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November 6, 2011

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Home » City specials » Qingdao

Ambitious plans for 'Blue Silicon Valley'

THROUGHOUT human history the world's oceans have always been an important natural resource. As natural resources are gradually depleted, the ocean becomes more important, thus it needs to be utilized in a sustainable way.

Shandong Peninsula Blue Economic Zone was, in January, approved as the country's first national development center focusing on the marine economy.

Qingdao City, which includes 12,200 square kilometers of sea area, 69 islands and 49 natural harbors, has prepared itself to be a leader in the marine economy.

Rich in natural, industrial and human resources, the city is ready to become a "Blue Silicon Valley" that can spur economic growth through research and technology, as well as marine industries.

The momentum of the marine economy is high technology, and the future lies in sustainable and effective exploitation of marine resources, government officials said during the 2011 Qingdao International Blue Economy Summit Forum held on October 28-29.

"Shandong Province boasts a good location, rich natural resources, complete infrastructure, a sound industrial basis and plenty of talented professionals in the field of marine technology," said Jiang Yikang, Party secretary of Shandong Province.

More than 300 domestic guests and 92 foreign guests from 17 countries and regions participated in the forum.

Qingdao City plans that by 2015 it will be a base for China's scientific marine development, showcasing high-end industrial congregations and environmental protection achievements.

Further by 2020, Qingdao pledges to become an international shipping hub in northeast Asia, a regional center of marine industries, an international center of marine education and leisure. It plans to achieve all this in an environmentally responsible way.

Blue Silicon Valley is an industrial congregation featuring research and development in high technology and advanced industries related to the marine economy.

The rich talent pool and outstanding marine technology institutions have provided a solid base to realize the city's ambition.

"Building a Blue Silicon Valley requires merging marine technology, education, culture and high-tech industries by taking advantage of the rich talents in the region," said Li Qun, Party secretary of Qingdao. "Links between theoretical research and high technology applications are to strengthen."

He said that the city government will encourage academic exchanges, trading and commercial cooperation both domestically and internationally, and will build the city into a research center for marine technology and an incubation center for scientific achievements.

Qingdao is now home to 19 academicians of top Chinese academies related to marine sciences and 5,000 marine professionals, or 30 percent of the country's total.

Seven national marine science institutions, one national-level marine laboratory and 17 provincial-level laboratories are located in the city. It also has 22 marine investigative ships, nine marine observation stations and 10 marine data bases.

"Construction of Blue Silicon Valley will lead to better use of ocean resources and protection of the marine ecology," said Li. "It will also help generate our own intellectual properties, and upgrade the region's industry to a higher level."

Qingdao expects to achieve an average annual growth of 16 percent in the city's added value of marine industries by 2015. Spending on research and development will count for 2.5 percent of the city's gross domestic product.


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