context: As Shanghai works on getting its economy back on track after being hard hit by COVID-19 lockdowns earlier this year, the government is looking into plans to build the city’s competitiveness as a global economic and innovation hub, using longer-term strategies than the policy packages and economic support which focus on short-term recovery.

Looking to grow its prowess as a future-looking global innovation hub, the Shanghai government issued an action plan on 11 Oct 2022 on building clusters of ‘industries of the future’. Under the plan, the city will groom innovative enterprises and human resources in areas such as health, smart technology, energy and materials, in an effort to be home to 1,000 hi-tech enterprises with a combined production output of 500 bn by 2030. By 2035, the city aims to cultivate several cutting-edge tech industry clusters, says the plan. By 2030, Shanghai wants to

  • build a high ground for self-driven innovation in core technologies
    • establish a research institution for future industries
    • open five technical academies for future industries
    • nurture 15 innovation centres for future industries
  • strengthen the growth engine for future industry clusters
    • build five future industry clusters
    • establish 15 pilot zones for future industries
    • achieve breakthroughs on 100 core parts
    • introduce 100 high-end products
    • form 100 domestic standards
  • form future models of coordinated innovation between large, medium and small companies
    • push 10 leading companies to plan for engagements in future industries
    • develop 20 ecosystem-driven companies
    • build 100 centres of excellence
    • nurture 1000 high-tech companies
  • create an ecosystem of the future with a concentration of factors of production and an open and inclusive culture
    • participate in major international science projects
    • attract high-level strategic scientists and entrepreneurs
    • form 50 comprehensive use cases

Specifically, Shanghai looks to develop the following ‘industries of the future’

  • health cluster
    • brain-computer interface
    • biosecurity
    • synthetic biology
    • gene therapy
  • smart technology
    • intelligent computing
    • artificial general intelligence
    • extended reality
    • quantum technology
    • 6G
  • energy
    • advanced nuclear energy
    • new energy storage
  • space
    • deep sea exploration
    • aerospace utilisation
  • materials
    • high-end membrane material
    • high-performance composites
    • non-silicon-based core material