Intelligence and innovation form backbone of future development
Beijing is shifting its manufacturing industry toward more sustainable, innovation-driven development, according to local officials.
"We are accelerating changes in industrial development and optimizing the structure of the local economy with an emphasis on cutting-edge technologies and high-tech businesses," Wang Anshun, mayor of Beijing, told local media on a tour of inspection of Fangshan district in mid-July.
He encouraged local manufacturers to move up the value chain, make breakthroughs in key technological fields and turn from "Beijing-made" toward "Beijing-created".
Beiren Group has been instrumental in the city's industrial restructuring move.
The company, founded in 1952, is a leading printing equipment manufacturer with more than 100 patents in the industry and exports to some 30 countries and regions.
In response to the municipal government's call for industrial upgrading and restructuring, Beiren relocated its traditional printing production facilities to other cities and began its foray into robotics in Beijing in 2015.
The company is developing an intelligent robotics park in Beijing with a planned total area of 320,000 square meters at a cost of 2.2 billion yuan ($316.8 million).
The facility will be mainly comprised of a robotics research institute and an exhibition center to serve as the permanent venue of the World Robot Conference.
"It is an innovation park, rather than an industrial park," Zhang Peiwu, Party chief of Beiren, told Beijing Daily, adding that innovation is reflected in every step along the industrial chain.
It takes a long time to develop an intelligent robot, from research and development to production, which can be a torment, Zhang said.
"In contrast, at the robotics innovation park, the creative ideas proposed by designers in the incubator space can quickly become real products thanks to the engineers working here and production facilities, which together greatly reduce industrialization's time and cost," he said.
Robot4U Tech (Beijing) showcased its product lineup at the World Robot Conference in October, which has been widely used in the construction of smart cities, airports, banks, supermarkets, conferences and exhibitions and energy production.
The company's robots were selected by the Ministry of Science and Technology to be displayed at a national technological achievement exhibition in Hong Kong in September and Macao in October, according to the company.
Integrated circuits are key to developing information industries. A shortage of state-of-the-art facilities to produce IC chips, which are seen as a criterion to assess a country's technological competitiveness, has long been a bottleneck in China's industry growth, insiders said.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp in the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, also known as Beijing eTown, is seeking breakthroughs in the sector.
The company took first prize at Beijing's Science and Technology Awards with a project of ultra-scale IC flash memory technology and its industrialization in 2014.
Wu Hanming, one of the officials in charge of the project, told Beijing Evening News that it had achieved localization of key electronic components.
"The technology has been used in a wide range of electronics, including digital TVs, computers and cellphones, which have accounted for more than a quarter of the domestic market and enabled smartphones' prices to drop by hundreds of yuan," Wu said.
Local governments have also fine-tuned their tactics for attracting investment to the city's development.
Microsoft recently acquired Nokia's cellphone business and decided to move out from an industrial park in the area, once Nokia's most advanced cellphone production center, according to the area's administrative committee.
Beijing Automotive Group, also known as BAIC, signed an industrial cooperation agreement with the administrative committee in January and pledged to leverage its global resources to develop a globally influential technological innovation center for new energy vehicles.
At a total cost of 12 billion yuan, the BAIC R&D park remains under construction, but is expected to boost the upgrade of related sectors - such as advanced machinery manufacturing, information technology, renewable energy batteries and new materials - after it is completed.
The first national innovation center in the manufacturing industry opened in Beijing at the end of June.
The center, which focuses on developing new types of batteries and increasing their capacity and efficiency, is exploring new mechanisms for open, coordinated and proprietary innovation, Sui Zhenjiang, deputy mayor of Beijing, said at the facility's inauguration ceremony.
Government data shows that the capital's modern manufacturing industry, including biopharmaceuticals and auto sectors, reported a 7.2 percent year-on-year increase in industrial output in the first half of this year, contributing a new record of more than 51 percent of the city's total industry.