WIIO – mother of 200 high-tech firms
The front gate of WIIO in OVC. [Photo/WeChat account of Optics Valley of China]
The Wuhan Industrial Institute for Optoelectronics (WIIO) in the Wuhan Future City of the East Lake High-tech Development Zone (also known as Optics Valley of China, or OVC), has successfully incubated a 10-billion-yuan ($1.48 billion) optics, IC, display and intelligent device industrial cluster containing more than 200 high-tech firms in this field.
WIIO has won many titles, being recognized as a national sci-tech enterprise incubator and national professional makerspace. Its innovative operation model has been recognized and adopted in other places outside Wuhan.
The institute has broken down many institutional and systematic barriers to achieve the market-based allocation of technological resources. As early as 2013, WIIO has been promoting the commercialization of technologies developed by universities directly administered by the Ministry of Education, since which the right of use, disposal and profit have been gradually delegated from the nation to research institutions, universities and other government-affiliated units.
"Professional services, investments and incubation are key to effective technological supply," said Han Dao, general manager of WIIO. In 2016, the institute established a 100-million-yuan entrepreneurship fund, which has supported firms such as Sunshine Electronics and UVLEDtek.
"Universities are paying more attention to basic innovation, while enterprises often fail to tackle bottleneck problems, which is why we act as a link between the two," said Han. For this reason, the institute has cultivated a team of about 30 professional optoelectronic engineers to overcome weak links in the technology transfer process.
By establishing international technology transfer institutions and giving international training sessions, WIIO has set up connections with more than one thousand optoelectronic firms throughout the world, helping OVC broaden cooperation channels with over 40 countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.