GUANGZHOU – At least 30 foreign and Chinese projects are being planned at the new Guangzhou International Biotech Island as part of efforts to expand the high-tech and tertiary industries of Guangdong province.
On Friday, the first group of foreign and domestic enterprises and institutions signed memoranda of understanding with local authorities to invest and operate at the biotech research area three years after it was officially designated as a national strategic and key development program of Guangdong province and its capital.
Most of the enterprises are involved in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, genomics and other related biomedical research.
The biotech island covers a total of 1.82 square kilometers and is 12 km away from Guangzhou's central business district.
Apart from infrastructure and services support, authorities will also provide preferential policies and incentives to help develop the area. These include an annual science and technology fund of up to 300 million yuan ($46 million) for "outstanding science and technology projects within the district" as well as R&D, housing and training subsidies.
Tiger Tang, general manager of the Guangzhou International Biotech Island Investment and Development Co Ltd, said the project stands out from other similar areas in Beijing and the Yangtze River Delta area by drawing on Guangdong’s economic strength and environment.
"We are also focusing on tie-ups and cooperation with foreign partners to build on international exchange and enterprise," Tang said.
Paul Thorning, director of Science Bridges China, which is a platform for collaboration on healthcare technology and pharmaceutical science based at the University of Bradford, said the Guangzhou has great strengths in areas such as Chinese medicine, stem cells and regenerative medicine.
"There are many, many talents here to build on and to work with our own talents from the UK for our partnerships," Thorning said.
"The opportunity of the bio-island is to create a nucleus, a center, where all this exchange and creation of new technology and new companies can take place."
Guangdong is considered to be an economic powerhouse of the country with many industries focusing on low-cost manufacturing. The province has one of the highest GDP per capita in the country and makes up more than 10 percent of the national economic output.