Collaborative Innovation：The Symphony for Future Yangtze River Delta
In the 21st century, globalcities are heading to a brand new era of development. Urban innovation isgradually crossing the geographical boundaries of cities and entering the newstage of innovation in regional urban agglomerations. Interpreting theintegration of the Yangtze River Delta he Yangtze River Delta, we find that itis not only a major deployment made by the Party Central Committee based on theoverall development demands of the country, but also a top-level design fromtop-down perspective. It is also a scientific decision made in line with thehistorical trends of contemporary urban development.In fact, the trend ofnongovernmental promotion of integration and co-development of various regionswithin the Yangtze River Delta has already appeared in a much earlier period .For example, in the past decade, the number of collaborated patent applicationsin the Yangtze River Delta has increased more than five times.
The three provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiangand Anhui and the city of Shanghai are neighbouring lands for people of thesame origin, cherishing the same culture and sharing the same traffic network.When we put the Yangtze Rive Delta on the global map and compare it with otherexisting urban agglomerations in the world, i.e., the Greater London, the “GoldenBanana” in South Europe, the Kanto-Kansai region of Japan; the northeasternurban agglomeration, the Great Lakes urban agglomeration, and the northwesternBay Area in the U.S. ; and the Pearl River Delta and Beijing -Tianjin-Hebeiagglomeration in China, we discover that the comprehensive
advantages of the Yangtze River Delta hasbeen evident: it covers the largest total area, contains
the largest population andenjoys the fastest economic growth.
In the future, the determinantelement of a nation’s competitiveness is the collaborative innovation performanceof its global regions. The above-mentioned 10 global agglomerations are to bethe most competitive and innovative urban agglomerations in the future world.
There certainly are “shortboards” to be made up for the Yangtze River Delta to rise as the new pole ofglobal technological innovation. From the perspective of the density ofinnovation output, the Yangtze River Delta is of low per acre output , low percapita output , and small number of per capita patents. While the GreaterLondon metropolitan area and the Kanto-Kansai agglomeration are ranking the topin the aspect of per capita patents. The “short boards” could be offset as longas the integration development of the Yangtze River Delta is implemented withhigh quality and in a continuous process. What we should keep alert to are thequestions whether the innovative elements are connected within the region, theinnovation activities are coordinated, or the innovation dynamics are inreciprocal relationship?
Objectively speaking,innovation resources within the Yangtze River Delta are quite complementary.For example, the private economy in Zhejiang province has accumulated strongstrength; the local government of Jiangsu province functions forcefully and efficiently;Anhui province has top-notch scientific and technological talents; and Shanghaias a financial center has the strongest power of financing and massive networkof international cooperation. The five elements of innovation are five “fingers”,and only when they grow connected, could the “palm” clench into a fist. Only bycollaboration, could the most magnificent symphony be composed.