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Key industries propel area to intelligent manufacturing future

By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-04

Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone (Hannan) is focused on industrial innovation and upgrading, particularly in intelligent technology and the general aviation industry, according to a senior official.

Peng Hao, director of the Wuhan, Hubei province-based development zone, said that setting up robotics and smart home hubs will further enhance the zone's strength.

"Wuhan possesses strong manufacturing advantages. The development zone should establish industrial systems to leapfrog from traditional manufacturing to intelligent manufacturing," Peng said.

"Technological innovation is crucial for a company to maintain outstanding output and sustainable development," said Zhu Yanfeng, CEO of Dongfeng Motor Corp, an automaker based in Wuhan.

In the first half of this year, Dongfeng sold 1.85 million vehicles, ranking No 2 in the industry. The company sold 700,000 own-brand cars, up 7.04 percent year-on-year.

According to Zhu, Dongfeng will mainly develop technologies in fields such as new materials and new energy in the next five to 10 years.

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Innovative industries

A world-level robot competition was held in the zone in June.

"The integration of robots and artificial intelligence will bring huge influence in fields including industrial manufacturing, elderly and disabled care, educational technology and modern finance," said Zhang Jianwei, counselor of the competition.

In addition to hosting activities related to the industries based there, the development zone will build a high-end intelligent equipment innovation platform.

The idea is to support independent research and innovation, introduce new technologies and coordinate the production and research into injecting "innovation power" into the robotics industry, according to an official of the development zone.

In accordance with the Made in China 2025 strategy, the development zone will support the establishment of industries - each 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) in scale - and projects, such as automobile components manufacturing, general aviation, new energy and new materials, and port logistics.

"General aviation is a comprehensive industry. We will increase our investment in Wuhan," said Peng Weiyi, deputy manager of China VAST Industrial Urban Development Co, a co-investor in the construction of Hannan general aviation airport.

In March, the development zone signed an agreement worth 28.3 billion yuan with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co and China VAST Industrial Urban Development to build the airport.

At 22 meters high and covering an area of 20,000 square meters, it is the largest single hangar general aviation airport in the world.

"We have confidence in the general aviation industry here. We will make use of the Wuhan industrial park as a stage from which to promote this international-standard airport," said Peng Weiyi.

In 2015, the development zone received approval to establish an industrial park for general aviation and related sectors.

By 2025, the development zone will have built out strategic emerging industries and established the airport as the base for the World Fly-in Expo, a pilot zone for the national general aviation industry, a center of Chinese aviation sports industries, Central China's aviation hub and a hub for corporate aircraft in Wuhan.


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