Jinan puts weight into national powerhouse effort

By YUAN SHENGGAO| (China Daily)| Updated : 2023-09-27

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As the host province and city of the latest China Intellectual Property Annual Conference, Shandong and its provincial capital Jinan were in the spotlight for their abundant IP resources and robust innovative strengths.

Famed as the birthplace of Confucian culture, Shandong province in coastal East China generated 8.7 trillion yuan ($1.19 trillion) in GDP in 2022, ranking third nationwide.

"We are going all out to put Shandong at the forefront of the country in terms of integrating it into the new development pattern, offering services, enhancing economic and social development innovation capacities, and pushing ecological preservation in the Yellow River basin and high-quality growth, in a bid to constantly improve people's lives, promote common prosperity and create a new chapter in the construction of a strong modern socialist province in the new era," Shandong Governor Zhou Naixiang said at the opening of the 2023 CIPAC.

"Innovation is at the heart of Shandong's overall development, with 10 major innovation initiatives advancing throughout the province," Zhou said.

The Shandong Provincial Department of Finance earmarks more than 12 billion yuan on a yearly basis to assist businesses in technological innovation. With around 100 major projects carried out to seek technological breakthroughs each year, Shandong has made solid progress to build itself into a high-level innovation-oriented province, Zhou noted.

Government data show that Shandong is home to more than 35,000 tech-driven small and medium-sized enterprises at national level, 26,000 high-tech businesses and a talent pool of more than 15 million people.

The province's strong industrial and innovation muscle has enabled many global firsts. These include a high-speed maglev transportation system with a speed of 600 kilometers per hour, which rolled off the production line in July 2021 in Qingdao, Shandong, and a commercial diesel engine with a thermal efficiency exceeding 50 percent, launched by Shandong-headquartered machinery manufacturer Weichai.

The province's GDP increased by 6.2 percent in the first half, compared with the same period of 2022.

From January to August, major indicators, such as industry, investment and consumption, showed rapid growth in the province, and the provincial economy continued momentum with improved quality.

"The IP system is a catalyst for stimulating innovation and an accelerator for economic development," Zhou said. "We regard IP protection as an important means to promote technological innovation.

"We have issued regulations on patents and IP protection and promotion; formulated an outline for building Shandong into a strong IP province; continuously improved the IP system including protection, market operation and public services; and encouraged patent commercialization."

To date, Shandong is home to seven national-level IP protection centers, 13 legal service centers, and 147 mediation organizations for IP disputes at the provincial, city and county levels. Collectively, they form an IP protection network covering the whole province. The IP-friendly environment has spurred a boom in IP achievements. A total of 224,000 invention patents were granted in the province, with a high-value invention patent ownership rate of 7.3 per 10,000 people.

The number of valid registered trademarks in the province has reached 2.51 million, including 913 geographical indication trademarks, both ranking among the most in the country.

Jinan Mayor Yu Haitian said the city is on the fast track to high-quality development. Local authorities have long deemed IP as a powerful engine to drive the city's high-quality development, thus ramping up the integration of IP into the economic and social development.

In the first seven months, the number of invention patents granted to Jinan residents or entities surpassed 8,000, enabling the cumulative number of valid invention patents granted to reach 52,000, a year-on-year increase of 27.5 percent. The number of valid registered trademarks in the city stood at 402,000 by the end of July.

As the largest international IP conference in Asia, CIPAC offers a premium platform for international exchanges, Yu said. "Capitalizing on the opportunity of hosting the event, we will fully absorb advanced experiences from home and abroad to boost IP creation, protection and commercialization, pushing our IP work onto a new level and contributing Jinan's strength to China's goal of becoming an IP powerhouse."