Updated on 24 January 2013
But it is not just about keeping talent happy - the need for talent to be readily available in the area is also important. This is an area where TEDA excels, given that there are 200 tertiary institutions within the 150-km city circle of Beijing-Tianjin. Every year, more than 5,000 graduates major in chemistry, biology, medicine and other related majors, and there are nearly 200,000 personnel engaged in related scientific research. As Mads Kronborg of Lundbeck said, "[One of the reasons] for us to choose Tianjin is that there is a sound pool of talent in Tianjin with experience in pharmaceutical operations."
Building a livable environment is not just about activities for staff members, but also creating a modern, energy and resource efficient environment where companies can comply with present and future environmental legislation and save money and raw materials in the process.
One way to achieve this has been the industrial symbiosis (IS) scheme. Funded by the EU's Switch Asia project, the Chinese government and the UK government's environment department, the four-year project in TEDA is the first IS project in Asia and aims to get companies together to find out if they can use the waste products of other companies in their industrial processes. In one example of IS, food processing company Cargill was able to provide its nutrient-rich industrial effluent to New Water Source Treatment Plant, a sludge treatment company, which needed nutrients in its water feed to give the biological organisms what they needed to break down the sludge. So far, the IS project has achieved 38 synergies that have reduced costs by RMB 12 million (US$1.9 million), led to additional sales of RMB 90 million (US$ 14.2 million), avoided the emission of 32,000 tonnes of CO2.
And when Danish biotech company Novozymes Group expanded its Tianjin facilities in 2011, Friis Arne Petersen, Ambassador for Denmark in China, gave speeches thanking TEDA for their support in working towards a low carbon economy.
Despite the successes, there are challenges, mainly surrounding the quickly changing demands of the industry and the need to maintain levels of growth and investment in innovation, whilst also battling the constraints of regulation.