At present, JITRI has established 58 professional research institutes of various types with more than 10,000 R&D personnel. Within JITRI are 156 leading industry talents, 167 outstanding researchers, more than 1,000 high-level talents of various types. JITRI has accumulated more than 1,000 scientific and technological companies, assisted with more than 5,500 scientific and technological achievements, and served more than 15,000 companies. The output value of its R&D industry exceeds RMB 20 billion yearly.
Focusing on the biomedical division, as of 2020, 107 joint innovation centers, 55 professional research institutes, and more than 100 strategic collaboration institutions between China and overseas have been established.
1. Helping early-stage companies achieve commercialization
A common problem for startups to face is taking their product from the idea stage to commercialization. Many entrepreneurs have broken against the seemingly impenetrable wall of decreasing funding or a viable industrialization method.
For example, an early-stage company may receive initial government resources, such as a grant, and capital investment. The company may spend that initial money rapidly so that upon arriving at the research stage, when the company is ready to begin product development or industrialization, the lack of funds means a higher likelihood that the company will fail.
Technology-focused companies, especially those with a long research and development period, continuous investment through the length of the project can be more beneficial than one-time influxes of cash. JITRI has developed a strategy to address this need.
During the process of early-stage scientific research to commercialization, by guaranteeing continuous capital flow, JITRI can help companies address market failures and market risks.
The solution JITRI provides is supporting original basic research, applied technology research, product development and pilot testing of the project, including before entering the market through two types of funding: scientific research funding and angel investment. The company will be guided to enter its A round of market-based financing, and the funds obtained can help companies increase production capacity.
In addition, for some key companies that are led by scientists whose technology has reached a world-leading level, the support model of combining allocation and investment is implemented.
2. JITRI and the science and technology reform system
JITRI aims to build a new type of research and development institution influential in the world and at the forefront in China, and to become a bridge between science and technology within Jiangsu.
Since it is proving ground for reforming scientific and technological systems, JITRI’s operations and management model is to get rid of the traditional governmental barriers.
JITRI’s organizational structure consists of three levels. The highest level is the Provincial Industrial Technology Research Institute established by the provincial government. The middle level is professional research closely related to market demand. The institute implements the director responsibility system under the leadership of the board of directors attended by the leaders of the institute, focusing on the accumulation of innovative resources, technology research and development, and achievement transformation. The base level is the innovation center, which is jointly organized by the research institute, leading companies, and R&D teams. It was established to focus on technological R&D innovation and business model innovation.
At present, JITRI has established strategic partnerships with 78 universities and R&D institutions around the world, including 8 overseas collaboration platforms in Houston, Boston, San Francisco, Stuttgart, London and other places. Its universities partnerships include Harvard University, Oxford University, and Cambridge University. Since 2016, a total of more than RMB 6.7 billion has been invested within JITRI.
3. JITRI’s projects and partnerships
Some of JITRI’s partners within China include leading biopharmaceutical and medical device companies such as CStone Pharmaceuticals, Chia Tai Tianqing, Luye Pharmaceuticals, Yangtze River Zilong, Yuyue Technology, and Mindray Medical.
Overseas joint innovation centers include the China-US Biotech Innovation Center (CUBIO) in Houston, the Canadian MaRS Innovation Center in Toronto, and the China-Denmark Innovation Center in Copenhagen.
JITRI has been a major contributor to China Focus, a partnering event co-hosted by MyBioGate and CUBIO for healthcare and life science companies, participating from 2018 to 2020 in locations such as San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Hamburg, Vienna. JITRI also took part in the China Focus Global Series Forum, such as the 2020 “China Focus COVID-19 Project Partnering Online Roadshow” and the “2020 MyBioGate China Focus Online Roadshow”. Activities in the roadshows included “special sessions” to link high-quality global resources.
Through hosting these activities, MyBioGate has screened 50+ high-quality companies for JITRI from around the world, focusing on the fields of medical devices, IVD, and innovative drugs. Of those 50 companies, 20 communicated with JITRI, resulting in a photoacoustic laser breast cancer early screening company, Tomowave, led by Dr. Alexander A. Oraevsky to land in China.
In addition, I-Mab Biopharma, within the JITRI incubator, had its IPO on the Nasdaq in January 2020. In September, I-Mab and the pharmaceutical giant AbbVie reached a US$1.74 billion global development and commercialization agreement for TJC4 (CD47 antibody). In May 2021, it received a capital investment of approximately US$418 million led by Hillhouse Capital Group. This was the largest private financing in the history of China’s biotechnology field.
4. MyBioGate, a consulting company high-quality companies to enter JITRI
MyBioGate has become a key component for JITRI to source high-quality life science companies. It has also become one of its most important strategic partners in the global biomedical field.
In the past 3 years of collaboration with JITRI, MyBioGate has relied its worldwide network in San Francisco, Houston, Helsinki, London and other biomedical innovation areas to assist JITRI in finding suitable companies to expand to China. Thanks to the influence of China Focus, MyBioGate has received 50+ high-quality company projects in the fields of medical devices, IVD, and innovative drugs. Over the past couple of years, it has become a gold-standard consulting company for overseas projects to enter JITRI, focusing on the Chinese market.
Looking to the future, MyBiogate aims to continue its global outlook, gathering more outstanding biomedical and medical device companies that are willing to take root in the Chinese market and that operate at a world-leading level. By connecting these companies to JITRI, MyBioGate will help the development of the biomedical industry in China and around the world.