In February 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MIIT) issued its support to the establishment of National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Innovation and Application Pilot Zones in Beijing, Tianjin (Binhai New Area), Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Chengdu.
This is the second batch of pilot zones announced by the MIIT. So far, the number of China’s AI innovation and application pilot zones has increased to 8, while Chengdu has become the first AI innovation and application pilot zone in West China.
When we talked about the AI industry in Chengdu, the one thing we must know is Chengdu Science City. It is the core of the next-gen AI industry ecosystem in Chengdu. Chengdu promotes innovative development and high-quality development through new economy.
Attracting Top Enterprises
Now, a number of enterprises have established an industrial cluster with Chengdu Science City as the core, contributing to the AI industry.
With over 90 key enterprises in the ecosystem, the cluster has greatly contributed to the local transformation of AI technology. The ecosystem has also attracted many university project teams, including the Sichuan Energy Internet Research Institute of Tsinghua University and Chengdu Innovation Research Institute of Beihang University, which have created ideal conditions for the integration of AI production and research.
In the wave of the digital economy, this ecosystem focuses on the development of AI industry, and it initially gathers companies from the whole supply chain. Gradually, Chengdu builds a complete industrial ecosystem and helps it become the “fourth city of AI.”
Attraction and Cultivation of AI Projects
The development of an industry cannot be separated from the support of policy. Since the MIIT started the support to the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Innovation and Application Pilot Zone in 2019, Chengdu has been actively putting it into practice. At present, relevant policies have been enacted to create a positive development environment for the industry.
These policies include two parts: First, introduce strongly targeted industrial support policies. Second, provide rich application scenarios for AI enterprises and attract AI enterprises.
In addition, the ecological environment is processing. First, optimize the enterprise service system. Second, promote the implementation of policies; Third, build an efficient communication platform.
Build Industrial Area
In terms of AI infrastructure construction, Chengdu has built industrial parks and facilities, such as the “Supercomputing Center” and the New Economy Industrial Park, to accelerate the implementation of the digital economy.
The Chengdu Supercomputing Center, with a maximum computing speed of 100 million billion calculations per second, started trial operation in September 2020. It has cooperated with more than 200 institutions and completed 1.52 million scientific research projects. The CPU utilization rate has reached 30%.
Huawei Kunpeng Industrial Ecosystem Base and Tianfu High-Performance Computing Public Technology Service Platform, and many other innovation platforms started operation, serving more than 400 enterprises and driving the development of the AI industry in Tianfu New Area.
The Unicorn Island, the Science and Technology Innovation Park, the Overseas High-level Talents Innovation Park, the Smart Port, and other core industrial carriers will create a favorable environment for the development of the AI industry. Zones A, B, C, and D of the New Economy Industrial Park have been put into use with about 6,000 employees.
Synergistic Development in Tianfu New Area
Digital economy industries such as AI and big data are frequently mentioned in China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), which was released last month. 36KR Sichuan learned that in the first year of the 14th Five-Year Plan, Tianfu New Area New Economy Bureau will also launch a series of policies spurring the AI industry:
First, increase the number of innovation sources, deepen the construction of a “1+3+N” innovation system led by the Comprehensive National Science Center, with laboratories in three major fields as the core, and supported by a number of major scientific and technological infrastructure and research platforms.
Second, improve the business patterns for science and technology. Chengdu will introduce well-known service agencies from both China and overseas, accelerating the operation of Tianfu International Technology Transfer Center and build an innovation platform for the advanced computing industry based on the Chengdu Supercomputing Center.
Third, improve the ecology of the digital economy. Chengdu will accelerate the settlement of a number of leading enterprises, start the construction of a number of major projects, and spare no effort to promote the completion of provincial and municipal key projects such as M&S Electronics and put them into operation.
Fourth, optimize city management and industrial promotion. On the principle of “preferential in industry, composite in functions, intensified in space, and suitable for both living and business,” the construction of the first zone of Fengqigu Digital Economy Industrial Park will start within the year.
As the AI industry has become the core driving force for the new scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, Chengdu regards the AI industry as an important way to transform economic development. Hence, it promotes Chengdu to become the industrial highland of China’s new economy.
Chenxi Zhang, 36Kr