Shanghai seeks high-end talent in key sci-tech areas

Updated: Dec 21, 2023 By Wang Xin chinadaily.com.cn Print
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The financial district of Pudong New Area. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

High-end talent in key areas, such as fintech, intelligent manufacturing, digital economy, integrated circuits and quantum science, are urgently demanded in Shanghai, as the city is striving to build an international center for sci-tech innovation with global influence, said officials and experts at the Pudong International Talent Hub Forum on Wednesday.

Managing and retaining global talent is essential to reinvigorating the Chinese economy and maintaining companies' competitive edge following the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dominique Turpin, European president at China Europe International Business School, or CEIBS, at the forum.

In recent years, Shanghai has been ramping up efforts to attract talent from across the world, with favorable policies and all-around services provided. The city's Pudong New Area, which has been building an "international talent development leading zone", is the demonstration of such efforts.

Earlier this year, the district has put forward a slew of highly integrated and systematic talent attraction projects and policies, among which is one known as the Pearl Project.

The project proposes to introduce a group of overseas high-level talents who stand at the forefront of international science and technology. For such talent, 12 incentives will be given, including financial support, project subsidies, entrepreneurship support and social security. A maximum annual contribution award of 5 million yuan ($740,000) will be given to those selected as Pearl Peak Talent.

The first batch of over 800 talents, selected from more than 3,400 applications, received their certificates identifying them as "Pearl Peak Talent" at the forum.

"Pudong New Area is a core area in Shanghai's construction as an international center of economy, finance, trade, shipping and sci-tech innovation. The district has been making committed efforts to attract all kinds of outstanding talents globally. To date, it has initially formed an international, integrated and innovative talent highland, gathering high-end talents from across the world," said Qi Yuxia, an official with Shanghai Pudong New Area Committee.

Looking forward, despite the breakthroughs the city has made in talent attraction policies, experts gave their advice on the opportunities and challenges that Shanghai faces in becoming a global sci-tech innovation hub at the form.

"Shanghai is blessed with a strong foundation of basic research and a favorable innovation environment that attracts innovators from around the world," said Wang Hong, president of the CEIBS.

However, she noted that the city still faces several challenges in further development of scientific and technological innovation. They include the lack of technological breakthroughs in key areas, deficiency in strategic scientists with international influence, weak voice in leadership prowess in the international arena, the absence of leading technology firms hinders the potential of the new economy to take the lead, as well as the shortage of high-level talent with an international perspective and an understanding of international rules.

To tackle such challenges, Wang put forward five suggestions for talent introduction and cultivation in Pudong and in Shanghai.

She suggested building a major industrial base to increase the competitiveness of science and technology innovation, attracting high-level overseas talent with favorable systems and services, gathering scientists with strategic perspectives, accelerating the development of emerging industries to drive innovation, and promoting the opening up of Shanghai to the outside world.

In particular, Wang pointed out that high-end technical talent in crucial fields such as fintech, intelligent manufacturing, digital economy, integrated circuits, and quantum science, are in urgent demand and need to be cultivated.

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