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Shanghai to help foreign-invested R&D centers

Oct 18, 2017

Shanghai will offer financial incentives and greater access to government-led projects for foreign-invested research and development centers as it bids to turn itself into technology and innovation center.

Foreign investors are encouraged to set up R&D centers and incorporate existing ones into their global R&D center as the government will offer a one-off 5 million yuan (US$759,000) for foreign-invested R&D centers employing more than 100 employees, according to new rules released yesterday.

The R&D centers will also receive subsidies to cover as much as 30 percent of the rent for three years. Rent subsidies will also be granted for R&D centers if they share their resources with small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The government has also vowed to lift the proportion of foreign-invested R&D centers within state and city-level technical centers, and offer as much as 3 million yuan per project for city-level technical centers engaged in lifting basic innovative capability, breakthrough of core technology, and smart manufacturing.

"Promoting the role of foreign investment to build up Shanghai’s technology and innovation center is a new path of innovation-driven development,” said Shang Yuying, director of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce.

The incentives include funding for R&D projects in emerging industries, equal policy support between domestic and foreign investment on transfer of technology, faster import procedures for R&D materials, and financial awards for new patents.

Various government bodies will also enhance protection of intellectual property rights, simplify visa and work permit procedures, and offer more public services for foreign investment R&D centers.

There were 416 foreign-invested R&D centers in Shanghai by the end of August, accounting for a quarter of the total on China’s mainland, according to official data.