Beijing has been ranked as China's most popular place for major companies across the globe to boost open innovation, which is a model aimed at promoting integrated efforts in innovation, such as sharing data between firms, as a way to spark new ideas, according to a report published on Saturday.
By the end of September, 163 companies－including Fortune 500 companies and Fortune China 500 companies－had developed open innovation in Beijing, said a report published by Beijing Z-innoway, an institution founded by the Beijing municipal government to boost innovation.
Among the 72 international companies that are exploring open innovation in China, 55 are in Beijing, according to the report.
Nie Lixia, general manager of Beijing Z-innoway Technology Services Co Ltd, announced the report during the International Innovation Fair at the Zhongguancun Innovation and Entrepreneurship Festival 2018.
"Compared with Shanghai and Shenzhen, Beijing started earlier and developed faster," Nie said. "Beijing has been building innovation platforms and holding innovation contests to attract big companies and talent to participate, which have significantly raised investment efficiency."
Shanghai ranks No 2 nationwide with 134 open innovation firms, and Shenzhen No 3 with 123, according to the report.
Advocates say open innovation helps small firms benefit from the research of resource-rich larger companies, while big firms can benefit from the nimbleness and ingenuity of smaller startups.
Wang Wenjun, vice-president of China's steel giant Sinosteel Corp, took part in an event at the International Innovation Fair, and said it was the first time he had talked directly with such small startups.
"The innovation resources from society are richer than any individual company," he said. "Once the resources can be connected via a platform, it will solve the problems of large companies, such as us, and help the startups to transfer their innovative achievements."
The report shows that companies' innovation mainly focuses on industrial manufacturing, information technology and finance sectors.
A number of foreign companies, including Intel Inc, Walmart Inc and Daimler AG, have cooperated with the institute, mainly in seeking startup tech teams and recruitment.