Shenzhen Government Online
Innovation-driven Development
From: Publicity Department of Shenzhen
Updated: 2018-08-09

Shenzhen is a city born to innovate. The first stock in China was issued in Shenzhen, and the first land auction in the country was held in Shenzhen as well. Since the city became a special economic zone, it has played a role as an innovator to spread new ideas and a  pioneer to explore the path of reform and opening up in China. By issuing local rules of national innovation demonstration zone and rolling out 10 projects to bolster innovation, Shenzhen has become a frontrunner in promoting innovation-driven development when China's economy steps into the new normal. Shenzhen is now widely known as a "City of Makers" and a "City of Innovation."

Shenzhen's innovation capability has been strengthened continuously. It is home to three high-level information science research institutes led by Nobel laureates or Turing Award winners. Five manufacturing innovation centers and seven overseas innovation centers have been set up in Shenzhen. A provincial-level cyber space science lab will be built in Shenzhen. The city's overall R&D investments reached 90 billion yuan, accounting for 4.13% of the city's GDP. A total of 1,688 innovation carriers are based in Shenzhen, while 195 of them were newly set up last year. The city won 15 national science and technology awards in 2017.

Shenzhen's innovation-driven industries are growing rapidly. Currently, there are 11,230 State-level high-tech companies based in Shenzhen, while 3,193 of them were set up last year. The planning and construction of a headquarters base in Liuxiandong and several industrial parks in Bao'an, Longgang and Pingshan have been expedited. The city hosted the 19th China Hi-Tech Fair, the first China (Shenzhen) Innovation & Entrepreneurship International Competition and the Final Competition of the 2017 National University Cybersecurity Association last year and debuted its intelligent and self-driving buses. The added value of the city's high-tech industries increased by 12.2% and the added value of its emerging industries soared by 13.6%, accounting for 40.8% of the city's GDP.

Shenzhen's innovation ecosystem has been improved constantly. The city has introduced new rules to protect intellectual property rights (IPRs) and set up an IPRs management agency and an IPRs court. An IPRs protection center was put into use in Nanshan District, and the city will build a State-level IPRs operation center. The city has set up special funds to guide angel investments and lower the risks for enterprises to pledge their IPRs for financing. Three new national innovation and entrepreneurship demonstration bases were set up in Shenzhen last year. The city has introduced work regulations for talents, set up a "Talent Day" and built a talent park. It also set up a State-owned talent group and held the 15th Conference on International Exchange of Professionals last year. Twelve full-time academicians and 66 professional talents from the country's Recruitment Program of Global Experts were introduced to Shenzhen last year. Currently, there are over 5.1 million professional talents based in the city to support its innovation-driven development.

Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Circle

Shenzhen and Hong Kong signed a cooperation agreement to launch the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Circle in May 2007. According to the original design, the center of the circle is the Huanggang Checkpoint in Shenzhen and the Lok Ma Chou Checkpoint in Hong Kong, and the circle covers an area that is one-hour drive away from the center. Based on this, the circle will expand to cities in the Pearl River Delta region that are two-hour drive away from Shenzhen and Hong Kong. By working closely together, the two cities had completed the construction of eight innovation bases, 12 service platforms and four major projects in three years after the agreement was signed. Local governments in both cities were given the "Best Investment Promotion Award" during the second World Investment Forum held by the UNCTAD for jointly introducing a high-tech solar power project from DuPont.

High-tech Industrial Park

The construction of the Shenzhen High-Tech Industrial Park, known as SHIP, started in September 1996, with a planned area of 11.5 square kilometers. The industrial park has promoted its innovation-driven development and expedited its self-optimizing upgrades by improving the independent innovation capacity and industrial competitiveness over the past 20 years. With the aim of building a world-class high-tech industrial park, the SHIP has become the paragon of the city's innovation.

Virtual University Park

Shenzhen Virtual University Park was built in 1999. It is the first innovative industry-college-research park that was built based on the mode of gathering resources from the government, various colleges and other institutions. The park's major functions are to train and introduce first-class professionals, integrate industrial and research resources, establish key research labs and doctoral workshops, and promote cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen research centers. A total of 58 colleges and universities from home and abroad have joined the park so far and it is home to nine teams accredited by the city's Peacock Plan. It has trained more than 260,000 professionals and cultivated 182 postdoctoral researchers.

China Hi-Tech Fair

Cosponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, State Intellectual Property Office, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering and Shenzhen Municipal Government, the China Hi-Tech Fair (CHTF) is the largest and most influential  tech fair in China. It was first launched in 1999 and has been held each year since. The 20th CHTF will be held in November 2018. Learn more at:


BGI-Shenzhen, established in 2007, is a scientific research institute engaged in researches of public interest. BGI-Shenzhen has built a supercomputing center to process data and set up technological platforms for large-scale gene sequencing, gene testing, bio-information research and sequencing of agricultural genome and proteome. It has a global top-notch scientific research team. Learn more at:

Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of CAS

The Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of CAS was established in 2006 by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Shenzhen Municipal Government and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The institute has a talent pool of around 2,243 scientists, with most high-level professional talents among all scientific research institutes in Shenzhen. Learn more at: HTTP://WWW.SIAT.AC.CN/.

Kuang-Chi Institute of Advanced Technology

Founded in 2010, the Kuang-Chi Institute of Advanced Technology is a research institute engaged in R&D of innovative technologies. The institute's researches cover different industries, such as aviation, space service, intelligent equipment, smart city and wireless communication. The Terminology of Electromagnetic Metamaterials, formulated by the institute, came into force in October 2016 and it was the world's first national standards in the field of metamaterials. Learn more at: www.

National Supercomputing Center

The National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen (Shenzhen Cloud Computing Center) is the city's largest scientific infrastructure facility, involving a total investment of 1.23 billion yuan. The center's Dawn 6000 Supercomputer System can perform 1.27 quadrillion calculations per second, certified in 2010 as the second-fastest system in the world. The center was put into use in November 2011, processing massive data for scientific research, technological and engineering projects as well as serving as a cloud computing center for the whole society. Learn more at:

Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub

The Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub was initiated  and jointly founded by the Qianhai Authority, the Shenzhen Youth Association and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups on December 7, 2014. The hub is an international  service platform aimed at helping young people aged between 18 and 45 and with innovative minds from Shenzhen, Hong Kong and across the world start their own companies. Currently, there are 200 startups based in the hub, mainly engaged in logistics, information service, technology service, cultural and creative industries and other industries. They are also exploring new ways to promote the industrial development of startup incubators. Learn more at: HTTP://EHUB.SZQH.GOV.CN/.