On the afternoon of June 30, 2020, the Presentation for the 2nd China (Hengqin) Scientific and Technological Entrepreneurship Competition and the PEdaily Salon – Smart Hard & Core Tech, sponsored by Zero2IPO Group and PEdaily and co-organized by Commerce Bureau of Hengqin New Area and Zhuhai Da Heng Qin Development Co., Ltd., was successfully held in Xi'an.
This session brought together more than 30 representatives from research institutions, institutional investors and start-ups in the hard & core tech field, including Du Longbo, Investment Director of Capitech, Zhao Han, Investment Director & Head of Medical Team of Tang Xing Capital, and Zeng Qingfeng, Chairman of Xi'an Particle Cloud Biotechnology Co., Ltd. who discussed investment and development opportunities in this field.
Long-term investment support to the new materials industry
New materials, as one of the eight "hard & core tech" segments, is a major investment focus of Capitech. Du Longbo shared, under the theme "Investment Opportunities and Challenges of the New Materials Industry", that the key priorities of this industry were polymer materials, special metal materials, nano-materials, and composite materials.
He also mentioned 3D printing. In his view, at present, as metal additive manufacturing goes from strength to strength on global markets, 3D printing industry is gradually growing in its size. Further R&D in this new material is driven by market demand, which leads to progress in its application. So far, 3D printing has been primarily applied to aerospace, military, medical implants and auto manufacturing fields. In the future, as technology advances, its application will be extended to electronics, electrical appliances and personal consumer goods.
Subsequently, Mr. Du shared his experience in investing in the hard & core tech field. He talked about four points: First, investors need to understand the technologies and products of target companies; second, investors should be able to accurately judge the application prospects of the underlying technologies as technical results need to be commercialized; third, investment horizons in the hard & core tech field are generally longer, so both patience and long-term perspective are required; fourth, the SSE STAR Market has added exit channels, which is good news for investments in the hard & core tech field.
A new industrial landscape emerged with AI-empowered healthcare sector
The development of AI has posed new opportunities to traditional industries. Healthcare sector is no exception. Under the theme "AI-empowered Healthcare Innovation Opportunities in 2020", Zhao Han noted that as AI technology advanced, speech interaction, computer vision, cognitive computing and deep learning technologies matured over time, and AI applications in the healthcare sector were made possible.
Zhao pointed out that medical imaging, currently one of the most popular applications of AI in the healthcare sector, mainly applied computer vision technology to address three needs, i.e. lesion identification and marking, target automatic delineation and adaptive radiotherapy (ATR), and image 3D reconstruction. Industrial competition is particularly fierce in the lesion identification and marking segment.
The registration of Coronary Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) Computing Software developed by CuraCloud was approved on January 15, 2020. This is China's first AI-empowered Class III medical device. It has promoted the AI-empowered healthcare sector into the stage of market justification, which will be followed by accelerated commercialization and the emergence of a new market competition pattern.
Deployment in associated industries with a focus on 3D printing
Mr. Zeng Qingfeng from Particle Cloud, which is the company that established the first 3D printed artificial bone GMP production line in the world, shared his views and experience under the theme "The Path to Industrialization of 3D Printed Medical Devices". At the 3rd Global New Material Startups Contest hosted in Ningbo on September 25, 2016, the "3D Printed Renewable Artificial Bone" project of Particle Cloud stood out from more than 300 contending projects worldwide and took the first prize. Later, Particle Cloud emerged prominently at industrial summits and forums, winning wide attention, with its round A financing of RMB 20 million finished in 2018.
At present, Particle Cloud is deploying in 3D printing associated industries and introducing material R&D and talent training, with a view to building a closed-loop 3D printing industrial chain. Particle Cloud and Van-Research Institute of Composite Materials set up the Materials Genome Joint Research Center to speed up material R&D. In addition, Particle Cloud has been authorized by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) as a "3D Printing Vocational Skills Accreditation, Training and Teaching Base" to train talents in the additive manufacturing field.
The new round of technological innovation will pose new opportunities for technological upgrade and development. There will be more investment opportunities in the field of science and technology.
Da Heng Qin, Contributing to the Growth of Hengqin New Area
At this session, Ms. Wu Xuxia, Investment Manager of Investment Services Department of Da Heng Qin Development Co., Ltd., introduced in detail the 2nd China (Hengqin) Scientific and Technological Entrepreneurship Competition and Hengqin's preferential investment policies. She expressed the hope that the Competition would attract more teams with innovative technical results and strong capabilities of industrialization to develop in Hengqin. Da Heng Qin Development Co., Ltd., as an important integrated service platform for industrial development and talent pooling in Hengqin New Area, will provide premium projects with the optimal industrial and talent policy support in terms of business investment, project implementation, commercial affairs and consulting.
To stimulate the innovation vitality, Hengqin New Area decided to host an innovation and entrepreneurship competition open to global contenders each year since 2018 to support the innovation and startup teams with advanced innovative results, key technological breakthroughs and good industrialization prospects. The Competition offers R&D grants up to RMB 300 million to 10 winning teams, including one special-grade prize with a grant of RMB 100 million; two first prizes with a grant of RMB 50 million; three second prizes with a grant of RMB 20 million; and four third prizes with a grant of RMB 10 million.
The 2nd China (Hengqin) Scientific and Technological Entrepreneurship Competition is to be hosted soon and recruiting high-tech innovation projects across the world in four fields, i.e. IC and chip, biomedicine and medical devices, new materials and big data & AI. This coverage is highly in line with the eight fields of "hard & core tech" in Xi'an. In the Q&A process, the start-ups present at the session discussed extensively on the setting of the Competition.
At this salon themed on "Smart Hard & Core Tech”, common and different views were presented from multiple perspectives. The insightful interpretation of investment and opportunities in the "hard & core tech" field under new circumstances resonated with the participants at the session. The 2nd China (Hengqin) Scientific and Technological Entrepreneurship Competition expects to see entrepreneurs "stand out" among peers.