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Ningbo's successful showcase for new technology and talents

By Clare Buchanan in Ningbo, Zhejiang province | China Daily | Updated: 2015-10-22 07:46

Robots, high-tech coffee machines, bamboo sculpting and traditional tea ceremonies were just some of what was on offer at the Ningbo Talents, Science and Technology Week, held in Ningbo, Zhejiang province.

The annual event, which ran from Oct 10 to 14, is a platform for the city's companies and individuals to showcase their products, technologies and talents.

Among engineers tinkering with robots for a precision robotics competition and an exhibit displaying top-notch, 360-degree mobile surveillance cameras was Sunld, a company that has developed a technology for instant heating.

The technology, which is used in coffee and hot water machines and sold online, brings room temperature water to a boil in just 2 seconds, said Zhang Zetao, the company's sales director.

He said this was the second year Sunld had been invited to the weeklong expo and the company hoped to secure investments to help it go global.

"We hope that by being here more people will get to know our company and our technology," Zhang said.

Ningbo was one of the first mainland ports to open to foreign trade, which the city is seeking to grow across all industries - the traditional and creative sectors being no exception. These were also well represented at the event, with craftspeople and musicians exhibiting their skills and talents through live displays and performances.

This year's expo was expected to boost investment and development in line with the nation's Belt and Road Initiative, and help the city strengthen its position as a key trade hub.

The event, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, also serves as a way for local companies to recruit overseas Chinese and expat talents who can help boost innovation.

A total of 3,300 institutions and companies registered for this year's event and more than 21,000 people attended over the five days. Some 7,100 recruitment intents, 32 talent cultivation cooperative projects, and 49 investment contracts worth 608 million yuan ($95.71 million) in total were signed at the event, according to reports.

Over the past nine years, the talents and technology week has attracted 280,000 professionals and experts, and more than 100 academic institutions from more than 30 countries and regions, said Liu Jun, deputy director of the Talents Office of the Ningbo government.

From 2006 to 2014, more than 24,000 high-end professionals were recruited, 200 research branches and offices were set up and 220 cooperative agreements worth 10.8 billion yuan were signed through the past events, Liu said.

"In this respect we can say this event has really brought some tangible benefits to the city," Liu said.

Besides the talents and technology week, the Ningbo government has introduced programs with incentive funds of up to 5 million yuan to encourage overseas Chinese and expats to set up businesses in the city.

Ningbo's 3315 Plan, which runs in line with the central government's 1,000 Talent Plan, is a foreign engineers program that seeks to bring new expertise to the city.

"A total of 1,066 overseas engineers have been to the city and received our subsidies so far, and we will continue the project as long as the local government budget allows," Liu said.

Entrepreneurs who graduated within the past 10 years are targeted by another of the city's programs, which seeks to attract the right people to the city through preferential policies, professional mentors and appealing living conditions.

"Of course we have to attract talented people and we want to ensure they have easy lives here in Ningbo so we launched the 3-H program - meaning housing, home life and health - to ensure they can put more effort into their businesses and their work and want to stay in Ningbo," Liu said.

High-tech, electronic information and smart manufacturing were highlighted at the expo and are of particular interest to Ningbo, according to Liu.

"We want to nurture these industries to restructure, grow and balance the city's economy," she said.

 Ningbo's successful showcase for new technology and talents

From top: Visitors from home and abroad were attracted by products exhibited at the Ningbo Talents, Science and Technology Week held in the city from Oct 10 to 14. Photos Provided to China Daily

(China Daily 10/22/2015 page11)

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