Skip to Content Facebook Feature Image

Tianjin innovation park promotes university-enterprise technology cooperation




Tianjin innovation park promotes university-enterprise technology cooperation

2024-06-25 17:35 Last Updated At:18:07

Tianjin, a major city in northern China, is ramping up efforts to facilitate exchange and cooperation between university researchers and high-tech firms via the platform of the Tiankai Higher Education Innovation Park.

The high-tech innovation base, established through a collaboration between Nankai and Tianjin universities, is inaugurated in May last year. This platform aims to promote greater sci-tech innovation, cultivate more talents in innovation and entrepreneurship, and nurture a mutually beneficial relationship between universities and enterprises.

Zhao Yu, a researcher at the Department of Chemistry of Nankai University, has been working on a project to convert castor oil into aviation fuel since 2013. By 2018, Zhao and his team had solved a series of challenges related to this project and obtained 14 invention patents. However, these advancements made in labs often cannot be fully translated into commercial applications because university researchers like Zhao typically find it difficult to identify market needs and lack the know-how to transform their academic achievements into tangible products that businesses can use.

"Every year, more than 1,000 scientific research projects are approved, and over 500 patents are granted. However, the majority of our achievements remain at the laboratory stage," said Sun Hongwen, director of the Department of Science and Technology Research of Nankai University.

"We lack the understanding of the market and customer needs. The approaches to research and product development are quite different. When I present our business plan, I often talk about our lab achievements based on the lab logic, which many people find it difficult to understand," said Wang Yifeng, a professor at Tianjin University.

Most of university teachers focusing mainly on research often lack insight into market dynamics and face challenges in bridging their scientific advancements with industrial demands. This longstanding issue makes it hard to turn their scientific discoveries into practical advancements, creating barriers to the development of new quality productive forces in Tianjin.

Against this background, the Tiankai Higher Education Innovation Park was established with the goal of improving the direct and effective application of research findings. It offers a key platform that connects universities with companies, facilitating an easier transfer of knowledge and technology into practical applications.

"I think the best part of the Tiankai park is the peer pressure. We work and explore with a team of entrepreneurial teachers. Talents from schools generate power, and together, we become a strong, united productive force. It's truly rewarding," said Liu Anbang, a partner in a high-tech enterprise focusing on smart building innovation.

"The innovation park connects our company with a wide range of upstream and downstream resources. Right now, we're developing electrodes, an area where Tianjin University and Nankai University excel in material research. This is especially beneficial for startups like ours, as we're in the early stages and need such upstream and downstream connections," said Gu Bin, general manager of Suishi (Tianjin) Intelligent Technology, a high-tech enterprise focusing on brain-computer interface (BCI) application.

Now, the Tiankai Higher Education Innovation Park combines lab innovations, startup needs, and university expertise. Besides, the park offers a "one-stop" service for investment consulting, technology contract verification, and technology property transactions.

"They are all scientists, so we provide them with an excellent service to enhance their entrepreneurial confidence. The ultimate goal is to let their enterprises grow rapidly in the Tiankai Park," said Fang Wei, deputy director of the Tianjin Municipal Science and Technology Bureau, also a manager of the innovation park.

Some entrepreneurs have seen initial results and are optimistic about the park's prospects.

"We use AI to enhance the energy efficiency of buildings. I'm highly confident in our technology and even more so in the market. All our current projects are initiatives that come to us, and they're all landmark projects," said Liu Anbang.

Zhao and his team have also seen progress in applying their self-developed aviation fuel, with a plan to construct a 10,000-ton industrial production facility. They aim to achieve airworthiness certification for their fuel within the next three years.

In May, Tianjin updated its reforms to boost tech innovation, reaching version 2.0.

"We believe that there will be version 3.0 and future versions. The most crucial aspect is that we must seek truth from facts, continuously understanding innovative high-tech companies and our innovation park. As long as we find problems, we must adjust and adapt in a timely manner," said Fang Wei.

Tianjin innovation park promotes university-enterprise technology cooperation

Tianjin innovation park promotes university-enterprise technology cooperation

Next Article

Cargo throughput surges as China's ports streamline customs clearance

2024-07-20 07:14 Last Updated At:08:27

China's border ports have been implementing a range of cargo facilitation policies, leading to a surge in cargo throughput, with a nearly 57 percent year-on-year increase in the inspection of transportation vehicles in the first half of 2024.

According to the data recently released by the National Immigration Administration, China's ports inspected about 15.42 million vehicle, vessel, and train trips in the first six months of this year, a 56.9 percent jump from the same period last year.

The border ports have rolled out a series of measures to streamline customs clearance for cargo. At major land ports, fast lanes have been set up for the rapid release of critical supplies. At major seaports, online declaration has been enabled for border inspection boarding. In international shipping, arriving vessels can have much faster departures thanks to the efficient inspections.

The combined sea-rail transport model, utilizing maritime routes and the China-Europe freight train service, has made the port of Lianyungang in east China's Jiangsu Province one of the most convenient and economical gateways to the sea. It handles more than 80 percent of Kazakhstan's transit cargo to China.

At the port, containers carrying with auto parts, home appliances, and other products are offloaded, hoisted onto trucks, and then loaded onto China-Europe freight trains bound for destinations like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

"From unloading to boarding the freight train, the entire process can now be completed in as little as eight minutes. These containers are expected to reach the border ports within six days, greatly reducing transportation time and cost," said a logistics company employee.

The Youyi Pass in the southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, also known as Friendship Pass, on the China-Vietnam border is an important cross-national trade channel. To enhance the clearance efficiency of imported fruits, the port has established "durian-only" channels and green channels for agricultural products, as well as an intelligent inspection assistance system. A Chinese cargo truck can now clear customs in just 15 seconds.

As the country's largest land port for fruit imports and exports, the Youyi Pass saw fruit imports worth 23.92 billion yuan (about 3.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2023, a 262.9-percent surge year on year.

Pattama Narmwong, chairman of the Thai Mangosteen Association, noted that the greatly improved clearance efficiency has considerably cut down on transportation time and costs, supporting the burgeoning development of fruit trade between China and Southeast Asian nations.

Cargo throughput surges as China's ports streamline customs clearance

Cargo throughput surges as China's ports streamline customs clearance

Recommended Articles