On 17 September 2018, Shanghai’s municipal government officially released the Implementation Measures for Accelerating the High-Quality Development of Artificial Intelligence in Shanghai (Hu Jing Xin Ji  No. 569). The document consists of a list of 22 key measures that will be implemented by the municipal government by the end of 2020 to boost the development of Shanghai as a global artificial intelligence hub, particularly by addressing industry talent, open data, and financing for start-ups and enterprises. The measures were jointly issued by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization, the Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission, the Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission, the Shanghai Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, and the Shanghai Municipal Finance Bureau.
The Measures are divided into five main groups, and mainly highlight:
- Talent development: Shanghai-based universities, research structures and enterprises will be encouraged to enhance cooperation by establishing classes, trainings as well as talent development bases dedicated to artificial intelligence, as well as to adopt supporting measures to attract and retain talent. An ad hoc Municipal Strategic Advisory Expert Committee will also be established to advise the local government on major policy- and decision-making items, as well as to evaluate the implementation of relevant plans.
- Open data: Lists of open public data resources in the form of text, pictures, environmental sensors and mapping will be formulated and made available to meet deep learning demand, also in sectors such as education, healthcare, tourism and public transport. Around 60 spots and 100 projects will be established for the advanced application and demonstration of new AI technologies, products and models.
- Industry integration and focus: Artificial intelligence will be included among Shanghai’s key strategic and emerging industries (SEIs), and therefore become eligible to the Shanghai SEI Special Fund which grants up to 20 million RMB of public funding per project (not exceeding 30% of the total project budget). Research on fundamental theories, amplified intelligence and new algorithms will be particularly encouraged in the field of brain-like intelligence. Backbone enterprises will be supported in establishing their headquarters in Shanghai; enterprises or agencies will be supported in establishing incubators and other innovation bases, and to transfer and convert in Shanghai major AI technology results generated abroad. Finally, three to four AI smart towns and five AI demonstration parks will be established.
- Government-backed guidance and financing: the municipal government will increase its financial support to enterprises, including SMEs, conducting AI R&D and related activities, mainly through the establishment of a 100 billion RMB (around 12.5 billion EUR) guiding fund, or of credit loan funds by financial institutions. AI enterprises will be strongly supported in “going global” through mergers, acquisitions, and equity participation, while municipal districts will be encouraged to grant different forms of support to local enterprises getting listed in the stock markets.
Note: the Measures are only the latest effort of Shanghai’s municipal government to transform the city into a global artificial intelligence hub. The city hosted the World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2018 in September 2018, themed “a new era empowered by artificial intelligence”.