Scientists asked to get more entrepreneurial

By Wang Linyan in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-10-11 10:22

Scientists asked to get more entrepreneurial

Zhang Shoucheng, a Stanford University physicist. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A Chinese-American scientist has suggested that leading Chinese scientists get involved in investment that simultaneously supports science and innovation.

Zhang Shoucheng, a physicist at Stanford University and a foreign academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that scientists can make better investors because they can grasp cutting-edge technologies better than investors with only business training.

As China is committed to moving from a labor-intensive economy to one that is innovation-driven, it can refer to the successful experiences at Stanford and in Silicon Valley and encourage top-notch scientists to take part in investment that helps advance science and innovation, Zhang said on Sunday at a US-China Summit on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Collaboration.

The summit, hosted by the Chinese Association for Science and Technology-USA, coincided with the association's 25th annual convention in New York.

"It's a learning society, innovation society; the university should play a leading role in this," Zhang said.

In July, Zhang and his team published in Science magazine findings about their discovery of a particle (Majorana fermion) that can be both matter and antimatter. The finding can potentially lead to more advanced quantum computers.

Italian theoretical physicist Ettore Majorana first predicted the particle's existence in 1937.

Zhang shared with the audience the experience of Danhua Capital, a venture capital fund he co-founded that invests primarily in early-stage and growth-stage companies with a disruptive technology/business model. The fund focuses on areas including artificial intelligence, AR/VR and big data.

"I want this fund to become a bridge between China and the origin of innovation and entrepreneurship - Stanford and Silicon Valley," he said.

Zhang Qiyue, China's consul general in New York, said at the summit that with structural readjustment and reform in China, innovation and entrepreneurship have become the new engines for economic growth, and innovation-driven development is a national strategy.

Last year, China spent nearly $200 billion on scientific research and development, and China became the world's largest patent applicant for the first time, she said.

By encouraging mass innovation and entrepreneurship, new ideas are constantly popping up, and the potential of individuals has been brought into play. Last year, about 40,000 new market entities were registered daily, adding more than 10 million urban jobs.

"Recently, foreign students from 20 different countries in China voted on 'the Four New Great Chinese Inventions'. High-speed trains, online shopping, mobile pay and co-share bikes topped the list. Today, innovation and entrepreneurship have taken root in China and have brought about dramatic changes," she said, adding that China is committed to the strengthening of innovative cooperation with all countries.

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