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Eight Academicians Convene for a Special Conference on New Materials in Foshan: What Makes This Event Stand Out?

send date:2023-12-25 14:26

There is a highly regarded forum within the provincial materials industry, having successfully navigated 16 years with the participation of numerous academicians and experts. Meanwhile, there is a city which stands as the sole city in the nation designated for comprehensive reform in the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry, with a particular focus on the new materials sector. When these two forces intersect, what kind of sparks will be ignited?

From December 9th to 10th, the 2023 Guangdong Materials Development Forum was successfully held in Foshan, with over 700 representatives from the materials industries nationwide.

This forum was jointly organized by the Foshan National High-tech Industrial Development Zone Management Committee, the Guangdong Materials Research Society, and Institute of New Materials, Guangdong Academy of Sciences. The forum was unfolded through various forms such as forum presentations, sub-forum exchanges, youth forums, and achievement displays. It serves as a vibrant technological force, providing strong impetus for Foshan to develop as a manufacturing powerhouse and supporting Guangdong to become a leading province in manufacturing.


Over 700 representatives attended the forum. (Photo by Liu Ming)

Three Major Highlights in the Forum

Since its establishment in 2007, the Guangdong Materials Development Forum has hosted seven influential academic conferences, becoming a high-level forum with considerable appeal in Guangdong Province.

Compared with previous events, this forum themed “Innovation in New Materials and High-Quality Development of Manufacturing Industry”, has presented three notable highlights:

The first point is the record-high number of participants. During the event, over 700 representatives attended, which is rare under the condition of tight research funding. Additionally, there were more than 50 special guests, including distinguished experts and scholars from the materials field, as well as participants from universities and research institutes. This fully reflects the strong research capability and vibrant academic exchange of Guangdong's materials community.

The second point is the further improvement and expansion in the quality and scope of the forum's academic presentations. Regarding the quality of the presentations, this forum included 13 main reports, featuring presentations by 8 academicians including Ye Hengqiang, Pan Fusheng, Peng Xiaojun, Dong Shaoming, covering various fields of materials research. These presentations received a warm welcome from the attending representatives.

During the event, there were also 180 sub-forum reports focusing on the development of advanced basic materials, key strategic materials and cutting-edge new materials, and the transformation and upgrading of manufacturing industry. Participants discussed, exchanged and shared on hotspots of key technologies of new materials and the "Double Ten" industry cluster development, delivering excellent experience.

Referring to the scope of the report, the number of sub-forums has increased from 7 to 11 compared with the last time. These 11 sub-forums are diverse and rich in content, gathering advanced material innovation technologies, innovative talents, and innovative achievements, providing new material science and technology innovation solutions for the high-quality development of the manufacturing industry. Among them, two sub-forums are related to the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, namely, "Technology Finance Boosts the Development of New Materials and Manufacturing Industries" and "Innovation and Entrepreneurship of New Material Science and Technology Achievements" , promoting the industrialization of research results.


At the event, the Second Young Science and Technology Award of Guangdong Materials Research Society for 2022 was presented. (Photo by Liu Ming)

Another significant aspect of the event is the introduction of the Youth Forum. This year, in a bid to empower and highlight the roles of young individuals, the forum has firstly established a Youth Forum section. It brings together a diverse group of talented young individuals, including those recognized for their achievements in defense, excellence, innovation, and more. The forum aims to showcase the innovative thinking and accomplishments of young science and technology professionals in the current era, infusing the event with the energy and vitality of youth. During the opening ceremony, the organizers also presented the Second Young Science and Technology Award of Guangdong Materials Research Society for 2022.

The Potential for Material Innovation

Innovation stands out as one of the primary driving forces behind Guangdong's high-quality development.

According to Yang Jun, a member of the Party Group and Deputy Director of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology, the province has been actively constructing an innovation ecosystem encompassing the entire process, combining basic research, technological breakthroughs, industrialization of achievements, science and technology finance, and talent support. The focus is on creating an innovative environment that not only attracts but also retains talent.

The latest Chinese Regional Innovation Capability Assessment Report indicates that Guangdong has been in the leading position in the country for seven consecutive years. In 2022, the province allocated 440 billion yuan for research and development, accounting for over 3.4% of the regional gross domestic product. With over 1.34 million researchers and 69,000 high-tech enterprises, Guangdong maintains a leading position in key scientific and technological indicators such as the number of high-tech enterprises, effective invention patents, and PCT international patent applications.

Considered as the foundation of inventions and industrial progress, the mastery of advanced materials positions an entry to take the lead in the development of high-tech industries.

In recent years, Guangdong has placed significant emphasis on the innovative development of the new materials industry, explicitly stating the goal of cultivating strategic pillar industry clusters for advanced materials and strategic emerging industry clusters for cutting-edge new materials. In 2022, the scale of Guangdong's new materials industry reached 2.7 trillion yuan, placing it at the forefront nationwide.

In Foshan, the new materials industry has always been a focal point.

Liu Jie, a member of the standing Committee of the CPC Foshan Municipal Committee and Executive Deputy Mayor, highlights that Foshan's advanced materials industry now spans eight major categories. In 2021, the advanced new materials industry in Foshan achieved an output value of 567.14 billion yuan, constituting 21% of the total industrial output value. There are leading enterprises include Xingfa Aluminum Profiles, Fenglu Aluminum, JMA Aluminum, LESSO Technology, Rifeng Group, TORAY Industries, as well as "Hidden Champion" enterprises such as Jingda Liya Special Enamel Wire, Shendamei Special Aluminum Alloy, and Winner New Materials.

At present, Foshan is fully committed to implementing specific development plans for high-quality development. The city is steadfast in promoting the manufacturing industry and striving to transform from being a major manufacturing city to a powerful manufacturing city. According to Liu Jie, this transition urgently requires new materials, high-tech solutions, and emerging industries to provide the impetus and support.

Foshan is actively shaping an effective and interconnected industrial landscape. Efforts are underway to construct the Northern Foshan Strategic New Industrial Park and ten innovative leading manufacturing parks, providing a broader development space for the material industry.

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