Shandong Embraces Foreign Experts to Help Accelerate Development
By MA Wenzhe and FU Ying
Known as the home of Confucius and Mencius, Shandong province gave birth to Confucian ideas, such as "peace is most precious and harmony without uniformity" and "the whole world is one family."
In the modern era, Shandong has interpreted the concept of "harmony and coexistence" with new connotations, in the continuous improvement of the level of technological innovation and international cooperation.
Embracing inclusivity and diversity
In September 2020, the world's first commercial diesel engine with a thermal efficiency exceeding 50 percent was launched in Shandong by the Weichai Group.
It had solved a series of problems, such as high-efficiency combustion, leaving Shandong's imprint in the history of internal combustion engine development.
Claudio Operti, Weichai's director of European Research and Development Center, played the leading role in the research progress of the M26.3 electronically controlled diesel engine, WP13 and a series of other high-end engine projects successively, and has witnessed and participated in Weichai's technological success.
Recently, Shandong has prioritized the building of strategic scientific and technological strength, and driven the innovation to achieve goals of sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening.
Currently, focusing on the "top ten" industries, Shandong has set up a number of major scientific and technological innovation platforms, including the Pilot National Laboratory of Qingdao Marine Science and Technology, two national-level technological innovation centers, and 21 state key laboratories.
In particular, the Shandong Institutes of Industrial Technology, Shandong Institute of Advanced Technology, and Shandong Energy Institute have been established in succession, forming a new "troika" leading the progress of innovation and development in Shandong.
The picture shows the Yellow River Estuary. As the most developed province in the Yellow River valley and an important region to carry out innovation driven development, Shandong is accelerating progress towards achieving sci-tech self-reliance and leading in ecological conservation and high-quality development. (PHOTO by Huang Gaochao)
Engaging global talent
In the working place of Jinan Shengquan Group, Ian Harris is working with his Chinese colleagues to develop new environmentally friendly resin products.
Ian comes to Jinan from time to time to guide the company's scientific research personnel, and is an employee of Shengquan's European Technology Center in Cologne, Germany. Through the technology researched and developed in Europe, 23 R&D projects have been carried out in 2020, and the industrial production of five kinds of resin formula products, such as pure phenolic resin and cold box resin have been completed.
These have led to huge economic benefits, and have also greatly reduced the flue gas in the production process of the foundry industry.
"A quick charge of five minutes will drive you a range of 450 kilometers" is no longer just an advertising slogan for hydrogen cars.
Since 2017, the Qingdao International Academician Port has laid out a whole industrial chain covering hydrogen production, hydrogen storage, hydrogen refueling, fuel cell assembly, and hydrogen energy vehicles.
A large number of foreign and Chinese academicians led by Zhen Chongli, academician of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, have carried out key technological breakthroughs in fuel cell catalyst technology and other fields and built a first-class transformation center in China.
These examples show that in recent years, Shandong has implemented the strategy of using global expertise to revitalize several industries. This strategy is creating a good environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Shandong is the first province in China to implement the open competition mechanism to select the best candidates for scientific and technological research, an expert driven administration system and a lump sum funding scheme for projects, so as to give scientific researchers greater project management autonomy and further release policy dividends.
In particular, the establishment of offshore innovation and entrepreneurship bases and international talent introduction workstations was initiated, and Shandong took the lead in exempting foreign experts holding foreign talent visas from work permits, in order to attract and retain the cream of the crop.
Connecting with int'l resources
In 2011, Shengrui Transmission Corporation Ltd., located in Weifang High-tech Zone, broke the monopoly and technical barriers of foreign competitors with its self-developed eight-speed automatic transmission (8AT).
Behind the scenes, a high-quality R&D team led by German expert Peter Tenberge, spent 5 years in helping making 8AT realize the transformation from concept to product.
Since 1993, the Shandong provincial government has set up the "Qilu Friendship Award" for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the province's economic and social development. So far, 518 foreign experts have been honored.
Recently, Shandong has also improved the level of international cooperation in technological innovation with a broad-minded vision.
In addition, Shandong stepped up efforts in promoting the development of major technological cooperation platforms such as the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone, and the Sino-German Ecopark.
Shandong plays an active role in implementing the Belt and Road Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Action Plan and speeding up the construction of cooperation platforms.
Besides, the International Science and Technology Cooperation Innovation and Entrepreneurship Community will be established to help realize the precise connection between the development needs of Shandong and the global science and technology resources, through the market-oriented and international cooperation mechanism.
Source：Department of Science and Technology of Shandong province