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ChinaDaily:Sustainability vital to innovation, supporting businesses

Update time:2016-12-30

 The Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, or the SSGKC, a strategic collaboration project between China and Singapore, will promote sustainable development to better serve businesses' demands in the region.

"We will not measure business performance by just looking at short-term economic profits. We will focus on fostering our pillar industrial clusters, and support companies' R&D and intellectual property protection," said Ng Kok Siong, CEO of Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development Co Ltd, the master development company behind the SSGKC.

"We will strive to attract more universities, research institutions and innovative talents, as well as to strengthen product innovation and patent registration and protection in the SSGKC," he said.
The SSGKC will be keen to invest directly in some promising high-tech companies as a way to maintain the city's long-term growth in upcoming years, according to Ng.
"We are different from traditional developers (that simply sell or lease properties to companies). Investing in high-growth companies will be a trend," Ng said.
Starting in 2010, the SSGKC has long been committed to building a strong foundation to serve its long-term growth goals.
The region covers 123 square kilometers and has become a front-runner in IP protection in China. It actively learns from and adapts Singapore's experience in IP rights protection, in order to develop the city into a model IP protection hub.
"We will not make this a success if we cannot effectively protect businesses' IP rights in the SSGKC," Ng said.
The city obtained approval from the central government in July to conduct comprehensive IP reform to better support China's industrial upgrade and transformation.
In May, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore established its first overseas representative office in the SSGKC, aimed at better linking Singaporean IP service providers with Chinese innovative companies.
"Chinese companies will be able to enter overseas markets, especially those in Association of Southeast Asian Nations member economies, much more rapidly and efficiently if their IP is registered in Singapore," said Ng.
Apart from IP protection, the SSGKC has been serving as a global platform to link businesses with global markets and to promote the commercialization of research results.
The Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute, a platform established by parties including Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and South China University of Technology in the SSGKC, was agreed upon in Singapore in 2015.
The research institute mainly supports businesses involved in next-generation electric vehicles and intelligent urban transportation, nutrition and food science, sustainable urban development, pollution control and environmental restoration, as well as biomedical materials and medical instruments.
The SSGKC signed a memorandum of understanding with Siemens China in July to develop the Smart Eco Technology Demonstration Center, the company's first Asia-Pacific urban sustainability hub. The move was intended to support the SSGKC's smart and eco-city initiatives.
The 7,000-square-meter center, scheduled to be completed in 2020, will enable global smart and ecological solution providers to exchange ideas on new technologies in sectors such as integrated building control systems, intelligent transportation, renewable energy and green technologies.
The SSGKC saw its basic infrastructure largely completed at the end of 2016. Some 230 high-tech companies had settled in the SSGKC with total registered capital of 29.4 billion yuan ($4.2 billion) by the end of November.
The city has become a major gathering place for innovative companies.
"Knowledge-based industry is a key feature of the SSGKC," Ng said. "Traditional manufacturing businesses will not be approved in the area due to its land use restriction."
Looking ahead, the SSGKC plans to upgrade its educational, medical and community service systems to better serve global clients.
It has also implemented measures to stabilize property prices around the city, so that professionals can settle down in the SSGKC with significantly less financial burden, he said.
Development drive
The Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, or the SSGKC, has become an iconic project of Sino-Singaporean cooperation.
Its expansion plans over the next 20 years are designed to house a residential population of 500,000 and to provide a harmonious "living, working, learning and leisure" environment.
The city is a 50-50 joint venture between the Guangdong Development District and Ascendas-Singbridge, a Singaporean sustainable urban development solution provider.
A model for economic transformation and industrial upgrading in China, especially in promoting intellectual property protection, the SSGKC also plays a vital role in supporting Chinese businesses seeking expansion opportunities in the countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
It is home to 230 leading businesses, including Procter& Gamble and Siemens, and plans to attract more than 2,000 new high-tech companies from around the world by 2020.
Positioned as a unique, vibrant and sustainable area that is highly attractive to professionals and knowledge-based industries, the SSGKC focuses on developing six pillar industries: new energy and clean technology; advanced manufacturing; biotechnology and pharmaceuticals; cultural and creative industries; IP protection and services; and next-generation information and communication technology.
The area is located a 35-minute drive from the Guangzhou city center in Guangdong province. The metro line 14 Knowledge City extension will connect the area with other parts of Guangzhou at the end of 2017.
The SSGKC and Siemens China sign an agreement in July in Singapore to jointly develop the Smart Eco Technology Demonstration Center. Photos Provided To China Daily
(China Daily 12/30/2016 page15)