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Shanghai Daily,上海日报
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Industry blueprint: better, smarter, cleaner

SHANGHAI will pour large investment into the city’s industries this year as part of plans to modernize manufacturing and bring factories to the cutting edge of new technologies, Shanghai Commission of Economy and Informatization said earlier this month.

As a benchmark, Shanghai invested 45.8 billion yuan (US$7.03 billion) last year to complete work on 100 key industrial projects. This year, plans to put those projects into operation will be expedited, with hoped-for profits to follow.

The completed projects span a spectrum of industries, including information technology, automobiles, specialty steel, equipment manufacturing and bio-pharmaceutical.

Modernizing industry is part of the nationwide “Made in China 2025” campaign, an ambitious blueprint to radically transform the whole industrial landscape.

Some of the projects are high profile, such as an engine-making project in the Shanghai Lingang Industrial Area.

The commission said Shanghai is aiming to finish work on 180 projects this year, with total investment of 104.6 billion yuan.

A majority of the projects are related to equipment manufacturing to make components for basic industrial sectors.

The blueprint specifies several mega-projects, with average investment of 1 billion yuan or more. They span civil aviation, high-end equipment, IT, oceanic engineering and automobiles.

Of the 36 biggest projects, 19 are completely new. The mission this year is to tackle hurdles such as financing, land acquisition and environmental assessment.

One key focus will be on smart manufacturing that takes an innovative approach to developing business operations in tandem with new technologies.

German automation heavyweight Siemens recently announced it will invest 4.8 billion euros (US$5.28 billion) in research and development globally, up 20 percent over last fiscal year. A major part of the additional funds is earmarked for automation, digitalization and decentralized energy systems.

“In 2016, we will establish a new innovation center in China. Cooperating across division boundaries across the country, the center’s more than 300 employees will conduct research in new digitalization solutions for both the Chinese and international markets,” Duan Wei, spokesperson of Siemens China, told Shanghai Daily.

Shanghai can already boast some strides in that realm. Last year, the manufacture of two domestic commercial aircraft, the C919 and the ARJ21, was accomplished. While ARJ21’s commercial maiden flight is scheduled later this month.

Statistics suggest the city is on a roll in modernizing “Made in China.” Shanghai’s share of the domestic nuclear power equipment-making market rose to 49 percent, while its Metro Line 17 became the first in China to use signaling equipment completely designed here.

The Pujiang No. 1 Satellite used components made via 3D printing, and more than 40,000 new energy cars were sold last year.

“To address the slowdown of economic growth, the Chinese government has made great efforts and it has been encouraging civil investment into seven fields including health and pension services, environmental protection, clean energy transport,” said Luca Biaginy, CEO of CNH Industrial.

The company is the sponsor of four local technological courses, one of which is an engineering course organized in partnership with Tongji University in Jiading District.

“Speaking of Shanghai, for sure new energy vehicle will be a hot area. It gives big incentive for the development of new energy buses and city logistic vehicles, and so will the public service area which requires big municipal budget,” he added.

Currently, Shanghai has the largest concentration of robotics companies in China. In 2015, three of the local projects were selected as national models.

In the local Shanghai market, the commission said it will support the use of China-made products in upgrading industrial infrastructure, including transport equipment, power grids, and medical apparatus.

The Shanghai government also will further promote local nuclear power companies amid a nationwide expansion program.

In addition, the local government will be encouraging local companies to seize opportunities in overseas market as part of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative.

The commission has signed an agreement with China Construction Bank to set up a 10 billion yuan fund to support the financing of small and medium-sized technical companies in Shanghai.

Modernization will go hand-in-hand with environmental protection. According to Shanghai’s Five-Year Environmental Plan to 2017, the city will eliminate or clean up 2,500 smaller coal-burning furnaces and 300 large industrial furnaces.

All small-scale coal burning is to end by 2017, but the city plans to tackle those facilities this year. It will also get all “yellow sticker” polluting vehicles off the road by the end of this year.


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