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Wenzhou rises faster to the heights of optoelectronics
Date:2022-04-05 08:42:23 Source:Wenzhou·China Fonts:[ Large Medium Small ]

Wenzhou Advanced Manufacturing Technology Research Institute of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (WZAMI of HUST)

On the afternoon of Mar. 30, the agreement signing ceremony of the project, “Cethik Group – Wenzhou optoelectronic industry innovation hub”, and “Wenzhou Forum”, a symposium, were held. Cethik, Ouhai District People’s Government and WZAMI of HUST signed a strategic cooperation agreement, which creates the synergy to build innovation consortia in Wenzhou and explores new models for the commercialization and application of advances in science and technology in an effort to bolster the docking of the innovation chain and industry chain and, moreover, build Wenzhou into an optoelectronic hub.

At the ceremony, Wenzhou Kingswayton Technology Co., Ltd. and Wenzhou Micro-Nano Actuator Technology Co., Ltd. were officially unveiled. Both companies, incubated at WZAMI of HUST, signed the investment framework agreements with Cethik, which marks a new chapter for industrial application of scientific and technological advances.

Exploring new “Wenzhou Model” of establishing innovation consortia

Cethik, a major subsidiary of China Electronics Technology Co., Ltd. (CETC), is a leading international company in smart Internet of Things (IoT). From smart city, intelligent control, robotics to smart lighting and optical instruments, Cethik covers a wide spectrum of product groups, hence an experienced company in establishing innovation consortia.

According to the agreements, the steps jointly taken by Cethik, Ouhai District Government and WZAMI of HUST to establish innovation consortia in Wenzhou will fully leverage Wenzhou’s strengths in talent, policy-making and economic development, as well as the competitive edge of Cethik, a leader in its industry, and WZAMI of HUST, a scientific research leader. Such a move will pave the way for the incubation of emerging industries, the commercialization and application of scientific and technological advances, and ultimately the upgrading and transformation of traditional industries in Wenzhou.

The agenda of cooperation will start from the industrial application of scientific and technological advances of WZAMI of HUST by incubating a group of technology companies. The event this time, therefore, aims to boost industrial upgrading by bringing the strengths of leading companies in building innovation consortia to the fullest play, to contribute to the incubation of “hard technology” companies in Wenzhou by improving the environment for building innovation consortia and seeking common interests through funds and investment, and to accelerate the building of Wenzhou as a “smart city” and the emerging industrial hub, where optoelectronics, new materials and IoT are booming, by exploring new “Wenzhou Model” of establishing innovation consortia.

Two enterprises incubated in the first phase are to break technological monopoly

In 2020, Wenzhou signed a new round of cooperation agreement with HUST. Committed to building Wenzhou into an innovation hub of optoelectronic industry, WZAMI of HUST established four professional laboratories featuring microwave communication materials, optoelectronic materials, new energy and nanomaterials, which has attracted a number of leading scientists, together with their projects, to settle in Wenzhou, enabling the industrial application of the scientific and technological advances to speed up. Both Kingswayton Technology and Micro-Nano Actuator Technology, the two new materials companies unveiled at this ceremony, have themselves originated from the microwave communication materials lab of WZAMI of HUST, a key municipal lab of Wenzhou.

Kingswayton Technology mainly produces the materials and instruments for low temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC). The researchers were fine-tuning the equipment as the author entered the pilot plant of the WZAMI of HUST which covers an area of less than 500 square meters. “We will no longer be dependent on the import of key 5G communication materials from other countries when the project is put into operation,” said Lei Wen, head of the company. According to him, cell phones are where LTCC mainly applies. Camera lens, Bluetooth, GPS and other parts of cellphones are using components made of LTCC materials. The market and the demand of LTCC have thus grown substantially as 5G industry develops rapidly. The production of raw materials for LTCC, however, relies heavily on the manufacturers outside of China such as DuPont, and few Chinese manufacturers have realized its mass production. The company, with its highly qualified and professional R&D team, may be a game changer, as it has developed a series of ceramic powders for LTCC with independent intellectual property rights.

Micro-Nano Actuator Technology is a company derived from a piezoelectric actuator R&D team. Piezoelectric materials are known as a kind of electronic materials that can achieve two-way conversion of electrical and mechanical energy, widely used in car manufacturing and precision positioners, as well as medical and healthcare facilities. The demand for high-end piezoelectric materials and components has been increasing by 13.2% annually, but still the market is almost monopolized by the companies outside of China.

“Breaking the technical barriers and developing domestic substitutes will contribute to our core competitiveness and high-quality sustainable development,” said Zhou Jiajun, director of the company. Its multi-layer piezoelectric ceramic actuator, developed based on the reverse piezoelectric effect of piezoelectric material, is expected to achieve import substitution and help the company expand domestic and foreign market, as it can be applied to the production of dynamic optical instruments, precision displacement platform, dispensing valves and automotive fuel injectors.

Building a leading industrial base of optoelectronic materials in China

Lv Wenzhong, president of WZAMI of HUST, said, “With the focus placed on optoelectronic technology industry, we can bolster the docking of innovation chain and industrial chain to incubate high-tech companies and help them thrive.” The Institute sees the establishment of innovation consortia as the opportunity to promote the industrial application of scientific and technological advances with a phased plan. By agglomerating the resources of talent and technologies, the Institute aims to enhance innovation capacity in a comprehensive and coordinated way. By forming a positive circulation of “scientific and technological advances – products – market development – startup enterprises”, WZAMI of HUST will spare no efforts to reach its goal of incubating one enterprise every quarter this year to continuously increase the share of scientific and technological advances that have been applied into production.

Talent is indispensable to the two-way integration of innovation chain and industrial chain. At present, WZAMI of HUST, a provincial-level R&D institution, has nurtured arrays of talent with strong innovation capacity, which provides technological and intellectual support for Wenzhou’s industrial development. This group of talent is also the technological reserve for the upgrading of traditional pillar industries and the development of strategic emerging industries. In a nutshell, WZAMI of HUST is striving to make its high-level innovation platform the “source” of Wenzhou’s scientific and technological innovation and the “incubator” of emerging industries of the city.

Lv Wenzhong said WZAMI of HUST will draw upon the influence of HUST by mobilizing the resources for innovation and entrepreneurship at home and abroad, introducing relevant R&D teams to Wenzhou, and establishing innovation and entrepreneurship system featuring “talent introduction and nurturing – scientific and technological R&D – commercialization and application of technological advances” as part of its efforts to make Wenzhou a leading industrial base of optoelectronic materials in China and a national high-level innovation-driven city.

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