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Several opinions on Encouraging the Development of Foreign-funded Research and Development Centers in Shanghai (2015)

Updated:2017-07-24

The Several opinions on Encouraging the Development of Foreign-funded Research and Development Centers in Shanghai (as the "Opinions") set guidelines on matters ranging from work mechanisms, cooperation innovation, scientific research projects, intellectual property, customs clearance and inspection, to introduction of professionals and fiscal and taxation policies to establish a more internationally based mechanism and support the development of foreign-funded research and development centers. They took effect on Nov 1, 2015.

According to the Opinions, Shanghai encourages all kinds of foreign-funded research and development centers, or centers that undertake global research and development projects, to open in the city. Foreign-funded research and development centers refers to those organizations set up by foreign investors that involve science and related scientific and technological research and experiments, and includes service providers for the experiments.The centers’objectives involve fundamental research, application research and product development. They can exist in various forms, such as independent legal entities like foreign-invested joint ventures, cooperative businesses and wholly foreign-owned companies, or independent R&D departments or branches, which,while not independent legal entities,are part of enterprises invested with foreign funds.

The centers that undertake global research and development projects are independent technological platforms that can undertake the key steps and most of the processes of a global research project, as well as serve as the most advanced R&D centers within a group.

Those centers that undertake global research and development projects are provided with four preferential policies as follows: they will receive subsidies according to the city's regulations on encouraging multinational companies to set up regional headquarters in Shanghai; green channels will be opened for non-trade payments, transfer contract registration and tax payment decisions; priorities in credit ratings and categorized management levels will be given to them; and streamlined examination and approval procedures will be applied to imported biomedical samples and reagents.

The Opinions also urge the city to improve its services to attract more innovative resources to settle in Shanghai. Foreigners will enjoy more convenience in applying for visas, residence permits, and permanent residence. Appraisal procedures for senior professional positions of high-end talents will be much easier. The equipment,accessories and samples imported by foreign-funded R&D centers will be subject to easier inspection and custom clearance procedures.

The document also calls for foreign-funded R&D centers to integrate with local innovative resources. They are encouraged to cooperate with universities, colleges, research institutes and enterprises in various ways, such as joint efforts in the construction of public service platforms and personnel training bases and participation in government-funded research projects.

The Opinions are also applicable to investors from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan who set up their R&D centers in Shanghai.

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