"Innovation & Development: MNCs in Shanghai" Summit was successfully held last Thursday in Yangpu District, Shanghai, where 12 enterprises stood out from the top 40, taking the best innovation practice awards. During the coffee break, I overheard what a corporate representative said, "it was only one or two minutes on the podium, but we have been working on this for 10 years". Actually the words that impressed me are true portrayal of many award-winning companies.
Regenerate toothpaste of Unilever is such an example. It came out after almost 10 years of research and development. The project team drew lessons from advanced bone injury repair technology in the medical community and applied a number of patent results to the small toothpaste. Now the products come into the markets of many countries like UK, France, Italy and Brazil, getting much-better-than-expected sales.
Zeng Xiwen, Vice President for Unilever North Asia said that "the global R & D center set up by Unilever in Shanghai fully assembles the advantages of R & D personnel and scientific research institutions, which is the mostfundamental reason for the successful implementation of this project".
Another award-winning team, the Chinese engineering team of GE aviation provided technical supports for China's first regional jet ARJ21. Patrick Wang, Executive Engineering Leader of GE Aviation China attended the summit and said, "Decade of grinding sword is the spirit of the aviation industry. There is no shortcut but step-by-step accumulation and sustained efforts for perfection. And you also need courage to challenge what never done and confidence and determination to overcome difficulties."
The activity selecting the best innovation cases is not only a showcase and approval for the innovation results of MNCs over the past years, but also incentives, to both the companies and the city of Shanghai in the process of building an innovation center with the global influence. As Chen Jingxi, Deputy Director of Shanghai Municipal Information Office said in the opening speech, the activity and the summit played important roles in the innovation development of Shanghai.
Steffan Huber, President of Covestro Greater China delivered a keynote speech, "We appreciate the recognition and acknowledgement from the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce and Information Office of Shanghai Municipality for our collaborative effort with Tongji University. As the inventor of polyurethane and polycarbonates, we have experienced the value that innovation brings, not only for our business but also the community."
It is almost a common point for these multinational companies that paying high attention to innovation and making heavy investment. Kong Fa, Vice President of Siemens Healthcare Greater China put it bluntly, "Innovation is DNA of Siemens". Every year Siemens inputs almost 1 billion euros in the global R & D, accounting for 8.1% of the annual revenue. There are 1687 inventions every year and 4 patent applications every day. The huge amount of investment promotes the continuous technological development in various fields.
Innovation is a durative verb rather than an instant one; it is a self-conscious habit rather than a singer task. Achievements come from long-term accumulation and they are rewards for the habit. The activity closed, but innovation will go further.
By Wang Jiaye