How China’s top agricultural province is becoming an innovation hub – Xinhua

* Anhui, a major agricultural province in China, is strengthening its new role as a center of scientific and technological innovation.

* Over the past decade, Anhui’s R&D investment intensity has increased from 1.64% to 2.28%.

* The number of high-tech enterprises in Anhui increased from 1,742 in 2012 to 11,368 in 2021, realizing an output value of about 1.7 trillion yuan, a significant contribution to the province’s economic growth.

Photo taken on March 5, 2020 shows a worker at the manufacturing workshop of LCFC (Hefei) Electronics Technology Co., Ltd. in Hefei, capital of the province of Anhui (eastern China). (Xinhua/Zhou Mu)

HEFEI, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) — An innovation “valley” will be built in Hefei, capital of east China’s Anhui Province, to attract more talent and global funds to the high-tech industry. technology, revealed a press conference in July.

This is the latest move by Anhui, a major agricultural province in China, to strengthen its new role as a developing science and technology innovation hub.

By 2025, the “valley” is expected to bring together more than 100,000 highly skilled people and 1,000 high-tech companies, according to its development plan.

ADVANCING SCI-TECH INNOVATION

Dubbed “Silicon Valley” by the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), the valley will focus on “the transformation of innovative achievements, the incubation of innovative enterprises and the optimization of innovation mechanisms”, according to Xu Zhi. , Deputy Director of the Provincial Development and Reform Commission.

In fact, a number of world-class scientific and technological breakthroughs have been achieved in Anhui over the past decade, in areas such as quantum technologies, nuclear fusion power, artificial intelligence (AI) and Moreover.

Photo taken on Sept. 18, 2021 shows the schematic figure of “Jiuzhang” quantum computing system displayed at the 2021 Quantum Industry Conference in Hefei, east China’s Anhui Province. (Xinhua/Du Yu)

In December 2020, USTC researchers established the “Jiuzhang” quantum computing system through which a maximum of 76 photons were detected. He performed a calculation in 200 seconds that would take the fastest supercomputer in the world at the time 600 million years.

In the field of fusion reaction, Anhui scientists set a new world record by reaching a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds in their experiment in May 2021, a key step towards the functional test. of a fusion reactor.

Over the past 10 years, Anhui’s R&D investment intensity has increased from 1.64% to 2.28%. The achievements mentioned above are the epitome of Anhui’s ambition to give scientific and technological innovation a more prominent place in its development.

The data shows that the number of high-tech enterprises in Anhui increased from 1,742 in 2012 to 11,368 in 2021, realizing an output value of about 1.7 trillion yuan (about 256.8 billion US dollars), a significant contribution to the province’s economic growth.

FROM LABORATORY TO MARKET

On an AI-powered shopping street in Hefei, people can play brainwave games, sip coffee served by robots and check out smart home appliances equipped with wireless aerial imaging technology. contact.

Based on the scientific resources of Anhui Innovation Center, this street which opened earlier this year features the application of more than 20 advanced technologies.

“By converting scientific exhibitions into commercial products, it can accelerate the commercialization of scientific discoveries and help bring scientific discoveries from the laboratory to the market,” said Chen Lin, director of the service management center of the Innovation Center of Anhui.

“Anhui has a strong atmosphere for science and innovation. With government support, it took just over a year to bring a product from prototype to mass production,” said Han Dongcheng, president of Easpeed, an aviation startup. imagery.

In 2016, as a graduate student of USTC, Han started the company with his classmate. Today, the company has grown from less than 10 members to 200 and is valued at hundreds of millions of yuan.

Thanks to the rich scientific resources and favorable policies, a number of emerging high-tech enterprises and industrial clusters have taken root and sprouted in Anhui, creating great value for the province.

For example, last year, the overall output value of new display and IC industries in Hefei reached more than 100 billion yuan and about 40 billion yuan respectively.

Photo taken on July 28, 2022 shows a staff member at the 10.5 generation TFT-LCD production line of BOE Display Technology Co., Ltd. in Hefei, capital of the province of Anhui (eastern China). (Xinhua/Liu Junxi)

LOCAL INNOVATION, GLOBAL REACH

One cannot talk about Anhui’s innovation efforts without mentioning its New Energy Vehicle (NEV) industry.

Ten years ago, when the NEV industry was just getting started, Anhui issued a series of implementation guidelines to boost its development and pledged to make it a province with a strong core competitiveness, comprehensive support and advanced applications of NEVs.

“It’s a difficult but hopeful journey,” said Li Zhen, chairman of Gotion High-Tech, an Anhui-based battery cell manufacturer, at Gotion Germany’s opening ceremony at its base in Anhui. Gottingen in Germany.

As one of the largest battery suppliers in China, the company is taking an important step towards the European market, where the automotive industry has a solid foundation.

Today, Anhui has gathered a number of world famous NEV manufacturers, including JAC, Chery, NIO, Volkswagen and BYD, as well as key industrial NEV suppliers.

In 2021, 1.5 million vehicles were produced in Anhui, including 252,000 NEVs, a 140 percent year-on-year increase. Meanwhile, NEVs made in Anhui are attracting more and more attention in the highly competitive global market. In the first half of 2022, Chery exported 148,000 vehicles, among which NEV sales reached 112,000 units, both hitting record highs.

NIO, a Chinese NEV start-up, entered the Norwegian market as its first stop in Europe and will start providing services in the markets of Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark this year.

Meanwhile, global auto giants are also seeing Anhui as a new starting point for their digital and electric transformations. Volkswagen Anhui is Volkswagen’s first joint venture in China that focuses on NEVs.

Photo taken on June 7, 2022 shows wheat harvested at a crop planting cooperative in Woyang County of Bozhou City, east China’s Anhui Province. (Xinhua/Zhang Duan)

In 2021, Anhui saw its export structure further optimized, with exports of mechanical and electrical products reaching US$39.1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 43.9 percent, while exports of mechanical and electrical products high-tech reached 18.8 billion US dollars, up 47.3. percent year over year.

While spending heavily on scientific and technological innovation, Anhui continues to maintain its traditional role as a major agricultural province. In 2021, the province’s grain production hit a new high, reaching 40.9 billion kg, ranking fourth in China.

(Video reporters: Qu Yan, Bai Bin, Jin Jian; Video editors: Zheng Xin, Luo Hui)

Joan J. Holland