Hero returns: An unprecedented “innovation park” in Putuo

November 25, 2022 |

Deemed as the significant part of the economic transformation and development in the central part of Shanghai, the 4.2-square-kilometer core area of Taopu Smart City has been developed into an unprecedented innovation park.

At the gateway of Taopu Smart City, a park with a construction area of 20,000 square meters bears the glory and dreams of many Putuo District residents.

“There used to be the Hero Gold Pen Factory. I cannot be more familiar with the story of ‘A hero to catch up with Parker’,” a former employee proudly recalled.

Today the new legend of “Hero returns” resumes. The place inscribed with the words China-Israel (Shanghai) Innovation Hub has become a thriving innovation park in the northwest corner of Shanghai.

Since 2010, communications between enterprises, universities and people of Shanghai and Israel have become increasingly active. And in October 2018, the signing of the China-Israel Innovation Cooperation Action Plan gave Putuo an opportunity to step on the path of international innovation.

To preserve the historical features and national characteristics of the old building, the China-Israel Innovation Hub team began to collect renovation proposals. “At that time, almost everyone told me that an office environment of Wework was needed, so we took out two buildings to transform the internal space into a small grid space. Each introduced unit would be provided with one or two rooms,” said Qiang Hao, general manager of China-Israel Innovation Park (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

Around 2019, Qiang found at least 30 Chinese-Israeli co-op parks across China, but the cooperation between China and Israel was still in the exploratory stage and had not achieved much. “It was very difficult for Israeli scientists to settle down and do research in China,” said Qiang. “Everyone was exploring a right way.”

An innovative ecology has been developed in the park. The Shanghai China-Israel Innovation Promotion Center serves as a bridge between the Shanghai Innovation Center and the China-Israel hub. The park, with all-around support system, boasts two roadshow centers that can accommodate 100 people and dozens of small offices for start-ups.

In June this year, the hub was included in the list of science and technology business incubators of Shanghai’s science and technology innovation and entrepreneurship carrier cultivation system, promoting the atmosphere of science and innovation.

Take Mantis Vision, an enterprise in the park, for example. It is a 3D imaging technology enterprise originating from Israel. The hub learned that the enterprise had mastered the core patent of 3D mask coded structural light technology and invited it to join the park. The 2,000-square-meter headquarters and exhibition area at the hub is tailored to support enterprises to participate in significant events.

“The brand, service and philosophy of the park attracted us, that is why it only took us a month to decide to settle down in the hub,” said Chen Ling, CEO of Mantis Vision.

Since its opening nearly three years ago, the hub has attracted more than 90 enterprises, institutions and projects.

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