Dow looking to tap China's innovation potential

Updated 2017-06-29 15:27:28 Xinhua

Chemical giant The Dow Chemical Company is looking to expand R&D cooperation with Chinese businesses as the country is swiftly moving toward an innovation power with tech-firms no less competitive than their global peers.

Neil Hawkins, Dow's chief stainability officer and corporate vice president, said China has "one of the most innovative cultures in the world and the economy is [...] not bound by the old [development modes], but very innovative," on the sidelines of the Summer Davos in northeast China's Dalian.

"The focus on innovation and commercializing innovation is very strong in this culture," he said.

Hawkins's remarks came amid rising innovation capacity of the world's second largest economy.

China climbed three places from 2016 to the 22nd in terms of innovation capability in this year's Global Innovation Index, said an annual report compiled by Cornell University, INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organization.

China was the only middle-income country to make it on the top 25 list.

Dow established its Shanghai Dow Center in 2009, which has become its largest R&D center outside the United States with more than 700 scientists working in over 80 world-class laboratories.

"We've hired thousands of people here, the best and brightest graduates in science and engineering, as well as other disciplines. We greatly enjoyed the recruiting process. The talent of China is unbelievable," Hawkins said.

Dow has cooperated with bike-sharing firm Mobike on new tires to improve the cycling experience, and many Dow's technologies have been applied in products of Chinese manufacturers, such as home appliance producer Haier.

Hawkins expects more cooperation with Chinese innovative companies to jointly develop technologies that can contribute to inclusive and sustainable growth.

A staunch investor in China, Dow is expanding its business in China at an unprecedented pace, opening one new business center each year since 2012 and stretching to inland areas that many overseas companies barely notice.

It currently boasts a 5,000-strong staff body, and operates 10 business centers and 17 manufacturing sites across the country. Dow's revenue in China increased 10 percent year on year in 2016 and a double-digit growth is expected this year.

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