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The Policy Forum at a Glance:“Sharing Economy” Requires Institutional Innovation
Source:Original    Writer:admin    Released on:2017-06-29    

Pujiang Innovation Forum 2017, jointly organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the Municipal Government of Shanghai,is set to be held on 23 and 24 September in Shanghai.Over a hundred senior politicians, entrepreneurs and leading academics from across the world will attend the event and exchange views on this year’s theme: “Global Science and Technology Innovation Hubs: Patterns and Prospects”.As one of the sub-forums, the Policy Forum hosted by the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development has been attracting a lot of attention. Interviewed by the reporter on the topics to be discussed in the Policy Forum, several experts from the Academy including Vice President of the Academy Wu Yishan, Director of the Institute of Science and Technology Systems and Management Li Zhe, and Director of the Institute of Rural and Regional Development Wang Shuhua, gave their opinions. 


Formulating globally competitive policies
The theme of the Policy Forum is “Policy Choices for Global Science and Technology Innovation Hubs”. A world leading science and technology innovation hub serves as an important spatial carrier for the national strategy of innovation-driven development and as the hinge around which innovation plays its role as the primary driving force behind development. The formation of a global science and technology innovation hub is a process ofchoosing policies. Therefore, we need to make pioneering efforts in institutional innovation and formulate globally competitive policies that are explorative, inclusive and in line with our distinctive advantages. Policies of this kind could encourage high-quality science and technology innovation and facilitate the fundamental transformation of sources for socioeconomicdevelopment. 

In such a context, we need to think through several questions regarding the philosophy and design of the policies for science and technology innovation. For example, as regards the philosophy of policy formulation, how to properly handle the relationship between functional and selective policies and meet the challenges pose by the diversification of innovators, so that policies are more favorable and supportive for all?With regard to policy coordination, how to further synergize science and technology policies with market access, technology standards, investment, trade and anti-trust policies to forge a more fair, equitable and attractive market? As for policy demonstration, how to harness the huge resource pool and other advantages of Shanghai to carry out pilot projects for the trial implementation of policies regarding sharing economy, intellectual property and talent mobility? In terms of policy functions, how to select appropriate policy tools to promote high-quality research output, reinforce the efficiency and efficacy of models of synergic innovation, facilitate the exchanges and sharing of resources, and maximize innovativeness? As for domesticinfluence, how to establish atechnological innovation network to stimulate innovative activities across the country? As regards global influence, how to strengthen cross-border policy coordination in accordance with international norms so as to better integrate transnational companies and overseas R&D institutions into China’s innovation system?

Carrying out institutional reforms tailored to the “sharing economy”
According to Li Zhe, Shanghai Municipal Government has issued the “22 Measures to Promote Shanghai’s Development as a Global Science and Technology Innovation Hub”, breaking new grounds in policies regarding talent introduction, the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, and arrangements for major projects. Regulations and policies developed around the “22 Measures” are also highly relevant. Take the recently implemented Regulations on Promoting the Transformation of Scientific and Technological Achievements in Shanghai as an example. It contains detailed stipulations based on the three major national regulations of the same kind, aiming at stimulating the innovativeness of professionals in science and technology. Another case in point is the Plan for the Pilot Program of the System of the Holders of Drug Marketing Licenses in Shanghaiissued last year, which will facilitate the R&D of new drugs by separating clinical trials and production. 

Li Zheheldthat to promote the development of Shanghai as a global science and technology innovation hub, we need to ensure that existing policies are well implemented and procedures to implement them are specified. In addition, we should also thoroughly incorporate the new development philosophy of innovation, coordination, environmental friendliness, openness and sharing into the process of policy implementation, formulating new policies in line with the new trends of innovation. For example, the “sharing economy”, which is closely related to science and technology innovation, has given rise to various new business models over the past few years. Against such a backdrop, the local government needs to carry out institutional reforms or adjustments accordingly. While regulating the “sharing economy”, the government should also give a full play to the guiding role of science and technology innovation and ensure that the “sharing economy” develops in a fast and proper fashion. 

Paying great attention to the commonality of top talents in science and technology across the globe
Talent policy is of the greatest importance among all policies. Wu Yishan pointed out that although Shanghai is the most open and international city in China, it still lags behind big cities in many developed countries in terms of the proportion of foreign permanent residents. Shanghai therefore needs to further open it arms to talents in science and technology across the globe in its march towards a global science and technology innovation hub.  

This will inevitably raise two questions: how to integrate introduced and local talents? How to eliminate the potential cultural clash between the local and foreign residents? Wu Yishan believed that the local government should lay emphasis on forging inclusive social environment instead of focusing exclusively on regulatory tools so as to create an enabling environment for the exchange of ideas between foreign and local talents. “I’ll take student accommodation in the university as an example”, he noted,“In the past, normally we let students in the same program live together, but now we encourage students of different majors to share dormitory drawing on the practice of foreign universities. This is to facilitate the exchange of different ideas and thinking patterns. Similarly, we need to make institutional adjustments to facilitate Shanghai’s development as a global science and technology innovation hub”. 

Surveys show that talents in science and technology across the world have two things in common: one is that they prefer to live close to the workplace so that they don’t have to drive and could enjoy pleasant views on their way to and from work; the second is a yearning for artistic and culture life. They often go to concerts or art shows. Studies on the history of science have also shown that top talents in science and technology could easily find inspirations in culture and leisure activities. On this, Wu Yishang noted that a prerequisite for a global science and technology innovation hub is a well-developed culture industry supported by well-established culture facilities. However, this is an aspect often overlooked by the local government. He suggested that more investment be made in this regard so that foreign talents are more likely to stay. 

Building a “community of synergic innovation” with neighboring areas
Wang Shuhua noted that in the process of building a science and technology innovation hub, the local government should delegate power and streamline administration. In some areas, the government needs to intervene less so that the market could play the decisive role in distributing resources; in others, the government should do more and aim higher. For example, cities like Beijing and Shanghai should develop in coordination with neighboring areas to form a “community of synergic innovation” and facilitate the spread of the influence of Shanghai as a global science and technology innovation hub. Besides, major cities should also actively engage in the broader national strategies such as the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the “Belt and Road”intitiatives, spreading their influence across the nation or even the world. 

Wang Shuhua also observed that regions and cities should also give prominence to the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, addressing the problems of aging and traffic congestion, as well as major livelihood issues. Thisis a crucial way to narrow the distance between the public and the hub, making people believe that science and technology does create a better life.