Full steam ahead for Oceantec Valley
( chinadaily.com.cn )
A media group visiting Qingdao, Shandong province, was impressed by the city's booming marine sector.
The group was organized by the information office of the Qingdao municipal government and Sina Weibo, China's leading micro blog, in order to showcase the city's beautiful scenery and rapid economic growth.
The group first visited Oceantec Valley, a new area located in Jimo, a county-level city in eastern Qingdao. The area features marine science and technology, and has made progress in becoming a national ocean technology innovation role model during the past four years.
The area has attracted 210 projects involving research, development, and manufacturing, of which 14 are national-level institutes, 16 are universities and 110 are technology firms. The overall area of these projects is 7 million square meters. Last year, its total output value was 6.32 billion yuan ($965 million) and its fixed asset investments were 22.75 billion yuan.
The new area has attracted 39,000 foreign workers in the fields of marine technology and industry since 2012, among which 52 are from abroad, and over 300 are academics from the Chinese Academy of Engineering , the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Yangtze River Scholars, and the Mountain Tai Scholars, highly-skilled workers from all over China.
The Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology which is based in the park, has built eight labs in which 1,000 scientists and engineers work, and has 28 scientific investigation vessels and 12 scientific databases. The marine survey, marine organism and submarine resources are the lab's most important priorities.
The area aims at becoming a world-class marine technology research center. In November 2013, it took part in a regional marine technology development project in East Asia. In December 2014, Qingdao's development plan for the Oceantec Valley was approved by the central government of China, and became the fifth national-level model base of marine technology in China.
According to the plan, the area will become an urban region that can accommodate and provide employment for 700,000 residents. Qingdao plans to build advanced infrastructure in the new city to satisfy the needs of its future development.
The central government has also listed the development of the Qingdao area in its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), in order to boost the development of China's marine economy.
A reporter uses a virtual reality headset to better understand marine science, at the Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology on Sept 6. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]