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连载之一丨TusPark,From v1.0 to v 3.0(I.II.III.)

2018-06-06 16:54    来源:大奖网官网控股    点击:

TusPark,From v1.0 to v 3.0

清华科技园的1.0、2.0、3.0版

Creating the Largest Clustering Innovation Network in the World with Multidimensional Triple Helix Model

——立体三螺旋模式构建全球最大集群式创新网络

Author: TusHoldings-Innovation Research Institute – The Think Tank of TusHoldings (1)

编辑:大奖网官网创新研究院—大奖网官网智库
 

  In the 1990s, the Chinese market economy developed rapidly and the rate of integration of science & technology with economy increased. To accelerate market-oriented transformation of scientific achievements and improve the surroundings of the campus, Tsinghua University decided to build Tsinghua University Science Park (TusPark) outside the campus between the South and East Gates. In 1994, Tsinghua University established the TusPark Development Center in which Tsinghua University holds 100% stake, to plan, build and manage TusPark by virtue of market-oriented means.
 


 

  The development history of TusPark can be roughly divided into three stages. From scratch in 1994 to 2005, TusPark grew over those eleven years into a university science park with the world’s largest individual building volume of its kind, the most tenants and of the highest quality; from 2006 to 2011, guided by the concept of “Based in Beijing and networking nationwide”, TusPark set up branches across the country through various models and means; from 2012 to the present day, TusPark is transforming from the single business form of science park plus incubator into the world’s largest clustering innovation network, run and managed by a commercial organization and also becoming an undisputed domestic leader and global model in the science and technology service field.
 

  Moreover, through years of restructuring of enterprise, TusPark Development Center as operator planed, built and run TusPark has evolved into Tus-Holdings Co., Ltd. (TusHoldings). TusHoldings has transformed its equity structure from with Tsinghua University holding 100% of its shares to a mixed ownership equity structure composed of state-owned and private shares. It has also grown into the premier science and technology service provider in China with total assets exceeding 100 billion yuan from the original several million yuan at the start .
 

  Currently, the new round of science and technology reform and of industry reform is in the ascendant worldwide and global innovation and entrepreneurship is prevailing. A systematic review of domestic and overseas science parks and TusPark, including the development history of TusHoldings will help establish and share our experience and make a greater contribution to creating better innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems and serving innovation and entrepreneurship more effectively.
 

  I.From the 1950s, international and domestic university science parks have started from nothing to flourish.
 

  Since it was built by Stanford University in 1951, Stanford Research Park, the first scientific research park in the world, has incubated a number of start-ups and industries with profound global influence, created millions of jobs, promoted development of the productive force and brought far-reaching reforms in the modes of production, economic structure, thinking and social systems. That pioneering undertaking proved that university science parks can play a very important role in improving universities’ scientific research strength, promoting transformation of scientific results, facilitating industry upgrading, driving regional economic development, etc., and other countries and regions followed their example and set up various forms of science parks. After six decades of development, there are currently over 1,000 recognized and substantial university parks in the world. They are distributed in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America and adopt various management models that are inclusive of government, university, enterprise and foundation. Renowned university science parks include Stanford Research Park, Cambridge Science Park, Tsukuba Science City, Singapore Science Park and TusPark.
 

  China started to explore the establishment and development of university science parks in the 1980s. With unremitting efforts and practice over three decades, the university science parks in China have not only reached a substantial number but also achieved remarkable achievements in promoting the transformation of university scientific achievements, incubation of science and technology enterprises and the regional economic development. They are an important force in serving social development: on the one hand, they have expanded the development space of preponderant disciplines of universities, consolidated the leading position of those disciplines and facilitated major provision and course reform to make them more suitable for development demands. On the other hand, through focusing on industrial development priorities and making use of university technology and talent advantages, they have made innovations in the industry-university-research institute cooperation mode and attracted much venture capital to invest in starting start-ups in the science parks, becoming powerful sources of regional innovation, directly promoting healthy and rapid development of regional economies and become an important source of the development of university, regional restructuring and innovation. 
 

  According to the latest statistical data of the China Torch Statistical Yearbook (2016), there are 115 university science parks in China, of which 65 are in East China, 24 in West China, 14 in Northeast China and 12 in Central China, covering 26 provinces and municipalities and involving over 140 universities. In a development pattern of “wide distribution and small clustering”, they are mainly distributed in the Yangtze River Delta and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, covering an area of 7.459 million square meters and having 145,603 employees in 10,118 incubated start-ups with total annual revenue of 27.72 billion yuan, a total of 8,219 graduated start-ups and 2.486426 billion yuan paid in taxes. The university science parks have effectively promoted the transformation of scientific research achievements and facilitated the flow and integration among the elements of university, enterprise and regional development, including information and capital playing a critical role in promoting the incubation of high-tech enterprises and accelerating the transformation of scientific research achievements while also making important contributions to regional economic and social development.

 

 

▲ Spatial distribution of national university science parks in China (2015) 
 

▲ Number and total revenue of incubated start-ups in national university science parks in China (2011-2015) 
 

  II.TusPark 1.0, from learning to leading, from scratch to world class 
 

  Back in 1994, China was in the dawn of economic boom. The year of 1994 saw dramatic economic and social developments: the first supermarket was introduced to China as Parkson of Malaysia entered the Chinese market; China was officially regarded as a country with full-function Internet for the first time; also, the Chinese government proposed national education institution reform to allow scientific researchers to do business and universities to establish enterprises. Then, Peking University pulled down the campus’ south wall and to build a business street. Meanwhile, in Tsinghua University, whose departments excel in engineering research, both students and professors are eager to start their own businesses. According to a survey, there were 146 research departments in Tsinghua University at that time, however, their faculty staff registered as many as 164 companies.
 

  Against this background, Tsinghua University decided to build a university science park. One purpose was to gather the university-owned companies to concentrate in the science park to separate the university’s research and business functions; the second purpose was to upgrade the area surrounding the campus to create a better environment for the campus; the third was to promote transformation of university scientific achievements. As a result, “TusPark Development Center” was registered in 1994. Its founding team, including Prof. Mei Meng, the founding Director of the center, Mr. Xu Jinghong and several others, overcame numerous difficulties and quickly accomplished on milestone task after another, including the science park’s spatial planning, the park’s objective and vision-defining, and university science park’s innovation and entrepreneurship service theory-building, as well as to identify the park’s core business.
 

  (I)Lay the foundation to build the physical space of TusPark
 

  As an important constituting section of the Zhongguancun Science and Technology Park (Z-Park) in Beijing, TusPark extends to Metro Line 13 to the east, the Lanqiying Teachers’ Residence Community to the west, Chengfu Road to the south and the South Wall of Tsinghua University to the north. To create an environment that could facilitates innovation and the living and working of innovative talents, TusPark sought to adopt a relatively centralized functional layout, emphasizing coordinated openness in spatial structure, and pursue special characteristics and optimization in landscape design to build a science park with world-class design and high-quality infrastructure.
 

  TusPark was built from scratch. Without startup capital support from the university, TusPark had to rely on market mechanisms for land acquisition, residence resettlement and financing. TusPark Development Center raised funds through issuing shares, banks loans and other methods, and finally completed the construction of the core of TusPark. It took 11 years to complete TusPark from the start of construction of Huaye Building and Xueyan Building in 1994 to the final structure of TusPark in 2005. In particular, from 1994 to 1998, as the Chinese government started to cap the number of large construction projects under the state’s new macro-economy policy, TusPark completed the construction of a 120,000 square-meters starting-up area against all odds, and more importantly with the TusPark Development Center’s own efforts. It laid a solid foundation for its further development. In 2002, the construction of the main park area of TusPark (the Technology Towers) commenced. In 2005, with a planned site of 25 hectares and a floor area of 770,000 square meters, TusPark became a remarkable landmark of the world renowned Z-Park and officially became the world’s largest university science park.
 

  (II) Define development positioning to create core business of TusPark
 

  How to operate a university science park? How to build it into a world-class university science park? TusPark should not be only fancy office buildings, or just university-owned property. It should have its own visions and objectives, its own service system and even its own theory system. Those are the core problems occupying the mind of the park’s founding team leaders. After learning from the Silicon Valley, Cambridge Science Park in the UK and Hsinchu Science Park in the Taiwan area, the founding management team defined the role of TusPark as “three bases”——“a base to transform university scientific achievements, a base to incubate technology start-ups, and a base to cultivate innovative talents”. Meanwhile, they also developed the park’s “three major strategies”: Internationalization Strategy, Innovative Service Supporting System Strategy and Innovative Network Development Strategy. With the three strategies, the park was expected to cover the upstream, the midstream and the downstream of technology innovation value-chain from “technology introduction and transformation” to “startup incubation and catalyst” to “experience extension and radiation”.
 


 

  A university science park without a tech-company incubator lacks an innovative soul. One of the high hopes of Tsinghua to see in TusPark was to facilitate the transformation of the university’s scientific achievements. Therefore, to realize the “three bases” functions, TusPark decided to take two whole floors of Xueyan Building to start Tsinghua Pioneer Park——Tsinghua first business incubators. We should bear in mind that in early 1998 TusPark had very limited funds and itself was virtually a startup that needed incubation. The Tsinghua Pioneer Park was committed to incubating innovative teams and startups to facilitate the transformation of scientific achievements of Tsinghua University and other surrounding universities. In 1999, Tsinghua Pioneer Park was officially opened in the just completed Xueyan Building. Tsinghua Pioneer Park was established amid the “.COM” boom, it immediately drew extensive attention from all sectors of society. Startups of all kinds rushed to settle in the park. Originally there was a worry that there would not be enough companies want to be incubated, but soon they found they could choose from many high-quality companies competing to a place in the incubator. Those startup teams which stood out in the 2nd Student Entrepreneurship Contest of Tsinghua University soon entered the park; these included FANSO, Seemile and Smartdot. In 2000, the admission rate of companies applying for entry to the incubator was less than 33%. At that time, China’s renowned newspaper Guangming Daily featured the success of TusPark and published an article titled TusPark, the ‘Huangpu Military Academy’ for Chinese Entrepreneurs, which brought TusPark to national reputation. After that, more and more visitors from high levels of government and business rushed to see TusPark, including Liu Qi, then member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Chen Zhi, then Minister of Education, Zhu Lilan, then Minister of Science and Technology, Xu Guanhua, then member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Song Jian, then State Councilor, and also Goh Chok Tong as the  Prime Minister of Singapore.
 

  TusPark was also a pioneer in exploring the business model of Chinese incubators. At a time when most Chinese incubators were only landlords to collect rent from startups, TusPark had already became the first to practise "incubation+investment" model and tried to launch a venture foundation with international capital. During that time, based on its incubation service and innovation and entrepreneurship service practice, TusPark defined and refined a “CWFB Model” (Come together, Work together, Focus on the best and Become the best) and the “Innovation Eight Elements” theory (government, industry, university, research, finance, intermediaries, trade and media), making important contributions to the development theory of Chinese university science parks and relevant tech-based industries.
 

  (III) Limited Space for Unlimited Dream
 

  In 2000, the Development Outline of TusPark was issued. It states that TusPark seeks to become a world-class science park before the 100th anniversary of Tsinghua University in 2011. In the following six years, while helping the companies in the park to grow rapidly, TusPark Development Center also hatched many of its own “children”, including TusPark Incubator Co Ltd., TusPark Technology Assets Management Company, TusPark Property Management Company, TusPark Service Center, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Incubation Foundation, etc. Many social organizations such as financial institutions, law firms and investment consulting companies also joined the park. In 2001, 22 Chinese university science parks including TusPark were awarded the title of “National University Science Parks” by the Chinese central government; in 2003, TusPark was recognized as the only “Class A” National University Science Park by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Education; in 2004, TusPark became the first Chinese university science park member of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP), marking the start of TusPark’s internationalization endeavor. 
 


 

  From a humble beginning, TusPark had achieved a great deal at the turn of the century. If the construction of the park’s physical space set up the indispensable space carrier, the defining of its development strategy, the creation of its core business and the setup of the innovation and entrepreneurship system have constituted the very identity and core competitiveness of TusPark. Tuspark’s official slogan “Limited Space for Unlimited Dream” means that the physical space of the park is always limited, but through the expansion in the depth and width of its innovation service system, the park can break the boundaries of the physical space, to help more innovators and entrepreneurs and make their dreams come true. One aspect of its ambitions wish was to explore how to expand its service system to other places in China, to help more cities set up their own innovation service systems.
 

  III.TusPark 2.0, from coming together to innovative network, expanding branches with difficulty 
 

  While the main park in Beijing developed rapidly, TusPark had been exploring how to use existing experience to serve society, help more regions set up innovation incubation systems, promote transformation of scientific and technological results and facilitate regional economic development and industry structure upgrading. Since 1998, under the guidance of the province-university cooperation agreements signed between Tsinghua University and relevant provinces and municipalities, TusPark set up branches successively in Shaanxi, Jiangxi, Kunshan, Guangzhou, Shandong, etc.
 


 

  The branches of TusPark set up during that time can be divided into two models: investment & development and management/brand output, according to the key role they played in the development, construction and operation management of the science parks. First, in the investment & development model, as the development and construction of science parks needed a lot of money and the investment return cycle is very long, TusHoldings, which evolved from TusPark Development Center, lacked funds and appropriate financing channels and had not worked out a suitable business model, consequently only a few parks were developed, including TusPark (Kunshan), TusPark (Guangzhou), TusPark (Shanghai) and TusPark (Nanchang). Second, in the management/brand output model, by providing the science park management service + venture investment fund, TusPark attempted to output its management model and innovation service system, however, the science park branches, such as TusPark (Yuquan Huigu), TusPark (Qingdao) TusPark (Yichang) and others, did not achieve expected results because they failed to find a sustainable business model.
 

  Moreover, from the establishment perspective of the branches, there were three situations. In the first case, the branches were directly set up by Tsinghua University and had no relationship of subordination with TusHoldings. Such branches included TusPark (Hebei) and TusPark (Zhuhai). In the second case, the branches were set up by TusHoldings, including the aforesaid TusPark (Kunshan), etc. In the third case, the branches were set up by Tsinghua University alumni, such as TusPark (Shaanxi). The development of those branch parks introduced some innovation resources and ideas to the local government, expanded their horizon and also provided some practical experience for the establishment of TusPark branches. However, due to weak management and lack of experience, they have also created some problems for Tsinghua University in terms of park investment and construction, management and brand usage.
 

  This earlier practice made the management team of TusHoldings realize that investing, building and running a new park faces challenges in many and diverse aspects including government relations, fundraising, gathering of innovation resources, profit mechanism, management, innovation service model and so on. In addition, the nationwide innovation and entrepreneurship atmosphere and attention from the government at that time were far less than those of today, setting up park branches was far from simply “copy” and “paste”. Therefore, of the more than 20 branches set up at that time, despite that a few branch parks in Kunshan, Shanghai and some other regions were somehow fruitful, a lot of branches did not do well.
 

  In general, the branch expansion at that time had the following problems:
 

  First, the development of the branches were independently managed, so it lacked general strategic guidance. In terms of form, there was no systematic pattern as an incubator or a science park; in terms of regional space, there was no “point-line-plane” collaborative development pattern; in terms of park business structure, they lacked support from science & technology industry and science & technology finance.
 

  Second, the main park and the branches were still “individual points” without an effective interaction system of park resources and did not have regular, virtuous interaction. The main park and the branches had loose connections, which prevented the main park systematically providing resource clustering and other support to the branches, thus restricting the development of the branches; also, the branches could not effectively expand space for the main park, thereby restricting the use of the influence and radiation capabilities of the main park.
 

  Third, there was a lack of talents, especially cooperators with full understanding of local situations and ability to integrate local resources into branch expansion. The development, construction and operation management of science parks also faced challenges from many sides including investment, development, construction, operation, property management and service system setup, while the construction of science parks has strong “local features”, meaning that the service system and industry system must be set up with full consideration for the actual local situation. Therefore, the cooperator with full understanding of the local situation is a key factor in branch expansion and also guarantees that the park can maintain its energetic output. At that time, as the personnel of the branches were mostly assigned from the headquarter that often found itself in a difficult situation with insufficient personnel to assign. For example, TusPark (Guangzhou Panyu) found suitable personnel even two years after the negotiation of cooperation.
 

  Fourth, the lack of funds was the greatest bottleneck restricting branch expansion. First, TusPark lacked its own funds and second, TusPark had limited financing ability.
 

  Since its establishment, TusPark had made remarkable achievements one after another, however, in the expansion of branches, TusPark ran into a bottleneck. It had still not formed an effective, replicable model and was badly in need of a new development strategy, a new model, a new mechanism and new measures.

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