A series of high-tech projects are set to get underway at Qingdao International Academician Park, thanks to the commitment of nearly 3 billion yuan ($473.3 million) in investment.
An investment promotion event was held on May 7 in the coastal city in East China's Shandong province, attracting 19 Chinese and foreign academicians, and their research teams.
Among them was Wang Yutian from the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada, Jacques Rougerie from the French Academy of Fine Arts, and Zhou Shouhuan and Yuan Longping, two academicians from the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Officials from seven Qingdao government departments and representatives of more than 180 Fortune Global 500 companies and China Top 500 Enterprises, including German chemical giant BASF SE, China's major space contractor China Aerospace Science and Technology, and State-owned technology giant China Electronics Technology Group, also took part in the event.
The conference set up an area for the display of latest products and scientific research results developed by the 19 academician-led teams. It also invited eight teams to make related presentations on site.
A team led by Chinese agronomist Yuan, who is also known as the "father of hybrid rice" in China, showcased its seawater, or saline-alkali tolerant rice, to investors and experts.
Yuan established a saline-resistant rice research and development center at Qingdao International Academician Park in 2016, aiming to develop it into a key national lab in this field within three years.
The center uses desalinated seawater to irrigate its experimental paddies, with the highest yield reaching 9.3 metric tons per hectare in 2017. Yuan said he plans to improve more than 6 million hectares of saline-alkali land around the world in the future using the results of the research.
Canadian biologist Wang Yutian and his team founded a pharmaceutical technology company centering on the research and production of innovative patented medicines for neurological disorders which have acquired three patents so far.
"One of our products, PMS-003, has started formal clinical trials at Beijing Air Force General Hospital and is expected to go to market in August or September this year," Wang said.
PMS-003 can inhibit the formation of body fat and can be used to treat acne via external application and internal fats when administered orally.
Specializing in marine-related design and engineering, French academician Rougerie said Qingdao, with its long coastline, will have a great future in the development of its maritime economy, energy and ecology.
Rougerie and his team launched a research institute in Qingdao to train more young architects and to encourage them to have greater involvement in the construction of coastal cities.
The international academician park is located in Licang district, one of the central areas in Qingdao.
It is close to the site of the 2014 World Horticultural Exposition and benefits from a host of partnerships formed with the Ocean University of China, Shandong University (Qingdao) and Qingdao National Laboratory of Marine Science and Technology.
The park aims to become a high-end scientific innovation and industrialization base focusing on projects led by international academicians in the fields of information technology, biomedicine, design and development engineering, high-end equipment manufacturing, alternative energy and new materials. It currently serves as an important venue for nurturing new growth drivers and is part of a major effort to motivate the regional economy by attracting world-class academicians to carry out high-end scientific research, said Wang Xijing, Party chief of Licang district. Launched in June 2016, Qingdao International Academician Park was established with the aim of attracting 10 top scientists and 100 renowned academicians from across the world within three years.
Statistics show that up to date, the park has introduced 108 academicians, 79 of whom are from abroad.
A total of 14 projects led by academicians have settled in the park.
To better commercialize these projects, the park has dispatched a team including the district's senior officials and heads of different government departments to solve various issues and make it easier for the projects to enter the market. The park also organizes regular meetings for academicians to communicate with each other to seek business opportunities.
Qingdao International Academician Park is now entering a new stage of development which consists of the construction of eight new sectors including the park's second phase, and introducing more academician industrial funds and technology forums.
Wang said Licang district is working to turn itself into an innovation-driven hub in Shandong, with both a livable environment and great climate for entrepreneurship.
It is also developing diversified opening-up and communication channels through the construction of the Belt and Road Collaborative Innovation Center, the Qingdao-Amazon Web Service Joint Innovation Center and a cross-border e-commerce industrial park, Wang added.
In the first quarter of this year, the district's total output value grew by 11.7 percent and its fixed asset investment increased by 29.2 percent, both ranking first among all districts in Qingdao.