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Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Synergy Innovation Development Report

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 Guangzhou Daily Data & Digit Institute
 

 

1. Introduction

 

Pushing for the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is a national strategy that President Xi Jinping himself has planned, deployed and promoted. As pointed out by the 19th CPC national congress report, we should include Hong Kong and Macao in the national development plans and focus on the cooperation between Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong and in the Pan-Pearl River Delta region, and draw up policies and measures to facilitate Hong Kong and Macao residents’ life and career in inland cities. 

 

During this year’s NPC and CPPCC annual sessions, President Xi underscored the urgency to take the opportunity and build the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area into a top bay area and a world-class city cluster while attending the group discussion of the Guangdong delegation. This year’s “Government Work Report” included the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area into the part “Regional Synergy Development Strategy” for the first time, and stressed the need to roll out the strategy and publish a planning framework to push forward the development of the bay area and promote cooperation between inland cities and Hong Kong and Macao for mutual benefits.

 

In today’s world, bay areas have become important growth poles and engines for global economic development and technological innovation. World-class bay areas include the New York City Bay Area (New York Metropolitan Area) known for its finance sectors, the San Francisco Bay Area that is a science and technology hub, and the Tokyo Bay Area (Greater Tokyo Area) known for its manufacturing strengths.

Statistics revealed that between 2014 and 2017, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area saw its GDP increase for four consecutive years to reach 10.07 trillion yuan (US$1.455 trillion), accounting for 12.17 percent of the national total. The permanent population was estimated at 63.3389 million, accounting for 4.56 percent of the national total. The export and import trade volume more than tripled that of the Tokyo Bay Area; and the TEU throughput at ports in the area was 4.5 times the total volume of the world’s top three bay areas combined. Within the area, Hong Kong stands out as an international financial center and free-trade hub; Macao is highly developed in terms of convention, exhibition and tourism industry; the nine Guangdong cities are financial centers, technological innovation hubs, sea and air transportation hubs, as well as the world’s manufacturing powerhouse. The newly inducted Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail link and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge have also paved the way for a livable bay area whose cities are just an hour’s commute away from each other.

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is provided with all the essentials to be built into a world-class bay area.

 
2. Overview and exposition

2.1 Overview

Innovations are a driving force for the progress of a country and its people. Scientific analysis can be made on the technical innovation capability of a region to specify its strengths and weaknesses, so that the governments, institutions and enterprises can use it as a reference in the formulation and implementation of regional innovation strategies.

Patents can reflect the innovation capability of a country or region. This report shall use patents as an important scale in measuring the innovation capability of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and innovative dimensions are used as an important evaluation index. Analysis shall be made on the patent data of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in the past five years (2013-2017), which will be compared with the data of the New York City, San Francisco and Tokyo bay areas. From the comparison, advantages and disadvantages of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (including the east coast, the west coast, and the Hong Kong-Macao region) shall be concluded, so as to explore the means and directions for its development toward the goal of a world-class bay area.

 

2.2 Exposition
 
This report will analyze the innovation capability and innovation synergy capability of 11 cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area by reviewing statistics. It will focus on four measurement indexes – invention patents, PCT patents, cited patents and patent families, as compared with those of the New York City, San Francisco and Tokyo bay areas.

Source of data: The report makes use of the patent database of Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters IP and Science). Statistics will be made on the patent data of the New York City Bay Area, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Tokyo Bay Area and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area for the period between 2013 and 2017. 

Selection of institutions: To analyze the innovation institutions and industries of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the total patents of each city in the past three years (2015-2017) were collected. Innovation institutions in each city were ranked according to the numbers of patents they owned, and the top 50 institutions were selected.

A total of 500 innovation institutions – colleges, research institutes and research labs – were chosen for analysis, including 50 institutions from Guangzhou, 50 from Shenzhen, 50 from Zhuhai, 50 from Foshan, 40 from Huizhou, 50 from Dongguan, 50 from Zhongshan, 50 from Jiangmen, 50 from Zhaoqing, 50 from Hong Kong and 10 from Macao. (There are relatively smaller patent bodies in Huizhou and Macao, therefore, selection was scaled back for these two.)

 
3. Innovation

Using four measurement indexes – invention patents, PCT patents, cited patents and patent families, this report for the first time takes into consideration the innovation capability of the New York City Bay Area, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Tokyo Bay Area and compares the three regions with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Based on this comparison, it analyzes the distribution of innovative industries in the east coast, the west coast and the Hong Kong-Macao region in the Greater Bay Area, as well as the number of patents, distribution of innovative institutions and the institutions’ leading industries.
 
3.1  Invention patents
 
Invention patents serve as a significant indicator in measuring the innovation capability of a nation or region. The report reviews the total number of patents in the 11 cities under the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in comparison with those of the New York City, San Francisco and Tokyo bay areas.
 
3.1.1 Number of invention patents in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

 

Statistics revealed a continuous increase in the annual number of registered patents in the Greater Bay Area between 2013 and 2017, from 71,037 to 258,009, though there was fluctuation in the growth rate. The year-on-year increase from 2013 to 2017 was 15.01 percent, 45.85 percent, 49.67 percent, 24.92 percent and 33.19 percent respectively, while the average annual growth rate was 33.10 percent for the past five years. The biggest increase was recorded in 2015, at 49.67 percent. The biggest increment of nearly 64,300 patents was recorded in 2017.


The east coast of the Greater Bay Area (Shenzhen, Dongguan and Huizhou) boasted more invention patents than the west coast (Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing) and the Hong Kong-Macao region (Hong Kong, Macao).

 



Statistics of the past five years revealed an annual 27.47 percent increase in the number of invention patents for the east coast of the Greater Bay Area, an annual 54.1 percent increase for the west coast and an annual 7.33 percent increase for the Hong Kong-Macao region. In 2017, the east coast recorded more than 150,000 invention patents, about 1.5 times that of the west coast with nearly 100,000 invention patents. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong-Macao region recorded a peak of increment in the total number of invention patents in 2017.


3.1.2 Comparison of numbers of invention patents in four bay areas
 
According to the statistics of the past five years, there has been a continuous increase in the total number of invention patents in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, while the increasing trend of the first two years has been reversed in the following three years in the San Francisco Bay Area and the New York City Bay Area. There has been a continuous decrease in the number of invention patents in the Tokyo Bay Area in the past four years.
While the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area recorded a 33.19 percent increase in 2017, the figures for the Tokyo Bay Area, the San Francisco Bay Area and the New York City Bay Area were respectively -0.38 percent, -1.86 percent and -3.73 percent. In 2017, there were a total of 258,000 invention patents in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, while the figures were 139,100 for the Tokyo Bay Area, 54,400 for the San Francisco Bay Area and 39,600 for the New York City Bay Area.


Statistics revealed the total number of invention patents in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was bigger than that of the San Francisco Bay Area each year in the period between 2013 and 2017. While the San Francisco Bay Area only narrowly lagged behind in the number of invention patents in 2013, the figure for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Greater Bay Area was 2.7 times that of the San Francisco Bay Area in 2015. As the gap continued to widen, the number of invention patents in the Greater Bay Area grew to 4.7 times that of the San Francisco Bay Area in 2017.


The total number of invention patents in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was only 46.15 percent and 68.82 percent of that of the Tokyo Bay Area in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The Greater Bay Area surpassed the Tokyo Bay Area in the following three years. In 2016, the total number of invention patents of the former was 1.4 times that of the latter, with gap widening to 1.9 times in 2017.

 

The total number of invention patents in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was bigger than that of the New York City Bay Area each year in the period between 2013 and 2017. The total number of invention patents in the Greater Bay Area was 1.6 times, 3.7 times and 6.5 times that of the New York City Bay Area respectively in 2013, 2015 and 2017.


3.1.3 Comparison of four bay areas in industries that owned invention patents
 
Invention patents of the four bay areas were classified according to industries following the IPC (International Patent Classification) method. The following is a list of the various categories.

 

 

The biggest category of invention patents in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in the past five years fell in the H section (Electricity), accounting for 32.33 percent of the total, followed by G section (Physics) which accounted for 25.22 percent, while D section (Textiles; Paper) accounted for the smallest portion of the total. H section patents also made the biggest category of invention patents in the Tokyo Bay Area, at 29 percent of the total. G section (Physics) patents accounted for 39.72 percent (biggest category) of total invention patents in the San Francisco Bay Area. A section (Human Necessities) patents accounted for 25.91 percent (biggest category) of total invention patents in the New York City Bay Area.

Statistics of the eight sections of patents in the four bay areas revealed that the smallest standard deviation of percentages (0.091) was found in the New York City Bay Area, indicating a comparatively balanced distribution of patents in all sections in the region. The biggest standard deviation of percentages (0.146) was found in the San Francisco Bay Area, with patents concentrating in G and H sections. The figure for both the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Tokyo Bay Area was roughly 0.102.

 

G section (Physics) patents owned by the San Francisco Bay Area accounted for 39.72 percent of the category total, 12 percentage points higher than the runner-up Tokyo Bay Area. A section (Human Necessities) patents owned by the New York City Bay Area accounted for 25.91 percent of the category total, 14 percentage points higher than the runner-up San Francisco Bay Area. The two bay areas in the United States each had their advantages.

Compared with the other three bay areas, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area had a leading edge in D section (Textiles; Paper), E section (Fixed Constructions) and F section (Mechanical Engineering; Lighting; Heating; Weapons; Blasting Engines or Pumps); while it was rather weak (coming third or fourth among the four bay areas) in A section (Human Necessities), C section (Chemistry; Metallurgy) and G section (Physics).

 
3.2 PCT patents
 
PCT stands for Patent Cooperation Treaty. By filing one international patent application under the PCT, the applicant can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in a large number of countries.
 
3.2.1 Number of PCT patents in Guangdong-HK-Macao Greater Bay Area
 
Between 2013 and 2017, the number of PCT patents owned by the east coast of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was bigger than that of the west coast or of the Hong Kong-Macao region. The west coast saw a year-on-year increase in the number of PCT patents and a significant rise in 2017. The east coast experienced an obvious fluctuation in the growth rate of PCT patents, with a big drop in 2015 but steady growth in 2016 and 2017. In the Hong Kong-Macao region, the number of PCT patents is relatively small, being less than 1,100 each year, and saw negative growth in 2013 and 2014 but big increase in 2015 and 2017.

 


 
Among the 10 cities listed in the following graphic, Dongguan had the highest annual compound growth rate of PCT patents at 38.5 percent, followed by Foshan, Guangzhou, Macao and Shenzhen. (Zhaoqing was not listed in the statistics, as the city submitted no PCT patent application in 2017.)

 


3.2.2 Comparison of numbers of PCT patents in four bay areas
 
The data of the past five years shows that the number of PCT patents in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has been on a rise, while the number of PCT patents of the Tokyo Bay Area remained stable. The San Francisco Bay Area saw a downward trend of PCT patents in the first three years, then an upward trend in the following two years; while in the New York City Bay Area, the amount of PCT patents was on a rise in the first two years, and then dropped in the following three years. 

In 2017, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area applied for 21,400 PCT patents; and for the Tokyo Bay Area, the San Francisco Bay Area and the New York City Bay Area, the figures were 28,600, 7,200 and 8,000 respectively. The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area enjoyed a higher growth rate in PCT patents, at 31.95 percent, than the other three bay areas, while the growth rates of Tokyo, San Francisco and New York City bay areas were respectively 0.13 percent, 5.01 percent and -3.11 percent. This indicates a promising development achieved by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

 



Each year from 2013 to 2017, the number of PCT patents of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area was higher than that of the San Francisco Bay Area, except for 2013. In 2013, the number of PCT patents of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area was 95 percent of that in the San Francisco Bay Area, while in 2014, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area surpassed the San Francisco Bay Area by 1.5 times. In 2016 and 2017, the amount of PCT patents of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area was respectively 2.4 times and 3 times that of the San Francisco Bay Area.


Between 2013 and 2017, the number of PCT patents of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area was always less than that of the Tokyo Bay Area. In 2013, the number of PCT patents of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area was 33 percent of that in the Tokyo Bay Area, while in 2014, the ratio rose to 42 percent. In 2016 and 2017, the gap was narrowed and the ratio remained 57 percent and 75 percent respectively.

 


Each year from 2013 to 2017, the number of PCT patents of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area was higher than that of the New York City Bay Area, except for 2013. In 2013, the number of PCT patents of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area was 87 percent of that in the New York City Bay Area, while in 2015, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area surpassed the New York City Bay Area by 1.4 times. In 2017, the amount of PCT patents of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area was 2.7 times that of the New York City Bay Area.


3.3 Cited patents
 
This term refers to the amount of patent citations, which indicate the times of follow-up applications of a patent under observation. The number of citations can reflect the quality of a patent, and a frequently cited patent is always a high-quality patent.

 

Statistics shows that in 2013-2017, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area had more invention patents, but its number of cited patents was much smaller than that of the other bay areas.

 

Between 2013 and 2017, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area had less cited invention patents than the San Francisco Bay Area, especially in 2013, 2014 and 2016. In 2013, the number of cited invention patents of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area accounted for only 22.82 percent of that of the San Francisco Bay Area; in 2015-2017, the ratio remained 39.52 percent, 22.81 percent and 43.61 percent.

 

 

Between 2013 and 2017, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area had less cited invention patents than the Tokyo Bay Area. In 2013, the number of cited invention patents of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area accounted for 22.94 percent of that of the Tokyo Bay Area; the gap was widened to 7.79 percent in 2016 but was narrowed to 46.76 percent in 2017.

 

 

Between 2013 and 2017, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area had less cited invention patents than the New York City Bay Area. In 2013, the number of cited invention patents of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area accounted for 46.37 percent of that of the New York City Bay Area; the gap was widened to 14.95 percent in 2016 but was narrowed to 86.34 percent in 2017.

 


3.4 Patent families
 
A patent family is a set of patents taken in various countries and published in one language or different languages, to protect a single invention. (In this report, the patent family refers to the DWPI patent family.)
 
3.4.1 Number of patent families in Guangdong-HK-Macao Greater Bay Area
 
From 2013 to 2017, the number of DWPI patents owned by the east coast cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was bigger than that of the west coast or of the Hong Kong-Macao region. The east coast had more than 218,700 DWPI patents in 2017, while the west coast had over 170,000, an increase of 50,000 patents from 2016 for both coasts. Both west coast and east coast cities saw a year-on-year increase in the number of DWPI patents, but the west coast had an obviously higher growth rate, which reached to over 70 percent in 2014. In Hong Kong and Macao, the number of DWPI patents has been growing slowly, and negative growth occurred in 2014.
 


In annual compound growth rate, Foshan city took a lead among the west coast cities with a 79.24 percent annual compound growth rate, followed by Jiangmen at 62.39 percent and Guangzhou at 55.54 percent. Among the east coast cities, Huizhou stood out with the highest annual compound growth rate, with Dongguan and Shenzhen ranking second and third. Macao had a higher annual compound growth rate than Hong Kong, but its body of patents is much smaller.  

 

 

3.4.2 Comparison of numbers of patent families in four bay areas
 
In the past five years, the number of patent families in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area kept rising. The Tokyo Bay Area has seen a decrease in the number of patent families since 2014, while the San Francisco Bay Area and the New York City Bay Area have had decreasing patent families since 2015.

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has been increasing the distance from the other three bay areas in the development of patent families, and had 397,700 patent families in 2017, far surpassing the Tokyo Bay Area with 116,000 patent families, the San Francisco Bay Area with 44,900 patent families, and the New York City Bay Area with 32,400 patent families.
 


Between 2013 and 2017, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area had more patent families than the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2013, the number of patent families obtained by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was 1.9 times that of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the distance was widened to 4.9 times in 2015, 6.5 times in 2016 and 8.8 times in 2017.




Each year from 2013 to 2017, the number of patent families of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area was higher than that of the Tokyo Bay Area, except for 2013. In 2013, the number of patent families of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area accounted for 84 percent of that in the Tokyo Bay Area, while in 2014, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area surpassed the Tokyo Bay Area by 1.2 times. In 2015, the amount of patent families of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area was 2 times that of the Tokyo Bay Area, and in 2016 and 2017, the distance was widened to 2.5 times and 3.4 times.



Between 2013 and 2017, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area had more patent families than the New York City Bay Area. In 2013, the number of patent families obtained by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area was 3 times that of the New York City Bay Area, and the distance was widened to 7 times in 2015 and 12 times in 2017.

 

3.5 Analysis on industries involving innovation institutions
 
3.5.1 Overall analysis on innovation institutions
 
This analysis is based on the number of invention patents in 2015-2017 of each city covered by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Invention patents were classified according to the innovation institutions they belong to, and each innovation institution was matched with a specific industry. The top 50 institutions with the biggest numbers of invention patents were selected from each city, except for Huizhou, which selected 40 institutions, and Macao, which selected 10 institutions due to its relatively smaller patent body. Finally a total of 500 innovation institutions were selected as samples for analysis, which were classified into 21 industry categories according to their functions in national economy, including the electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing industry; computer, communications and other electronics equipment manufacturing industry; information transmission, software and information technology service industry; electricity and heating power production and supply industry; etc. Universities and colleges, which are a major source of innovations, were classified into the “universities and colleges” category.

According to statistics, 100 institutions, or 20 percent, of the 500 samples belonged to the electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing industry, which commanded the highest proportion in industry distribution; however, the proportion of this industry was 2.55 percent lower than that in 2014-2016. The computer, communications and other electronics equipment manufacturing industry ranked second, with 96 institutions and a proportion of 19.2 percent, 2.76 percent lower than that in 2014-2016. These two industries covered almost 40 percent of all innovation institutions in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and the other industries each commanded a proportion of less than 10 percent.

The third position went to the scientific research and technical service industry with a proportion of 9.2 percent; in 2014-2016, the scientific research and technical service industry was in the sixth place in the ranking. Universities and colleges, in the fourth position, included 45 institutions and accounted for 9 percent. The information transmission, software and information technology service industry, with 30 institutions and a proportion of 6 percent, came next in the fifth position.



Being a “world factory,” the manufacturing industry had a dominant proportion in the Pearl River Delta, with 324 institutions, or 64.8 percent, of the 500 samples belonging to the manufacturing industry.

 
3.5.2 Analysis on west coast, east coast and Hong Kong-Macao region
 
A collection of 300 innovation institutions in 20 industries from the west coast were selected as samples of the report, and the top three industries were the electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing industry (71 institutions), the computer, communications and other electronics equipment manufacturing industry (35 institutions), and the scientific research and technical service industry (31 institutions). The fourth place went to universities and colleges (28 institutions). The general equipment manufacturing industry and the information transmission, software and information technology service industry were both in the fifth place, each having 15 institutions.

Among the west coast cities, Guangzhou showed significant strength in universities and colleges. Of the 45 universities and colleges in the 500 samples, 13 are located in Guangzhou, which led other institutions in the number of invention patents. The west coast has an advantageous manufacturing industry, which involved 191 institutions or 63.67 percent of the selected institutions in this region.



Of the east coast cities, 140 innovation institutions in 16 industries were selected, and the top two industries were the computer, communications and other electronics equipment manufacturing industry (50 institutions) and the electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing industry (22 institutions). The third position was shared by the information transmission, software and information technology service industry and the scientific research and technical service industry, each with 11 institutions.

The computer, communications and other electronics equipment manufacturing industry had a dominant position among all industries in the east coast cities, and in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Huizhou, 30 percent, 36 percent and 42.5 percent of all selected institutions were from the computer, communications and other electronics equipment manufacturing industry. Dongguan and Huizhou had the strongest electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing industry among the east coast cities, with 20 percent of the innovation institutions involved.



In the Hong Kong-Macao region, 60 innovation institutions – 50 from Hong Kong and 10 from Macao – in 15 industries were selected, and the top five industries were the computer, communications and other electronics equipment manufacturing industry (11 institutions), universities and colleges (9 institutions), the electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing industry (7 institutions), the business service industry (6 institutions), and the rubber and plastic products industry (5 institutions).

In this region, innovation institutions of the electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing industry are all located in Hong Kong. Of the rubber and plastic products industry and the computer, communications and other electronics equipment manufacturing industry, most institutions are in Hong Kong. There were six universities and colleges in Hong Kong and two in Macao selected in the statistics.
 


Thirteen industries, which are mostly manufacturing and service industries, are of great advantages in the cities covered by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The computer, communications and other electronics equipment manufacturing industry was among the top three industries in eight cities, with 36 percent of innovation institutions from Dongguan and 30 percent from Shenzhen involved in this industry. The electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing industry was also among the top three industries in eight cities, and Foshan, Jiangmen and Zhongshan led other cities in the number of innovation institutions in this industry with the proportion of 50 percent, 32 percent and 26 percent respectively. The scientific research and technical service industry was among the top three industries in six cities (in 2013-2016, however, it was only among the top three industries in Guangzhou), with 16 percent of the institutions from Guangzhou involved.

Macao had the largest number of universities and colleges with a proportion of 30 percent, followed by Guangzhou (26 percent) and Hong Kong (12 percent). However, this does not indicate that universities and colleges in Hong Kong and Guangzhou have lower innovation capabilities.

The metal products industry was among the top three industries in three cities, and commanded the highest proportion in Jiangmen at 12 percent. The information transmission, software and information technology service industry was among the top three industries in two cities, and commanded the highest proportion in Shenzhen at 18 percent.


3.5.3 Performances of traditional industries and new industries

 

The following descriptions enable an in-depth study on the performances of traditional industries, new industries and institutions that provide research intelligence supports in the west coast, the east coast and the Hong Kong-Macao region. Please also refer to the graphics for details.  

 (1) New industries include the computer, communications and other electronics equipment manufacturing industry and the electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing industry.

In three years from 2015 to 2017, new industries created 238,227 invention patents. More than half of these patents, 121,699 applications in total, were created in Shenzhen, followed by Foshan with 38,506 applications (16.16 percent), Dongguan with 25,929, Zhuhai with 24,179 and Huizhou with 10,265.

Between 2015 and 2017, the east coast created about 157,900 patents, of which 77.08 percent were from Shenzhen. The west coast created 77,400 patents, of which about 50 percent were from Foshan. A total of 2,944 patents of the new industries were created in Hong Kong and Macao, of which 98 percent were from Hong Kong.




(2) Research intelligence supports include the universities and colleges and the scientific research and technical service industry.

In three years from 2015 to 2017, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area created 72,803 patents via research intelligence supports. More than 80 percent of these patents were from Guangzhou (35,218 patents, or 48.34 percent) and Shenzhen (25,451 patents, or 34.96 percent). Between 2015 and 2017, the east coast created 27,400 patents via research intelligence supports, of which 93 percent were from Shenzhen. The west coast created 42,500 patents, of which 82.93 percent were from Guangzhou. A total of 2,984 patents from research intelligence supports were created in Hong Kong and Macao, of which 99 percent were from Hong Kong.
 


(3) There are seven traditional industries, namely the chemical materials and chemical product manufacturing industry, the rubber and plastic products industry, the electricity and heating power production and supply industry, the textile, clothing and apparel industry, the transportation manufacturing industry, the special equipment manufacturing industry, and the general equipment manufacturing industry.

In three years from 2015 to 2017, traditional industries created 26,982 invention patents. Shenzhen led the other cities in the Greater Bay Area with 10,485 patents, followed by Guangzhou (5,571 patents), Foshan (3,295 patents), and Hong Kong (2,071 patents).

Between 2015 and 2017, the east coast created nearly 13,000 patents in the traditional industries, of which 80.52 percent were from Shenzhen. The west coast created 11,900 patents, of which 46.88 percent were from Guangzhou and 27.73 percent were from Foshan. A total of 2,078 patents were created in Hong Kong and Macao, of which 99 percent were from Hong Kong.

4. Conclusion and proposals

 
After four decades of reform and opening, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is a frontrunner in the country in terms of economic development, marketization and openness to the outside world. Building the Greater Bay Area not just revitalizes the Pearl River Delta, but also opens up new opportunities for Hong Kong and Macao to find dynamics, explore space and integrate into national development. Building the Greater Bay Area is a big opportunity to push forward a new round of reform and opening and achieve high-quality growth. 

Science and technological innovation is the driving force behind economic growth and a country’s comprehensive powers. One of the most dynamic city clusters in the world today, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area includes 11 cities, each with its own advantage. It’s important to borrow from the experience of other bay areas and at the same time make the best of our own innovative powers. It’s necessary to break the barriers in rules and regulations, improvise new mechanisms and policies, build a high-level decision-making mechanism and policy synergy system, and form a new-type cooperation platform for the regions. Efforts need to be made to push forward infrastructure construction and policies to expedite the flow of talents, capital and cargos in the three regions. In this way, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, by attracting global leading technological innovative talents, capital and industries, will be built into a world-class bay area and city cluster.

1. Establishing a highly efficient innovation synergy and policy coordination mechanism for the benefit of the three regions.

On the basis of the existing cooperation mechanism of the three independent regions, we shall actively explore the possibility of an innovative system, in the framework of which high-level authorities of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao can coordinate in decision-making to find timely solutions to problems and disputes, so as to promote a highly integrated development of the three regions. 

2. Pushing for the building of a Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao science and technological innovation corridor, so as to build the area into a “global science and technological innovation heights.”

We shall continue to improve the cooperation mechanism for technological innovation and use the influence of key innovative centers to promote an in-depth integration of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in the research of key technology, in building an innovative platform and in the materialization of research results. We shall make the most of the unique “One Country, Two Systems, and Three Customs Territories” situation of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to innovate in policies, rules and regulations, which will provide guidelines for synergy in innovation.

3. Facilitating industrial transformation and upgrading, cultivating emerging industries into modern industry clusters.

We shall take advantage of the “world factory” status of the Pearl River Delta and the advanced financial service sectors in the Greater Bay Area to focus on such emerging industries as IAB (information technology, artificial intelligence, biomedicine) and NEM (new energy and new materials), and build high-end industrial chains.

4. Pushing forward an orderly synergy in finance and building international financial hubs.

We shall make the most of the three regional financial centers – Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou – to promote an orderly and coordinated development of financial services in all cities in the area. We shall create an environment conducive to the gathering of insurance, securities firms and venture capital funds in the Greater Bay Area. We shall foster innovative financial cooperation platforms to offer quality financial services for science and technological innovation and industrial upgrading.

5. Pushing for the construction of transportation facilities to make the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area a quality living radius.

We shall speed up the construction of important basic infrastructure projects that facilitate connectivity in the three regions. We shall build highly efficient intercity transportation systems such as rail links, expressways and waterways. We shall publish policies and measures to facilitate the flow of talents, logistics and capital in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. We shall push for more convenient customs clearing measures like co-location and cooperative inspections for one clearance, so as to facilitate the in-depth integration of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao residents in life, work and schooling. We shall promote important projects in education, healthcare, employment and culture that are closely related to people’s well-being in the Greater Bay Area, and improve the region’s ecological environment to build a quality living radius, where all cities are within one hour’s travel from each other.
 
Producer: Liu Dan
Project director: Chen Jie
Project coordinator: Xian Xuyang
Data cleaning: Xian Xuyang, Zhang Caiyi, Wu Ting
Data analysis: Xian Xuyang, Zhang Caiyi, Wu Ting
Authors: Xian Xuyang, Wu Ting, Chen Jie
Proofreaders: Xian Xuyang, Wu Ting
Data source: Clarivate Analytics