The Yancheng National High-Tech Industrial Development Zone in Yancheng, East China's Jiangsu province is looking to attract more professionals and innovation resources from Italy to accelerate its development.
The zone on Sept 9 hosted the semifinals of the China-Italy Best Startup Showcase & Entrepreneurship Competition (BSSEC) 2018/2019, with 10 shortlisted Italian participants battling it out in the competition's "advanced production" category.
Efforts were also made during the event to connect Italian projects with local enterprises.
The BSSEC, launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities, and Research, is a platform dedicated to facilitating collaboration and entrepreneurship between the two countries.
A total of 90 entrants involved in the digital economy, artificial intelligence, big data, smart equipment, advanced production, health, sustainability, and ecofriendly innovation qualified for the semifinals in February.
The semifinalists include Lumi Industries, which develops 3D visualization and printing devices, MyPart Meccanica, which specializes in additive manufacturing in the aerospace sector, Sophia, which focuses on the design, development, manufacture, and quality control of mechanical components, and Nextema, which produces integrated laser manufacturing systems.
These companies are either industrializing or ready to start operating and seek partners in China.
In addition to the competition's monetary awards, the Italian teams participating will also be offered subsidies if they set up operations in Yancheng, according to Yao Weike, chairman of the China Association for International Science and Technology Cooperation, a co-organizer of the semifinals.
The Yancheng National High-Tech Industrial Development Zone has since 2015 been a leader in the intelligent terminal industry.
Over the past three years, it has developed a 10-billion-yuan ($1.4 billion) industrial cluster and is now home to the DSBJ Yancheng Industrial Park, a leading printed circuit manufacturer, a supplier of telecommunication equipment, and an LED technology and interconnected solutions provider.
Prior to the competition, Wang Tiegen, head of the organization department of the CPC Yandu district committee, introduced the zone to Italian guests and discussed its geographic advantages, culture and environment, transport links, and talent policies.
"We will build platforms to boost smart production, innovation, and entrepreneurship and strive to improve financial support, housing guarantees, and government services," said Wang.
Vincenzo Lipardi, a judge for the semifinals and vice-chairman and CEO of Campania NewSteell, said the 10 Italian production teams came to Yancheng because of its strong development potential.
They saw it as an opportunity to study partnership possibilities between Italian and Chinese businesses, said Lipardi.
"We have brought these projects to Yancheng to showcase what they have achieved and what they are working towards. This gives Yancheng an opportunity to study and consider cooperation with Italian companies," he said.
The BSSEC is linked with another program, the China-Italy Third-Party Market Cooperation Forum, which was presented by top government leaders from China and Italy in March, said Lipardi, adding that the BSSEC is an important international effort to strengthen cooperation between China and Italy.