Shanghai is implementing a major national strategy of developing itself into a scientific and technological innovation hub with global influence. Foreign-funded enterprises and their R&D centers play an important role in this endeavor. By the end of October 2017, foreign-funded enterprises had established 418 R&D centers, of which 40 are at global level and 17 at Asia-Pacificlevel. These centers have pooled high-end factors of production such as capital and professional, and promoted industrial upgrading. In particular, the centers at global level have integrated Shanghai into the global innovation network, thus enhancing the global influence of the city's scientific and technological innovation.
The Shanghai Municipal People's Government released an announcement on Oct. 16 to further encourage foreign-funded R&D centers to participate inthe city's development into a scientific and technological innovation hub. A total of 16 measures concerning the requests of foreign-funded R&D centers and the new trends in multinationals' global R&D have been proposed to create a better development environment for the centers.
Highlight 1: facilitating global allocation and cross-border flow of innovative elements to create a better investment and trade environment
Five measures focus on increasing the competitiveness and the capacity for allocating resources globally of the foreign-funded R&D centers in Shanghai:
First, support the development of top-rated R&D centers, especially the ones at the highest level within a multinational and carry the function of allocating R&D resources around the globe; provide the same start-up and rental subsidies to foreign-funded global R&D centers and R&D centers with independent legal personality as themultinationals' regional headquarters.
Second, encourage the multinationals to set up open innovation platforms and develop new R&D modes. The platforms will gain rental subsidy from the district where they are located.
Third, facilitate the cross-border flow of research samples; simplify procedures for research samples, specimen, and reagents import through preferential policies of inspection and credit rating to improve R&D efficiency.
Fourth, encourage foreign-funded R&D centers to take part in key R&D projects, and support foreign investors to set up national technological centers to participate in key R&D projects in strategic emerging industries.
Fifth, encourage private investors to fund the transfer of foreign-funded R&D centers' research results in Shanghai.
Highlight 2:promoting the actual use of intellectual properties (IP) and strengthening IP protection to create a better legal environment
Three measures focus on strengthening IP protection:
First, promote the actual use of intellectual properties; grant subsidies of no more than 250,000 yuan for each invention patent obtained through the Patent Cooperation Treaty, no more than 50,000 yuan for each country (five countries at most), and no more than 15,000 yuan for each high-quality domestic invention patent
Second, strengthen IP protection through multiple approaches including carrying out one-stop services integrating patent examination, quick confirmation of IP right, and quick access for right protection, optimizing the protection system where administrative enforcement and juridical protection reinforce each other and improving the credit management of IP right.
Third, improve IP service by bringing in more of the world's leading IP service agencies to provide efficient, convenient and safe services and building a public IP service platform to enable easier access to the IP information around the world.
Highlight 3: attracting high-level foreign professionals and creating a better environment for them
Three measures focus on attracting and retaining foreign professionals:
First, simplify work permitapplication procedures for foreign professionals;allow foreign personnel employed by foreign-funded R&D centers to directly conduct the employment procedures; facilitatethe work permit application through“notification & promise” and“acceptance despite lack of some materials.”
Second, extend the validity period of foreign professionals' multiple exit and entry visas; enable eligible foreign professionals to secure multiple exit and entry visas valid for five to ten years.
Third, support the districts in Shanghai to launch the trial of all-purpose service card for high-level foreign professionals; provide them with benefits in housing, children's education, and health care.
Highlight 4: providing better services to foreign-funded R&D activities and creating a better R&D environment
Four measures focus on improving government services to create a better R&D environment:
First, improve R&D public service; support foreign-funded R&D centers to participate in the city’s R&D public service platform construction, and make it easier for the centers to use the city’s large scientific facilities.
Second, encourage foreign-funded R&D centers to participate in government-led projects; include scientific and technical personnel of the centers as experts in government-led projects.
Third, improve government service mechanism to ensuregood communication between government and enterprises, and establish a multichannelmechanism for providing various services to foreign-funded R&D centers.
Fourth, use the initiative of all districts and encourage them to roll out policies for encouraging foreign-funded R&D centers to contribute to Shanghai's development into a scientific and technological innovation hub. （Department of Foreign Investment Administration, Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce）