With the recent signing of a framework agreement on upgrading of cooperation for Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (GKC), GKC has been upgraded to a national level bilateral cooperation project. Singapore and China will expand cooperation in fields like technological innovation, high-end manufacturing, artificial intelligence, intellectual property protection, smart city construction, and upgrading of urban management.
With this most iconic project of Sino-Singapore cooperation since the foundation of Guangzhou Knowledge City 8 years ago, the city's determination for reform, courage for opening-up, and vigor for innovation have entered a new frontier, moving the city relentlessly toward a leading position of high-quality construction and all-round opening-up, intellectual property protection, and science and technology innovation.
This fact is best exemplified by the City’s glittering results: since its establishment, a total of 1216 enterprises have been registered, bringing capital of 125.81 billion yuan; fixed asset investment has surpassed 91.18 billion yuan; and top projects and research and development institutions, like the GE Bio-Campus, BeiGene Ltd., Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute (SSIJRI), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), have arrived. As the only comprehensive reform pilot area approved by the State Council for the application and protection of intellectual property rights, more than 80 intellectual property agencies have settled in Knowledge City. All its buildings were constructed in line with the requirements for green buildings, and to date10.2 kilometers of utility tunnels have been constructed; their density will surpass that of developed countries in the future.
Zhou Yawei, member of the Standing Committee of the Guangzhou Committee of the CPC, and secretary of the Working Committee of the CPC of Guangzhou Development District, mentioned that as the upgraded version and future of the Guangzhou Development District (GDD), GKC shoulders a historical mission for Guangzhou as the "two important windows": to show the world the achievements of China's reform and opening-up, and for the international community to observe China's ongoing reform and opening-up. Centering around the goal of "Knowledge City for the world, source of innovation for the Bay Area, and international port for talents", GKC is sparing no efforts to become a strategic highland for knowledge-driven innovation, an international port for leading innovation talents, a first-class center for protection and application of intellectual property rights, a base for rapid transformation of key and core technologies, and a comprehensive center of national science.
Highland of intellectual property boosts greater bay area innovation
"The signing of the framework agreement signifies that GKC is to strive for a better environment for development at a higher level and better quality, so we are more confident in the future development of GKC,” says Wu Xiaobin, general manager of BeiGene (China) Ltd.
Starting from day one, the ambition of GKC was to build a global model city: on the one hand, efforts are being made to form a super traffic network of inter-connectivity, connecting the South and the North, bridging the mountains and the sea, and reaching Baiyun Airport, Guangzhou downtown, and peripheral urban / suburban areas; on the other hand, centering around the goal of "scenery with mountains and waters, ecological environment for work and life", development of a green and smart new town is gaining speed. Within the GKC area, elements of a "Sponge City" are now integrated into all community, urban road, and landscape green space projects.
"It has been two years. I think (my decision) to come here from Singapore for development was right,” says Dr. Lietao Li, CEO of Lion TCR, a project born in the Duke-NUS Medical School that was relocated to GKC two years ago. OneHub GKC, where Lion TCR is located, was built with joint cooperation by China and Singapore, and is the carrier of innovation and entrepreneurship. Currently nearly 60 enterprises have settled in the area; projects like the first overseas office of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, and the Center of Excellence for Software Transfer, which is the first overseas high-end training center of Nanyang Technological University, have been put into operation.
A number of world-class enterprises and R&D institutions have settled in the area one after another. Parks for innovation of the next-generation information technology, digital economy, marine economy, and international bio-medicine, parks for new energy resources, new materials and smart chips, a comprehensive incubation park for Guangzhou-Hongkong-Macau Greater Bay Area innovation, and a park for high-end equipment manufacturing innovation, are in construction; once completed, they will form a "rain forest of innovation" for emerging sectors.
In terms of the question that how to promote a high-density aggregation of various high-quality factors and resources for innovation through an intellectual property protection system to achieve an intensive collision of ideas, Long Yu, director of Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute (SSIJRI), believes that overseas resources' favoring of cooperation with GKC cannot be separated from local exploration of intellectual property protection in line with international standards. Guangzhou Knowledge City is said to be the only park that realizes unified management of patents, trademarks and copyrights in the country, and the area with the most concentrated elements of intellectual property protection. It brings together more than 80 multi-level elements of intellectual property protection such as the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court, the Guangdong Center for Patent Examination Cooperation of the Patent Office of the National Intellectual Property Administration, and the China (Guangdong) Intellectual Property Protection Center.
With the aggregation of global innovation factors and collision of top innovation forces at GKC, exploration of policies for innovation in line with international practice are conducted there, creating high-quality development of GKC and boosting the Guangzhou and Guangdong-Hongkong - Macau Greater Bay Area into the era of knowledge economy.
Striving to be top choice for development for global enterprise investment
The Guangzhou Development District was born out of reform, and is ever growing through opening up. As mentioned by Chen Xiaohua, deputy secretary of the Working Committee of the CPC of the Guangzhou Development District (GDD), and executive deputy director of the Administrative Committee of the Guangzhou Development District, as the "template" for knowledge-driven economic development of GDD and Guangzhou, GKC will roll out more reform measures that are practical and innovative, and replicate more applicable experiences to realize new breakthroughs in high-quality development. It will move towards the goal of being "the first choice and best place for development for global enterprises".
GKC will implement pilot reform as a free trade test area, speed up spread of the policies for the free trade test area to the entire GKC, and explore "simulating free trade areas and competing with free trade ports", while creating a model of "advanced manufacturing + free trade". At the same time, GKC has sorted out (and introduced)18 policies in areas such as intellectual property rights, financial services, food and drug supervision, and key platform development, striving for early trials and adoption and implementation of innovation policies.
The Guangzhou Development District will continue to strengthen the "golden image" of the area with strong protection of intellectual property rights, build intellectual property service parks with high standards, focus on building intellectual property protection and trading centers, explore the establishment of an intellectual property museum, and create intellectual property landmarks.
As a major innovation carrier in the Guangdong- Hongkong - Macau Greater Bay Area and the core innovation platform of "Guangzhou - Shenzhen - Hongkong - Macau Science and Technology Innovation Corridor", GKC will also build an innovation platform for the integrated development of Guangdong, Hongkong and Macau, focusing on creating a cooperative system that links up with Hongkong and Macau business circles and coordinates economic development, and expanding the comprehensive incubation park to encourage Guangdong - Hongkong - Macau Greater Bay Area science and technology innovation.