Beijing's national innovation center Zhongguancun unveiled an intellectual property services platform, IP Online, at a seminar on Thursday.
Supported by multiple government agencies and developed by Beijing Intellectual Property Operations Management Co Ltd, or Beijing IP, the system has integrated global innovation resources and information to link innovators, capital and service providers and buyers.
With its construction starting in 2015, the platform is still undergoing improvements and will be completed by 2020. Total investment will be 75 million yuan ($10.9 million). The platform has been developed to help commercialize the achievements of universities and research institutions and provide financing and patent services for high-tech companies.
For high-tech startups, IP Online offers equity and debt financing solutions. They can use Zhirongbao, the nation's first IP-pledge loan service with no strings attached, to gain funds.
Launched by Beijing IP last year, Zhirongbao allows startups to use their intellectual property as sole collateral, without the need to combine other assets or credit. When a company applies for the service, Beijing IP will appraise the applicant with the bank and evaluate its intellectual property with relevant agencies.
Investors can use IP Online to browse projects and find those that they are interested in.
New online platform to improve services
The platform also provides IP exhibition, trade, analysis, appraisal and value-added services.
"Fast-developing internet technology has provided new opportunities for the upgrading of IP services," said Wang Shuxian, an official from the Beijing Intellectual Property Office. "IP Online is an example of effective integration of IP services and the internet."
Beijing IP has supported many startup projects since it was founded in 2014. One of the earliest projects focused on industrialization of a lithium battery technology called STOBA, adding a special material to battery cells to improve safety and avoid risk of explosion and fire in case of damage to the exterior.
The technology was introduced from a Taiwan-based institution and is now managed by an asset-light company. It has been estimated that annual sales of electric cars in China will reach 5 million by 2020, and 15 to 20 percent of them will be equipped with the STOBA technology.
Last year, Zhongguancun-based companies were granted 36,000 patents, including 15,000 invention patents. They had more than 3,800 patent-pledge loans over the same period, showing "a strong demand for IP operations", said Zhao Huijun, deputy director of the Zhongguancun administrative committee.
The companies currently own 61,700 valid patents, accounting for more than 60 percent of the total number in Beijing, she said.
By Zhang Zhao
Source: China Daily