Technology Mar 26

National AI innovation zone to be built in Changsha

China's Ministry of Science and Technology approves the construction of a national artificial intelligence innovation pilot zone in Hunan, Chairman Mao's home province

National AI innovation zone to be built in Changsha
An aerial view of the Chinese knot-like bridge in Changsha city, in central China's Hunan province in September 2020. Photo: Feng Fei / Imaginechina via AFP.

(ATF) China's Ministry of Science and Technology officially approved the construction of a national artificial intelligence innovation pilot zone in Changsha in Hunan Province on Thursday March 25

The facility will focus on major national strategies and the needs of Changsha’s economic and social development, focusing on key directions such as "smart" equipment, "smart" factories, and "smart" connected vehicles.

The project – located beside the National Defence Technology University – aims to promote original innovation and research and development on key core technologies. It will explore new paths and mechanisms for the development of a 'new generation' of artificial intelligence.

The Hunan Daily reports that Changsha City will give full play to the important role of artificial intelligence in promoting the creation of a "technological innovation highland" with core competitiveness, and demonstrate high-quality development in the central region and the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

Hunan is the home province of Chairman Mao. It has been a leader in China’s broadcast industry for a long time.

The Ministry of Science and Technology says Changsha will rely on scientific and educational resources and industrial foundations to strengthen the research and development of artificial intelligence technology.

They also want to strengthen institutional innovation and build a policy environment conducive to the ‘healthy development’ of artificial intelligence, to carry out artificial intelligence policy experiments, explore new mechanisms to support innovation and development of artificial intelligence in terms of industry standards, as well as intellectual property rights, with talent teams, integration of production and education, and a strengthening of the integration and innovation of production, education, research and application. 

Changsha is ranked seventh in economic terms among the provincial capitals in China, and its economic growth rate has been at the forefront of provincial cities for many years. There are numerous universities, including the National University of Defence Technology, Central South University and Hunan University, and more than 20 are engaged in the research and development and application of artificial intelligence technology and equipment. 

At present, Changsha has more than 2,400 core and related enterprises in the artificial intelligence industry. In 2020, the core revenue of the city's artificial intelligence industry reached 10 billion yuan (over US$1.5 billion), and the scale of related industries reached 45 billion yuan ($6.9 billion). 

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