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2021 AABI Summit and Awards Ceremony was successfully held!

2021-12-03

The 2021 AABI Summit and Awards Ceremony, under the support of Torch High Technology Industry Development Center, Ministry of Science and Technology of China (hereinafter referred to as “Torch Center”) and Science and Technology Committee of Shanghai Municipality (hereinafter referred to as “STCSM”), was successfully organized by the joint efforts of Asian Association of Business Incubation (hereinafter referred to as “AABI”), Shanghai Technology Innovation Center (hereinafter referred to as “STIC”), Thai Business Incubators and Science Parks Association (hereinafter referred to as “Thai-BISPA”) and Shanghai Caohejing Hi-tech Park Innovation Center on November 23rd, 2021.  The annual flagship event of AABI was co-hosted by Thai-BISPA in Thailand and STIC (AABI Secretariat) in China with real-time interactions, and was simultaneously broadcast live with rerun video on the webpage of www.tbd2021.com


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AABI Association Members and Incubator Members from Australia, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia and other countries and regions, enjoyed the event ONLINE. Nearly 50 guests, most of whom were major representatives of science parks, business incubators, innovation accelerators, tech-companies from the Yangtze River Delta region, joined the event ONSITE.  All the guests online and onsite were presented with a carefully-designed event with informative sessions including keynote panel, awards ceremony, acceleration program review as well as APJIE announcement!



Steadily-increasing influence of AABI, a professionally-operated cross-border network 


Asian Association of Business Incubation (AABI), founded in 2002, has been effectively facilitating information sharing and innovation collaboration among public services organizations, science parks and business incubators from different countries and regions for the past two decades. AABI is currently the largest cross-border network for business incubation in the Asian-Pacific region, with a particular significance in the context of the "Belt and Road" initiative. Torch Center and STIC are two of the AABI founding organizations. Under the support and guidance of Torch Center and STCSM, STIC has been the operation focal point of AABI Secretariat for now with a very mature operation mechanism. For the past 20 years, AABI, upholding the principles of communication, collaboration and sharing, has achieved fruitful outputs, with what AABI has achieved in 2021 being a good example to highlight its characteristics of both professionalism and flexibility in cross-border collaboration.


By the end of October 2021, AABI Association Members that remain effectively active cover a wide range of countries and regions including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Australia, Saudi Arabia, China, etc.,  remaining its high influence as a cross-border network of business incubation in the Asian-Pacific region. 


Shanghai Technology Innovation Center (STIC), as the operation focal point of AABI Secretariat, has started to design an AABI member-based enterprise information service system since 2020, which has been utilized to fulfill the purpose of application and assessment for AABI Awards of this year and realize effective sharing and quick matching of cross-border collaboration needs. At the same time, AABI Secretariat, in response to the new situation that there are several AABI Association members in India and other countries/regions, after thorough internal discussions, has put forward a proposal on the rights and obligations of AABI Association members and gotten the approval by the meeting with AABI President and Vice President, which demonstrates the professionalism of AABI Secretariat team in running and serving the cross-border network. 


 

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Continually-deepened collaboration of AABI, to actively empower the scaling-up of enterprises of different levels 


 Summit Highlight (I) 


Synergy Effects of Corporations and Incubators for the Global Growth of Startups 


The post-pandemic era has prompted more and more incubators to deeply think about how to link up with corporations and empower the development of innovation ecosystem. 

The panel discussion on the 2021 AABI Summit and Awards Ceremony, themed with "Collaborate to Innovate: The Synergy Effects of Corporations and Incubators towards the Global Growth of Startups" was vividly presented by three guest panelists: Mr. Lai Haofeng, General Manager of Shanghai Caohejing Hi-Tech Park Innovation Center;Mr. Zhang Jianfeng, VP & Head of Technology Innovation China Group, GLP Institute;Dr. Bu Lingshan, Head of Innovation, Stellantis Shanghai Tech Center.

The three guests shared their views and experiences from different perspectives, such as vertical focus, collaboration modes and case studies, which stimulated enthusiastic interactions and exchanges among online and offline participants.
Incubator Perspective: It is an inevitable trend for corporations to initiate open innovation under the context of greater incubation ecosystem. Corporations scout, collaborate and grow together with external startups based on their advantages of technical platforms, market channels, brand influence, professional teams, global networks, etc. For this reason, founders of the startups need to have a global vision and cross-cultural communication skills, and solidify their core technological advantages to maintain their disruptive opportunities. Incubators could be fully leveraged to facilitate the collaboration between corporations and startups and incubators could also take the initiative to design specific programs and business models on the basis of local policies, helping both ends to strengthen communications and explore collaborations. 

Corporation Perspective: Given the resourceful network and service capabilities, incubators have become an important kind of partners for corporations to seek for open innovation. Mr. Zhang, guest panelist from GLP, mentions that GLP takes the lead in investing in technology and innovation, continuously upgrading its technology and service capacities to build a leading vertical service ecosystem. Through investment, financing and incubation, GLP keeps pushing the frontier of digitalization, continuously improving the efficiency of asset operations and enhancing the value of asset. Dr. Bu, guest panelist from Stellantis, mentions that Stellantis, as the world’s leading automobile manufacturer and solution provider, has always been focusing, linking and empowering the development of tech-companies in this sector. Dr. Bu, from the perspective of cross-border trade, also points out that business opportunities for startups’ cross-border acceleration need to be precisely identified and then seized.

The two guest panelists from corporations also briefly analyzed the ways of integrating business elements in specific cases based on different vertical focuses and shared the experiences of internal coordination between innovation departments and other business bureaus. During the discussion, all the three guests expressed positive views on the Asia-Pacific innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, where business opportunities in new consumption and transportation sectors could be actively explored based on the advantages of this region, such as strong population growth, young and active consumers, etc. 


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Event Highlight (II) 


Deep Dive of the First Co-acceleration Program under AABI Framework


To support the cross-border acceleration of SMEs has always been a difficult but hot topic in international collaboration, and AABI has also been thinking about how to effectively leverage the resources in AABI member countries/regions for reducing the cost of cross-border acceleration and improving the possibilities of achieving concrete outputs. 

After almost half-a-year discussion and preparation, Shanghai Technology Innovation Center (STIC) and Thai Business Incubators and Science Parks Association (Thai-BISPA), both as the AABI Association Members, jointly initiated the first pilot co-acceleration program under the collaboration framework of AABI in June, 2021: Sino-Thai Acceleration Camp [ONLINE]. 

The final 14 CAMPers from both China and Thailand were carefully selected by following the procedure of Open Call, Professional Evaluation as well as Co-announcement on the Kickoff Day. The Sino-Thai Acceleration Camp has been jointly implemented by STIC and Thai-BISPA in the active cooperation with local accelerators from both sides, such as Withub, TusStar Shanghai, Caohejing Innovation Center, Xinze Incubator, HiMed from China and Thailand Science Park, Chiangmai University-Science and Technology Park, Chiangmai Innovation Incubation Center from Thailand. Acceleration plan for each of the CAMPers is customized according to their specific needs, such as linking with industrial experts, exploring potential customers, optimizing technical solutions, investigating business environment, networking with investors, etc., with the aim of helping these enterprises to deal with the most urgent need when starting cross-border business. For now, the Acceleration Camp has helped Lingzhi Technology, Real Star Rehabilitation and other CAMPers to successfully match with potential partners in both China and Thailand and start the real talk of business collaboration.

In the Review Video of the Acceleration Program, colleagues and partners who had been involved in this program shared their personal takeaways for joining in the program. They coincidentally mentioned that to enter an overseas market was a huge challenge for everyone, but the Acceleration Camp served as a booster, ultimately helping companies from both sides to better understand the potentiality of target markets and to make the decision whether it was the right timing to explore overseas market or not. At the same time, it was also realized that enterprises from both sides preferred to choose business partners from the Asia-Pacific region because of the geographical locations, which indicted a better match and success rate for cross-border acceleration. Therefore, the long-term connection and familiarity among AABI members have enabled us to quickly reach consensus and actively put into action, jointly facilitating the development of enterprises in such kind of acceleration programs. 


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Summit Highlight (III)


Announcement on the Co-working Framework of APJIE 


The announcement on the co-working framework of APJIE is also one of the highlights of the AABI Summit and Awards Ceremony. Asian Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (APJIE), launched in 2006, is one of the few English academic journals still being steadily operated with the support of a multilateral incubation network in the Asia-Pacific region.

Based on the information released in the event, Shanghai Technology Innovation Center, together with Shanghai Caohejing Hi-tech Park Innovation Center, Shanghai Withub Hi-tech Business Incubator, Shanghai Tongji Science Park Incubator and National Eastern Tech-transfer Center, will jointly support the new phase of development for APJIE. Meanwhile, a group of professors and experts from Tongji University are also invited to be members of a new editorial board.

During the Announcement session, experts and professors who have participated in editing and involved in sponsorship in the past, also expressed their wishes, suggestions and expectations for the new co-working teams. The new co-working framework of APJIE covers various types of players such as public organization, university-affiliated incubator, incubation center in the high-tech park and technology transfer organization, which will reach out to different perspectives and models of business incubation in the inno-ecosystem and further facilitate the integration of innovation practices with academic research.


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Deeply-enhanced communication facilitated by AABI Awards, highlighting the vitality of incubators, entrepreneurs and enterprises 

in the Asia-Pacific region

  

AABI Awards include three major types: AABI Incubator of the Year Award, AABI Torch Entrepreneur Awards (consisting of AABI Torch Best Entrepreneur Award, AABI Torch Award for Technology Transfer, AABI Torch Award for Internationalization, AABI Torch Award for Promising Entrepreneur) and AABI Torch Award for Best Nominee, which are set to encourage business incubation and enterprise acceleration in the AABI member country/region. After the serious selection by judges from 7 countries, winners from China, Thailand, South Korea, India, Indonesia and Malaysia are receiving the awards.


Among them, two incubators, Business Incubation Center of Prince of Songkla University Science Park (Thailand) and Suzhou Torch Innovation and Entrepreneurship Incubation Management Co., Ltd. (China), win the “AABI Incubator of the Year Award (2021)”; Mr. Wang Guanchun, Chairman and CEO of Shanghai Laiye Bot Network Technology Co., LTD (China) is the winner of the “2021 AABI Torch Best Entrepreneur Award”; six entrepreneurs from China, South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand receive the awards of 2021 AABI Torch Award for Technology Transfer, Internationalization and Promising Entrepreneur respectively; and the “AABI Torch Award for Best Nominee (2021)” goes to six enterprises from Malaysia, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Thailand and China. 


It is worth mentioning that the Best Nominee Award is a new AABI award set up under the initiative and promotion of STIC in this year. The enterprise with the highest score in the nomination list of each AABI member country/region is selected as the winner of this award, which further expands the influence of AABI network and encourages more attention and participation for the awards.

 

 

Mr. An Lei, Director of International Collaboration Department, Torch High Technology Industry Development Center, Ministry of Science and Technology of China, on behalf of the Torch Center, expressed his congratulations to the winners of 2021 AABI Torch Entrepreneur Awards. He mentioned that the winning entrepreneurs of this year were mainly from recent emerging industries, such as artificial intelligences, medical devices, agricultural technology, environmental protection, new materials, etc. and he would like to invite all the guests online and onsite to pay more attention to these entrepreneurs & enterprises, hoping to see more interactions to be achieved among the winning entrepreneurs and local ecosystems from different countries and regions.

Ms. Fang Dejia, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Department of Science and Technology Committee of Shanghai Municipality, delivered congratulation remarks onsite, emphasizing that there were no standardized indicators for or direct comparability among companies from different countries and regions, as all companies were first and foremost based on the local ecosystem and aimed to solve the real pain points in the local market; and adequate localization was no doubt a prerequisite for further internationalization. Actually, this is also the reason why AABI has launched the “AABI Torch Award for Best Nominee”, to showcase and promote proven and successful products and solutions from different countries and regions, so as to actively promote information sharing and acceleration business of these companies. 


The AABI Summit and Awards Ceremony is the annual flagship event of AABI, which is not only an intensive summary and presentation of what AABI has achieved in the past year, but also an in-depth discussion on how to continuously collaborate among AABI members. What has been mentioned in the opening remarks by AABI President as well as the closing remarks by AABI Vice President, echoes with, once again, the shared mission of business incubators and the importance of cross-border collaboration.


Mr. Phillip Kemp, AABI president: “… I think business incubation has played an important role in assisting regions to continue to be economically prosperous, and in working with companies, finding new solutions and new ways of doing business, as we overcome the challenges and impact of COVID on our people and on our economies…”


Ms. Suwipa Wanasathop, AABI Vice President: “…I truly believe that the strong relationship of our community is the most significant asset for the post-pandemic economic recovery. Through the concept of community as a platform, we can actively work together and collaborate more, to strengthen our ecosystem and offer the most beneficial values to our enterprises at all levels…”


If you are interested in more details about the AABI Awards, the Acceleration Camp, APJIE… 

Please feel free to contact AABI Secretariat:

aabi_network@163.com


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