Economic Watch: Shanghai's innovation ecosystem turns ideas into reality

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 28, 2024
Adjust font size:

SHANGHAI, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Transforming business ideas into commercially viable applications has never been more achievable than it is today in Shanghai, thanks to large-scale scientific facilities and high-quality incubators located in the east China city.

The Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF) bears a striking resemblance to a colossal nautilus shell when observed from above. This remarkable installation once set records in China as the largest investment and the largest area among scientific facilities.

Earlier this month, the SSRF celebrated its 15th anniversary. Since its inception, the facility has transitioned into a golden era of full-capacity operation. Recently, its latest expansion project successfully passed the national acceptance review, heralding a significant leap in the SSRF's experimental research capabilities.

Large facilities are engines of scientific discovery and tools to support technology development. The SSRF has the ability to illuminate the microscopic world, which is like providing a pair of "intelligent eyes" for scientific research.

According to the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the SSRF has solved many important scientific and key technical problems for universities and enterprises involving fields such as drug research and new materials.

"The SSRF currently has 34 beamlines and 46 experimental stations. In the next five to 10 years, it will strongly support cutting-edge research, technological innovation and industrial development, and serve users to produce major results," said Zhao Zhentang, director of the facility and an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

"The SSRF has served more than 47,000 users from nearly 800 institutes and over 4,500 research teams across the country and supported users to complete more than 20,000 experimental projects," Zhao added.

According to official data, Shanghai boasts 20 large-scale scientific facilities that are either built, under construction, or planned. The world's largest, most comprehensive photon science facility cluster has already taken shape.

If large scientific facilities provide "super tools" for scientific and technological innovation to achieve breakthroughs from 0 to 1, then high-quality incubation and acceleration institutions help innovation results achieve a leap from 1 to 10.

Data showed that over 20 foundation models have been registered and launched in Shanghai. These include a video-generation model that reduces costs in the film and television industry by eliminating the need for on-site shooting. Additionally, there's a picture-drawing model assisting merchants on e-commerce platforms by dressing virtual models for online display. Moreover, a manuscript-writing model enhances office efficiency for customers, while a biological breeding model serves as an artificial intelligence "assistant" for seed selection and breeding.

The Shanghai Foundation Model Innovation Center has witnessed the flourishing of nearly 70 relevant companies in the center, making it the first stop for various foundation model startups to establish themselves in Shanghai.

"For the start-ups, computing power is a very important resource, and there is no need to worry about this issue in the innovation center," said Shen Weifeng, of, a high-tech startup focusing on generative intelligence for creativity. This place offers a computing power scheduling platform to assist companies in accessing computing resources, along with subsidies available for those facing financial constraints, according to Shen.

Chen Haici, director of the company overseeing the center, said that keeping in mind the challenges and pain points encountered by startups, the center has established an open data platform, an evaluation service platform, a financial service platform, and a comprehensive service platform to address such issues.

Shanghai will accelerate the construction of major science and technology infrastructure clusters, focusing on cutting-edge fields such as AI and synthetic biology and basic disciplines such as mathematics, and the building of new research and development institutions, according to the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality.

The city will also launch seven to ten high-quality incubators and set up early incubation funds to focus on cutting-edge fields, according to the commission. Enditem

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from