Xiamen Hi-Tech Innovation Center climbs to new heights
The Xiamen Hi-Tech Innovation Center, a national-level incubator cluster for high-tech companies in East China's Fujian province, is ushering in its 25th anniversary.
Founded in 1996, the center is administrated by the Xiamen Torch Development Zone for High Technology Industries, and is dedicated to contributing to entrepreneurship and innovation in Xiamen.
The center has achieved a number of firsts in terms of being Fujian's first overseas innovation and entrepreneurship base, whole chain incubator and specialized incubator for graphene new materials, and a talent cultivation base featuring BRICS countries－Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
After decades of development, the center is home to a number of incubators covering a construction area of 1.1 million square meters. The center is currently incubating 2,000 businesses, nine times that of 2002.
Official data showed that in 2020, the center's businesses generated an output value of 21.5 billion yuan ($3.38 billion). It has incubated more than 800 companies, with eight publically listed and 48 companies that each have an annual output value surpassing 100 million yuan.
The center is home to three national-level incubators of technological companies, two national demonstrations of small and micro-sized businesses, and two national maker spaces, playing a role in promoting the development of entrepreneurship and innovation and attracting top talents. It has been rated A-grade in terms of being a national technology companies incubator by the Ministry of Science and Technology for seven consecutive years.
The Xiamen torch graphene new material incubator base, a key industrial project in Fujian province, was constructed in November. The base has a construction area of 260,000 sq m, representing the center's progress in terms of scale.
As bases including the Huizhi zone for the artificial intelligence industry, Xinke Square for promoting the information industry and the torch graphene base have been put into operation over the past five years, the center has established an incubator layout featuring multiple industries and cross-island development.
So far, the center has cultivated high-tech businesses such as Clenergy, a listed photovoltaic manufacturer; Changelight, an LED chip manufacturer; and EpiWorld International, a manufacturer of silicon carbide wafers and formed a whole chain incubation system for high-tech companies, which marks a breakthrough in the field in Fujian province.
Focused on fostering new industries and business forms, the center has built four specialized incubators for graphene new materials, the internet of things, biomedicine and marine industries.
To promote the incubation of graphene new materials, the center has set up a service platform for public technologies, an industrial park, an industrial investment fund and an industrial institute, and has organized a professional service team.
To date, the incubator for graphene has attracted 60 new materials projects, and has formed an industrial chain that connects equipment manufacturing and graphene materials to real world applications. The incubator has helped Xiamen become one of the country's six major areas for graphene industry development.
As a strategy for supporting incubators, the center also offers small and medium-sized high-tech enterprises financing services. Over the past five years, its total equity investment has exceeded 400 million yuan. The center has formed a financial service pattern that incorporates private equity for startups, investment and financing.
In the first half of this year, the center established a special fund of funds with an investment of 1 billion yuan for accelerating the incubation of small and medium-sized enterprises. The facility has been built to support business equity investment and to encourage them to achieve better development.
In addition, the center has set up an investment and financing community service platform, which is the largest of its kind in Xiamen, and has attracted more than 380 industrial institutions such as venture capital investors, banks, brokerages and law firms.
Apart from planning investment projects, the center said it has also opened green channels for talented professionals and organized communications activities for banks and enterprises.
In response to strategies related to BRICS and the Belt and Road Initiative, the center has established an international innovation network.
In October, the center held an online competition for innovation and entrepreneurship talents from BRICS countries, with 53 projects participating.
Since 2017, the center has held the international innovation and entrepreneurship competition five times. It has attracted more than 450 projects from countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Russia.
It has launched the first overseas innovation and entrepreneurship base in Fujian province and introduced Transfong, a Singapore-based technological innovation incubation platform, in an effort to build greater opportunities for international communication and industrial cooperation.
In the next five years, the center will manage assets and funds, each worth more than 10 billion yuan. It will also develop top-flight services and innovation ecosystems and platforms in an open and inclusive vision to transform high technologies into an impetus for economic growth, according to its plan.
Guo Wenchen contributed to this story.