RAND Corporation to Help Guangzhou Development District Craft Innovation Strategy for New 'Knowledge City'

For Release

March 23, 2011

The RAND Corporation has signed an agreement to help the Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development District in Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China, to develop a strategic plan for a system of policies, incentives and other practices to support technological innovation in Knowledge City, a planned new development in Guangdong for 300,000 residents.

James A. Thomson, president and CEO of RAND, signed the contract today with Ling Weixian, director general of the Administrative Committee of Guangzhou Development District. Thomson also met with Wang Yang, secretary of the Guangdong Committee of the Communist Party of China, the southern Chinese province's top office. RAND is a nonprofit research organization based in Santa Monica, Calif.

"We are delighted with this opportunity to continue our work in China," Thomson said. "RAND seeks to conduct public policy research that will promote international security, strengthen societies and position them for long-term economic growth. This project with the Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development District is a good example of what we at RAND strive for: an objective analysis leading to practical and effective solutions that will benefit not only Guangdong Province, but other places in China and potentially other countries around the globe."

"The Guangzhou Development District is very honored to work with RAND on this Knowledge City innovation project, and this contract signing ceremony is the starting point for our cooperative research project," Ling said. "We hope that through this cooperation, RAND can provide us with a portfolio of policy advice on attracting global talent and developing a knowledge economy. This signing ceremony today is just the start of cooperation between our two sides.

"I hope that RAND and GDD can develop a long-term strategic partnership and conduct in-depth analysis in areas including innovation policy, and economic and workforce development."

The goal of the project is to help the Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development District develop a strategy to attract world-class scientific, engineering and entrepreneurial talent to start and develop high technology companies in Knowledge City, a planned development in the Guangzhou region in southern China. The Guangzhou Development District was created in 1984 to enhance economic development of the region.

The RAND project has three goals: assess the existing models of innovation and technology development, financing and commercialization in the development district and the Guangdong Province; analyze the applicability of a selective set of international best practices for enabling innovation, technological development and commercialization; and develop an outline of a strategic plan for policy to create and support conditions in the development district.

The project will be led by Debra Knopman, vice president and director of the RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment division; Keith Crane, a RAND senior economist; and Howard Shatz, a RAND senior economist. The final report is expected to be completed in a little more than a year.

RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment works to improve the development, management, and protection of society's essential built and natural assets, as well as related social assets such as safety and security. RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment conducts research and analysis in homeland security, critical infrastructure protection, public and occupational safety, transportation and transportation safety, the environment, energy, economic development, space, and telecommunications.

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