Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing Rank Among World’s Six Most Ideal Cities for Scientists, Survey Shows

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Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing Rank Among World’s Six Most Ideal Cities for Scientists, Survey Shows

September 19
18:34 2023

Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing scored in the top six on a ranking of the world’s top municipalities that have the best conditions to nurture innovative scientific and technological talent, according to a report released at the ongoing Pujiang Innovation Forum in Shanghai.

Shenzhen came in second place, Shanghai fourth and Beijing sixth, according to the report which was carried out by the German-British academic publisher Springer Nature in conjunction with the Shanghai Institute for Science of Science.

Of the three, Beijing led in terms of educational and talent indicators, and Shenzhen was the favorite for innovation gauges but remains relatively weak in educational gauges. Shanghai had a relatively balanced performance in terms of education, innovation and talent indicators.

Salary, lifestyle and a career springboard are the three core factors for a city to be considered ‘ideal’ by scientists, Wang Xueying, an associate research fellow at the SISS’ Research Department of Innovation Policy, told Yicai. Scientists under 35 years old care about a good income, an attractive and affordable lifestyle and an international, open and diverse cultural environment.

Singapore ranked first in the poll, which surveyed high-level front-line scientific researchers in 20 cities worldwide. Boston and New York were in third and fifth place, respectively, and Hong Kong came 13th.

Shanghai received rave reviews from the scientists polled on the city’s efforts to educate more young scientific and technological talent, according to the report, which included for the first time an analysis of cities’ development conditions for education, science, technology and talent. But the metropolis still trails Beijing and Shenzhen in terms of initiatives to attract top talent from other places.

Shanghai is also highly recognized for giving play to the role of the public in driving scientific and technological innovations, though it still falls behind Beijing and Shenzhen in integrating the industrial economy with science and technology.

Around a third of the scientists polled who moved to Beijing, Shanghai or Shenzhen to work received their academic qualifications in major cities in developed countries, the report said. This showed that the three cities’ attractiveness to scientific and technological talents is increasing.

In terms of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, municipalities in developed economies placed ahead of those in China. Singapore, Boston and London were the top three, followed by Beijing in fourth place and Shanghai and New York in fifth. Shenzhen ranked ninth and Hong Kong 12th.

The next five to 10 years will be a key period for global cities to adjust and restructure their scientific and technological innovation landscape, the report said. Therefore, local governments need to play a more crucial and active role in developing scientific and technological hubs.

Over this period, the internationalization level of scientific researchers will improve, but the free migration, exchange and cooperation of scientists are likely to be somewhat disturbed due to changes in the world’s geopolitical situation, the report said.

About Yicai Global

Launched in August 2016, Yicai Global is the English-language news service of Yicai Media Group, the financial news arm of Shanghai Media Group, which is one of China’s largest state-owned media conglomerates. Focused primarily on China’s business world, Yicai Global is dedicated to provide reliable and insightful information and analysis of the economy, finance, tech, startups, and entrepreneurs.

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