true over the past five years.

Among innovation facilities In Chengdu Tianfu New Area is the 125-square-kilometer Chengdu Science City.

Once a muddy bog, the complex has become an innovative entrepreneurship landmark where a large number of scientific research achievements have been rolled out.

The first 10 gigabits per second high-speed signal conditioning chip developed by a company in the Chinese mainland was born at Chengdu Science City on Aug 29, featuring a full range of intellectual property and independent design.

The chip developer is 3-year-old startup company Chengdu Yichong Semiconductor. Tang Qi, vice-president of the company, said what prompted him to stay in the area was its development prospects and the local government's support for and commitment to emerging industries and technological innovation.

The government built a laboratory for the company in just one month and provided support for its recruitment, which enabled the company to set up a team quickly. With its staff increased to 200 in three years, the company now has offices in Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. One of its research teams is based in Silicon Valley in the United States.

Now valued at more than 1 billion yuan ($140.26 million), the high-tech company has become one of the domestic wireless charging industry leaders. It was listed among top 60 gazelle companies in China for its high growth.

There are more than 5,000 tech companies in the Tianfu New Area.

As a magnet to draw top innovation resources and professionals, the area has attracted 11 national-level innovation platforms, such as the advanced microprocessor national engineering laboratory of Dawning Information Industry, and 30 coordinated innovation projects with universities, including Tsinghua University, Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

In 2016, Tsinghua University partnered with the Tianfu New Area to establish the Tsinghua Sichuan Energy Internet Research Institute, which focuses on advanced research on energy internet, a new type of electric energy-based and renewable energy-led eco-energy system with synergies among a variety of energy sources.

After three years of development, the institute has attracted 31 high-end R&D teams, developed 27 core technologies, designed 64 innovative products and applied for 207 patents, as well as fostered 10 energy internet companies.

"It turned out that we made the right decision to come here because of the Tianfu New Area's development potential and vision," said Lyu Lanchun, head of the general office at the institute.

To date, the institute has 244 employees, including 35 overseas returnees from world-renowned universities, such as Cambridge, Harvard and Princeton.

Over the past five years, the area's GDP saw an average annual double-digit growth, and its economic aggregate ranks fifth among 19 national-level new areas across the country.

"The Tianfu New Area has become a 'shining pearl' among the 19 national-level new areas and attracts other new areas to observe and study," an official with the Tianfu New Area said.

The area will focus on aerospace, nuclear energy and technology, medicine, information security, astronomy and other major sectors to build an innovation-friendly ecosystem, from fundamental research, frontier technologies and industrialization of innovations to high-tech services, according to the local government.

The Western China International Expo City is one of the largest venues for exhibitions and meetings in western China. Provided to China Daily


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