Q&A at 2017 Innovation Vitality Index Release Conferenc
On July 3, 2017 Nanjing Jiangbei New Area and Zijin Media Think Tank (ZMT) jointly issued the Report of the 2017 Innovation vitality index of Nanjing Jiangbei New Area. At the press conference, reporters eagerly asked questions to know more details about the R&D of the index. Answers were given by Fang Jing, Director of Sci-tech Innovation and Policy Planning Bureau of Jiangbei New Area Administrative Committee, Professor Min Xueqin, Secretary General of ZMT, Dr. Pei Lei and Dr. Yan Jiaqi, researchers of ZMT. 

Questions from Xinhua Daily

Q: Mr. Fang, the “Innovation Vitality Index” is released on the occasion of the second anniversary of the establishment of “Jiangbei New Area”. Is there any relation between it and the construction of an independent innovation pilot area here?

Fang Jing, Director of Sci-tech Innovation and Policy Planning Bureau of Jiangbei New Area Administrative Committee

Fang Jing: To construct an independent innovation pilot area is the strategic development direction of Jiangbei New Area. The provincial Party Committee also expects the area to become the origin and pioneer of innovation for the whole province. We hope to adopt a quantitative method to depict the innovative vitality of the New Area. And that is why we cooperated with ZMT.

In compiling the index, we wanted to establish a scientific index evaluation system and a set of data-testing methods concerning innovative elements under the guidance of the strategic orientation of the independent innovation pilot area, get objective results through quantitative research, and propose sound advice. By doing so, we compared both with ourselves and other advanced areas to find our advantages and disadvantages, so as to direct our future development.

Q: My second question is that in the report of the innovation vitality index, there is a noticeable downward trend from 2013 to 2014. Why?

Dr. Pei Lei, Researcher of ZMT
Dr. Pei: There are several reasons. Firstly, the downward trend in some way indicates that our report is credible and faithful to the government's original data and the 2013-2014 slowdown is thus a real reflection of the statistical caliber during that period. Secondly, in the past few years, the relocation of chemical industry and some other industries as well as the import and export trade fluctuations in Jiangbei New Area all have hampered the local economy, leading to decrease in certain years. But in general, the indicators present a growing trend, especially those reflecting the innovation vitality. 


Questions from Economic Daily

Q: Doctor Pei, would you please tell us whether the index is exclusive to Jiangbei New Area, or applicable to all New Areas nationwide? Do the other 18 New Areas have their own innovative data? What distinguishes the index of Jiangbei New Area from theirs?
Dr. Pei: Innovation is an extremely crucial requirement for the development of state-level new areas. That is why many of them are making evaluations on it. But as we know, different new areas have its own orientations. Therefore, the Innovative Vitality Index System was made in line with the development goal and tasks of Jiangbei New Area. We collected data to locate and find problems and try to address them. In this process, we supported the government in making decisions in order to tell a better story about Jiangbei’s development, which is also our original intention to release this index. 

Questions from The Paper
Q: Doctor Yan, did your group build a big database in the R&D process of Jiangbei New Area Innovative Vitality Index? How will it accelerate the innovative development of Jiangbei, Nanjing, or even the whole province?

Dr. Yan Jiaqi, Researcher of ZMT

Dr. Yan: Our research group collected and collated a large amount of data, and conducted professional analysis of the reliability and authority of its source. We narrowed over 200 observation indexes down to 31 and then established a professional database. We hope that this database and the index system will support Jiangbei New Area in deciding its top-level design and overall plan. Also, we think high of the New Area for its inviting research institutes and using big data to lead its innovative economic development. We are confident that such deed will be a new normal and new engine of the economic development of New Area in the future.

Question from JiangSu Radio

Q: Prof. Min, as far as I know, ZMT has conducted such index project for a few times. Is this what think tanks usually do? What is the plan for ZMT? Will ZMT and Jiangbei New Area work together on some projects in the future?  


Prof. Min Xueqin
School of Social and Behavioral Science of Nanjing University, Secretary General of ZMT

Prof. Min: Thank you for keeping track of Zijin Media Think Tank (ZMT). As you said, the Innovation Vitality Index of Jiangbei New Area is the third index released by ZMT to the whole nation and the globe. Every year on December 28, we would release Chinese People’s Economic Confidence Index to predict the economic tendency in the next year. On December 28, 2015 and the same day in 2016, we have released two such index reports. On July 10, 2016, we released the first Chinese A-share Listed Companies’ Innovation Index, which assessed the innovation capability of nearly 3000 listed companies and was conductedindependently by the Center for Big Data and Social Computing ZMT.
As a third party, ZMT is independent and impartial in assessing the innovation vitality of Jiangbei New Area. ZMT and Jiangbei New Area both came into being only two years ago. At the beginning of this year, ZMT and Jiangbei New Area started working together to invent the first index on innovation vitality of state-level new areas in order to forge Jiangbei New Area into the source of innovation. In the future, we will work closer. Except for releasing innovation vitality index every year, we are preparing for the establishment of ZijinJiangbei Innovation Institute.

Questions from Chinese Securities Journal

Q: I’d like to ask the research team a few questions. As the data in this report are from the government, will you extend the data collection to companies in the new area in the future? Will you conduct qualitative researches such as talks and interviews? Besides, the innovation vitality index includes four first-grade indicators, dozens of second-grade indicators and thirty-one indicators for further observation. Will you adjust the indicators in the future to ensure the indicators to be more complete and scientific?

Dr. Pei: Your questions are great. This is what we want to prove and what we want to do. Quantitative data reflect the fundamentals. Meanwhile, some subjective data, such as residents’ happiness and entrepreneurs’ confidence, also influence and reflect the innovation vitality. In the design of the index in the future, we hope to add some subjective data and we are already working on it.

This report selected thirty-one indicators for further observation out of 247 indicators. We chose very carefully on the basis of credibility and completeness of data. If time were given longer, we can derive more sound results.

What’s more, data collected from companies are also an important part in the innovation vitality index. We conducted the innovation index of listed companies last year. The number of patents listed companies applied for and in which field these patents belong to are all judging factors. In regards to innovation vitality index of Jiangbei New Area, we have established the patent database and we go to every Intellectual Property Office to collect data every week to check out what patents they applied and what the patents are. We hope these data could make the innovation vitality index more faithful to the reality.